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HB 751, 9-1-1; Georgia Emergency Communications Authority

 
Municipal Impact Position Contact
Support Rusi Patel, (678) 686-6210

Last Updated: 1/27/2018
Subject Area: Finance and Money Management | Public Safety |
Resources: bill text
This legislation would establish the Georgia Emergency Communications Authority (GECA), which would be housed within the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. GECA would include within its membership all local governments which operate or contract for the operation of a 9-1-1 system. The board of directors of GECA would consist of 15 members, 2 of which would be guaranteed to be city officials, 2 others which will be county officials, 3 others which will be 9-1-1 directors, 1 sheriff, 1 police chief, and 1 fire chief. All combined, this means that at least 10 of the members of the board of GECA will be local officials. 

Commencing on January 1, 2019, all 9-1-1 fees will be required to be submitted to GECA. GECA, in turn, will contract with the Georgia Department of Revenue for administration and disbursement of the 9-1-1 fees. The Department of Revenue will be able to retain up to 1% of the fees for administering collections. The remaining fees will be disbursed to the local governments on a pro rata basis based upon the remitted amounts attributable to each such local government.

GECA will also be authorized to contract with DOR beginning on January 1, 2019, to have DOR audit the financial and business records of any service supplier offering communications services in the State of Georgia. The costs of such audits will be paid out of the 1% fee. Audits will be limited to records from the previous three years and failures by a provider to comply with an audit can lead to penalties of up to $1000 a day. Failure to remit 9-1-1 fees will cost a provider up to $25,000 in addition to the fees. Local governments which are members of GECA will have access to information submitted by providers for the purpose of determining the accuracy of collections and remittances related to such member's jurisdiction. 

Importantly, this legislation would require the emergency 9-1-1 system to be a county wide service unless a municipality within that county also has its own system. Any emergency calls received by a county will be required to be directed to the appropriate public safety personnel, no matter whether county or city personnel. Counties will prohibited from charging fees or charges on cities for emergency call and connection services. 

This legislation would equalize all 9-1-1 fees to be a $1.50 per month per connected device. Cost recovery for providers would no longer be allowed to be taken out of the 9-1-1 fee itself, but they would be allowed to bill for such costs, up to $0.45 per month themselves. 

 

Votes

2/13/2018 House Vote #494 Yea - 154 Nay - 14 Not Voting - 5 Excused - 7
2/13/2018 House Vote #493 Yea - 105 Nay - 57 Not Voting - 11 Excused - 7
BILL STATUS

2/14/2018 - Assigned to Senate Committee

AUTHOR

Rep. Alan Powell
District 32
Contact Info