OLR Bill Analysis

HB 6334

AN ACT MANDATING THE REGIONALIZATION OF CERTAIN PUBLIC SAFETY EMERGENCY TELECOMMUNICATIONS CENTERS AND A STUDY OF CONSOLIDATION.

SUMMARY:

This bill:

1. beginning in FY 2019, makes municipalities with 40,000 or fewer people ineligible for enhanced 9-1-1 (E 9-1-1) funding if they have not joined with two or more municipalities to form a regional public safety answering point (PSAP) and

2. requires the Office of State-wide Emergency Telecommunications (OSET), which administers the state's E 9-1-1 program, to use money in the E 9-1-1 Telecommunications Fund to study PSAP regionalization issues and submit its findings to the Planning and Development and Public Safety and Security committees by July 1, 2017.

PSAPs are facilities that receive 9-1-1 calls and dispatch emergency response services (e.g., fire and police) or transfer the calls to other public safety agencies.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2013, except for the OSET study, which is effective upon passage.

E 9-1-1 SYSTEM FUNDING

OSET Funding to Towns

Currently, OSET pays for all of the towns' 9-1-1 equipment and reimburses them at 10 cents per capita for costs incurred to train and certify telecommunicators (people who take 9-1-1 calls and dispatch emergency services). It also offers financial incentives to encourage towns to (1) establish multi-jurisdiction PSAPs and (2) consolidate PSAP operations by eliminating secondary answering points (facilities to which PSAPs transfer 9-1-1 calls instead of dispatching emergency services or transferring the calls to another public safety agency). OSET provides:

1. annual subsidies to towns with PSAPs that receive and process 9-1-1 calls for three or more towns (regional emergency telecommunication centers) and towns with PSAPs that receive and process 9-1-1 calls for two towns (multi-town PSAPs);

2. one-time, transition funding to help towns offset the cost of forming regional or multi-town PSAPs;

3. (a) annual subsidies to towns with more than 40,000 residents and (b) reduced subsidies for each year that they continue to use a secondary answering point; and

4. service credits to encourage dispatch centers to regionalize (CGS 28-24 et seq. & Conn. Agencies Regs. 28-24-1 et seq. ).

Beginning in FY 2019, the bill eliminates funding to all municipalities with 40,000 or fewer people that have not joined with two or more municipalities to form a regional PSAP. It also specifically prohibits OSET, on or after July 1, 2019, from paying to replace existing 9-1-1 equipment for any PSAP that is not part of a regional PSAP (see BACKGROUND).

OSET STUDY

The bill requires OSET to conduct a study to determine a range of feasible arrangements of PSAPs. The study must include:

1. the number of answering points that would achieve a balance between cost-effectiveness, operational efficiency, and efficient use of new and existing resources;

2. which answering points could be consolidated, after considering cost, efficiencies, and natural or selected operational groupings;

3. what further consolidation of fire, police, emergency medical services and related services is recommended; and

4. all costs associated with all aspects of, and various options for, consolidation, including state and municipal costs.

BACKGROUND

E 9-1-1 System

Currently, there are (1) seven regional PSAPs serving 73 member towns, (2) nine multi-town PSAPs, and (3) 82 stand-alone PSAPs. Among the stand-alone PSAPs, (1) 22 towns receive subsidies based on the 40,000 resident population threshold, with four receiving reduced funding because they operate secondary answering points and (2) 60 towns receive no subsidies because they operate stand-alone PSAPs and do not qualify for the population-based subsidy.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Planning and Development Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

17

Nay

2

(04/01/2013)