The Senate Commerce Committee heard from backers of a bill to improve Missouri's emergency response system for cell phone users.
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The Senate Commerce Committee heard from backers of a bill to improve Missouri's emergency response system for cell phone users.

Date: March 3, 2009
By: Elizabeth Billingsley
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB 119

Intro:  Seven years after Missourians rejected a tax to improve wireless 911 service, state lawmakers are debating the issue again. RunTime:0:38
OutCue: SOC

Senator John Griesheimer is reviving efforts to let voters decide on a tax to update 911 call technology in Missouri.

Missouri is the country's only state without the ability to place wireless 911 calls to a nearby cell phone tower or to find the caller by GPS. 

Griesheimer's bill calls for a 25 cent monthly fee to pay for an enhanced wireless 911 service.

Mark Kindle supports the bill and he says the issue should not be decided at the polls again.

Actuality:  KINDLE.WAV
Run Time: 00:12
Description: "It's a very difficult issue to educate our voters in Missouri that they do not already have this service provided to them, so we feel like the legislators should go ahead and implement the fee without voter approval."

The Senate Commerce Committee will hear from the bill's opponents next week.

From the state Capitol, I'm Elizabeth Billingsley.


Intro: State lawmakers are reviving efforts to improve 911 cell phone technology. RunTime:0:50
OutCue: SOC

Ballot initiative supporters say they want voters to decide on updating the state's 911 technology.

Missouri is the only state in the nation without the capability to place wireless emergency calls to the nearest cell phone tower or to find the caller by GPS.

A similar initiative failed in 2002.

Gene Oakley lives in Carter County.

He says the lack of enhanced wireless 911 service affects all Missourians.

 

Actuality:  OAKLEY.WAV
Run Time: 00:15
Description: Many of them have no reason to be for it because if they pick up their cell phone in St. Louis or Kansas City, they can call 911 - what's the problem?  Well, the problem is there are many areas in this state where you can't call 911.

One St. Louis lawmaker said his constituents are tired of subsidizing state services.

From the State Capitol, I'm Elizabeth Billingsley.