Illinois (ECWd) –
We thank the Governor for his Amendatory Veto of this bill, which includes removing the fee increases and the sunset date for the repeal of the ETSB statute, giving the State Police more time to prepare for the takeover of the 911 system just as we suggested June 1st.
In 2015 the legislature created more government bureaucracy by creating the Illinois State Police office of 911 Administration With that legislation came a sunset of the current Emergency Telephone System Board that was to be effective at midnight, June 30, 2017.
With that date approaching and action to stick it to the taxpayers once again by our legislature, we wrote this article. We pointed out the following June 1st, 2017 in that article.
It is now being claimed that when the current law expires, there will be no funding for 911, so they need to extend the sunset date because, without the cash, emergency 911 centers will start shutting down after June 30th.
If there was any truth to that, then simply extend the expiration or sunset date a couple years so the ISP can get their act together but that would be too simple, as there is always more to the story. Not only did they scare everyone into believing that 911 systems would shut down statewide as a means of justifying this extension, they placed a new fee rate on all our phone lines.
The legislation, which passed out of the House raises your phone line 911 fee by 72%, from $.87 cents per line to $1.50 per line, effective January 1, 2018. And for that great city in the sky, Chicago, the language in the bill would allow any municipality over 500,000 (Chicago) to raise that 911 fee to as high as $5.00 per phone line.
Time for the Governor to veto this bill and force this legislature to fix problems, not create more of them.
Fast forward to today, and in spite of the Governors warning that he would veto the bill because of the fee increases on the taxpayer, the legislature once again tried to stick it to the taxpayers by insinuating that 911 centers statewide would be shut down, which is inconsistent with the law, as it is the ISP that was supposed to have taken over the entire Administration operations.
Contrary to many claims that this fee increase is not a tax, we are confident people understand that anytime the government takes more of your money, it is, in fact, a tax. Calling it a fee does not make it any less taxing on the public and although I understand and support improvements in our 911 system, it’ time to limit our expenses and learn to live within our means.
Although some believe the veto will be overridden with the necessary votes, don’t be so sure. Many who voted for this bill did so for political reasons and knew it was going to be vetoed.
Thank you, Governor Rauner, for taking the right steps on this bill.