PA 10-125—sSB 312 (VETOED)

Public Safety and Security Committee

Planning and Development Committee

Appropriations Committee

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

SUMMARY: This act:

1. beginning in FY 2016, 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 Public Safety and Security Committee by July 1, 2011.

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: Upon passage for the OSET study; October 1, 2010 for the remaining provisions.

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 2016, the act 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, 2016, 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 act 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 should be consolidated, after considering cost, efficiencies, and natural or selected operational groupings;

3. what 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; (3) 22 towns receiving subsidies based on the 40,000 resident population threshold, with four receiving reduced funding because they operate secondary answering points; and (4) 60 towns that get no subsidies because they operate stand-alone PSAPs and do not qualify for the population-based subsidy.

Funding Source

Funding for the E 9-1-1 system is generated by a monthly surcharge levied on all phone lines (CGS 28-30a). The current rates start at 47 cents per line per month, and customers with multiple lines are rated on a sliding scale. (CGS 16-256g limits the maximum charge to 50 cents per line. ) Customers pay the surcharge to their telephone service provider which, in turn, remits it to OSET monthly for deposit in the E 9-1-1 Telecommunications Fund.

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