Gov. Rauner issues amendatory veto of 911 service bill

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Governor Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1839 on Friday, June 30.

He said this would ensure 911 services would continue without a tax hike.

In the amendatory veto, the governor said he removed all the surcharge increases and special interest giveaways. He also revoked the sunsets on the Emergency Telephone System Act and the sections regarding telecommunications and cable and video in the Public Utilities Act.

According to Rauner, this means 911 would continue in Illinois without the General Assembly having to pass legislation to renew the service.

According to Lieutenant Tracy Felty, the director of Saline County E-911, the mechanism to fund 911 expires on June 30. That means that without an appropriations bill, the funding for 911 will stop.

SB 1839 originally amended the Emergency Telephone Act and extended the expiration date until the end of 2020. It also raised the monthly surcharge that each phone owner paid from 87 cents to $1.50 everywhere except in Chicago. The surcharge in Chicago would have increased from $3.90 to $5.

The House and Senate passed the bill on May 31 and it was sent to Governor Bruce Rauner to sign on Monday.

Felty said that without the measure in place, 911 systems across Illinois may not be able to pay the power or phone bill. He said without funding, emergency centers will not be able to pay 911 system vendors.

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