News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 12, 2012

Indiana county leaders worried over 911 funding

TOM DAVIES
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana county officials who are scrambling to find enough money to pay for 911 emergency services say they aren’t confident of help from lawmakers who might be leery of allowing increased cellphone fees during an election year.

The shift from traditional landline phones to cellphones has cost counties millions of dollars in funding for 911 dispatch centers because the fees charged for landline phones are generally higher.

One legislative proposal would allow each county to set a uniform fee for all phones, while another would establish a flat statewide fee that a state board would distribute to counties.

House Ways and Means Chairman Jeff Espich says he isn’t sure about advancing a plan because he hasn’t seen solid information on spending for 911 operations.