New law reauthorizes, bolsters state 911 program
State Rep. Julie Alexander said a new law she supported will maintain the state’s 911 system and continue to update technology to provide better services.
“Our local 911 operators help keep us safe, connecting us with emergency assistance from police officers, firefighters and medical responders,” said Alexander, of Hanover. “A state program provides critical resources to local dispatches, and we updated the law to make sure this safety support will remain available.”
Alexander voted in October for House Bill 5026 to extend authorization for the state 911 program until the end of 2027. The program was due to expire at the end of 2021, but Gov. Whitmer signed the bill into law in December, after it received overwhelming bipartisan support in the Legislature. Alexander noted the extension of the funding program will ensure continuation of ongoing technology upgrades.
“Maintaining the state 911 program advances ongoing efforts to provide more accessible, more efficient service through technology upgrades,” Alexander said. “The Next Generation 911 system offers a texting option for people who communicate nonverbally or who need to reach out silently for their own safety. Location services for cell phones facilitate timely emergency services. Both these technological improvements will enhance safety in our Jackson community.”
Alexander highlighted a provision of the new law that will require a future fee reduction if the balance of the 911 program reaches a certain threshold.
“Michigan families shouldn’t have to pay more for 911 services than necessary,” Alexander said. “If the state system can sustain itself with lower rates in the future, our plan will automatically slash fees on phone users.”
State Rep. Alexander and the Michigan Legislature today approved a plan to make state government more open to the people of Michigan by establishing financial transparency requirements for state elected officials.