FCC Commissioner Calls Out Montana for Diverting 9-1-1 Funds
Thursday, September 12, 2019 | Comments

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Reilly took Montana Gov. Steve Bullock to task for his state’s diversion of 9-1-1 fees in 2018 to allegedly pay college professors.

O’Reilly asked the governor to initiate a process to reverse the “blatant” misappropriation of funds and commit to not divert funds again. He said the state should return $2 million to the state’s 9-1-1 account.

O’Reilly noted that the state was ineligible for the recent grant program to modernize 9-1-1 systems nationwide because of the practice.

“… If reports about how the money was spent are true, Montana’s diversion funds would be one the most egregious cases that have come across in my time at the commission,” O’Reilly said. “Perhaps some other, more colorable reason or excuse can be generated, but the simple truth is that 9-1-1 fees are paid by consumers to preserve, operate, improve the public-safety network, not to serve as a piggy bank that can be raided to fix state budget shortfalls.”

The full Sept. 9 letter is here.

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