6 States, 1 Territory Divert 9-1-1 Fees in 2013 (1/26/15)
Monday, January 26, 2015 | Comments

Six states — California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Washington — and Puerto Rico diverted or transferred 9-1-1 fee collections for purposes other than 9-1-1 or enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) during 2013. The data is part of the FCC’s annual report on 9-1-1 fee collection by states, along with 9-1-1 fee diversion.

The number is up from the four states that raided 9-1-1 funds in 2012. Illinois has been on the list of states that divert funds since the reports began in 2008.

The amount of 9-1-1 funds diverted by all reporting jurisdictions during 2013 was $183.3 million or about 8 percent of total 9-1-1 fees.

Three states, California, New Jersey and Washington, used a portion of their 9-1-1- funds to support other public-safety or emergency response programs. Three states and Puerto Rico diverted 9-1-1 funds for non-public-safety purposes. New York and Rhode Island diverted funds to the state’s general fund. Illinois diverted funds to its state public utility fund, and Puerto Rico diverted funs to retire unspecified government debt.

The information is part of the FCC’s sixth annual congressional report on the collection and distribution of 9-1-1 and E9-1-1 fees and charges by U.S. states and territories, the District of Columbia and tribal authorities. For 2013, 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and three Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) offices responded to the FCC’s data request for the report.

During 2013, states and other reporting jurisdictions collected 9-1-1 fees of about $2.4 billion. Estimates of funds collected ranged from a low of $4.6 million in Vermont to a high of $213 million in Texas.

Thirty-two states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico reported spending 9-1-1 funds on next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) programs during 2013. The total amount reported on NG 9-1-1 expenditures from 9-1-1 fees was $108 million or 4.5 percent of all fees collected. That number was up from $97 million spent on NG 9-1-1 in 2012.

Louisiana and four territories — American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands — didn’t respond to the FCC’s data request. Nine BIA regional offices didn’t respond.

The New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act of 2008 mandated the report. The full report is here.

The commission is requesting comment on the report. Comments are due Feb. 23, and reply comments are due March 24. The public notice is here.

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