A measure being filed in the Kentucky House would increase the monthly statewide wireless fee by 30 cents. Proponents say the increase is needed to offset the loss of revenue as a result of declining land-line phone service.
Woodford County Sheriff Wayne Wright says the hike is minimal when compared to the need for quick emergency response.
“We can’t take that loss. Emergency services. We can’t take that loss. We need that money to recover and it’s not to build buildings or buy police cars. This is for communications. That money is used for 9-1-1 communications. That’s what we’re gonna use it for,” said Wright.
The legislation would also require prepaid wireless users to pay a higher share of the fee. Implementation of the measure would generate more than four million dollars annually for 911 services across the state.
Sponsor Martha Jayne King believes all phone users should contribute equally to pay for emergency calling.
“If you have a phone, regardless if its post-paid, pre -paid, the Bush/Obama phones, or whoever has a device that can call 9-1-1 whether it’s voice over internet protocol, magic jack, or any of those. They need to have the service available. They need to make sure they pay their fair share of the fee,” said King.
King realizes it will take some doing to get any type of fee increase through the General Assembly this session. She’s working now to sign up co-sponsors in the House.