1998 Regular Session
To: Public Utilities
By: Representative Wells-Smith
House Bill 1299
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 19-5-307, 19-5-309, 19-5-311, 19-5-313, 19-5-315 AND 19-5-317, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE EMERGENCY TELEPHONE SERVICE 911 LAWS; TO CREATE A NEW CODE SECTION TO BE CODIFIED AS SECTION 19-5-319, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT CERTAIN INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE 911 AUTOMATIC NUMBER AND LOCATION DATA BASE IS CONFIDENTIAL; TO PROVIDE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION MAY BE PROVIDED TO CERTAIN ENTITIES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 19-5-307, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
19-5-307. (1) When any district is created, the board of supervisors of the county creating such district may appoint a board of commissioners composed of a minimum of seven (7) members to govern its affairs, and shall fix the domicile of the board at any point within the district. The members of the board shall be qualified electors of the district, the terms shall be for two (2), three (3), and four (4) years and the appointed terms shall be divided as equally as possible by the number of commissioners appointed. Thereafter, all appointments of the members shall be for terms of four (4) years.
(2) The board of commissioners shall have complete and sole authority to appoint a chairman and any other officers it may deem necessary from among the membership of the board of commissioners.
(3) A majority of the board of commissioners membership shall constitute a quorum and all official action of the board of commissioners shall require a quorum.
(4) The board of commissioners shall have authority to employ such employees, experts and consultants as it may deem necessary to assist the board of commissioners in the discharge of its responsibilities to the extent that funds are made available.
(5) In lieu of appointing a board of commissioners, the board of supervisors of the county may serve as the board of commissioners of the district, in which case it shall assume all the powers and duties of the board of commissioners as provided Section 19-5-301 et seq..
SECTION 2. Section 19-5-309, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
19-5-309. (1) The digits "911" shall be the primary emergency telephone number, but the involved agencies may maintain a separate secondary backup number and shall maintain a separate number for nonemergency telephone calls.
(2) The use of the digits "911" shall become the standard telephone number for public access to the various emergency services within the State of Mississippi by the year 2000. The implementation of this service shall be effected in all counties not currently operating a "911" system.
Those counties not currently in the process of installing "911," or currently using "911" emergency telephone service, when by a vote of a majority of the qualified electors of the county voting on the proposal in an election held for the purpose, shall install either "Basic 911" or "Enhanced 911" using the guidelines for implementation set forth in House Bill No. 901, 1993 Regular Session [Laws, 1993, ch. 536].
SECTION 3. Section 19-5-311, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
19-5-311. The emergency telephone system shall, when so authorized by a vote of a majority of the qualified electors of the county voting on the proposal in an election held for that purpose, be designed to have the capability of utilizing at least one (1) of the following three (3) methods in response to emergency calls:
(a) "District dispatch method," which is a telephone service to a centralized dispatch center providing for the dispatch of an appropriate emergency service unit upon receipt of a telephone request for such services and a decision as to the proper action to be taken, including an E911 system.
(b) "Relay method," which is a telephone service whereby pertinent information is noted by the recipient of a telephone request for emergency services and is relayed to appropriate public safety agencies or other providers of emergency services for dispatch of an emergency service unit.
(c) "Transfer method," which is a telephone service which receives telephone requests for emergency services and directly transfers such requests to an appropriate public safety agency or other provider of emergency services.
(i) The public safety agency or emergency service provider in order to receive the transfers must have a twenty-four hour, seven-day a week dispatch capability.
(ii) The public safety agency or emergency service provider must have adequate staffing in order to receive the transfers and must meet all personnel training requirements as established by the Board of Emergency Telecommunications Standards and Training.
(iii) The public safety agency or emergency service provider receiving transfers from a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) will be responsible for the confidentiality of the call transferred and all records pertaining to the calls.
The board of commissioners shall select the method which it determines to be the most feasible for the county.
SECTION 4. Section 19-5-313, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
19-5-313. (1) The board of supervisors may levy an emergency telephone service charge in an amount not to exceed One Dollar ($1.00) per residential telephone subscriber line per month and Two Dollars ($2.00) per commercial telephone subscriber line per month. Any emergency telephone service charge shall have uniform application and shall be imposed throughout the entirety of the district to the greatest extent possible in conformity with availability of such service in any area of the district. Cellular telephone and personal communications network subscribers shall also be subject to the subscriber service charge. Cellular subscribers and personal communications network subscribers shall be treated the same as residential wireline subscribers and charged accordingly with the proceeds paid to the county in which the subscriber resides. Those districts which exist on the date of enactment of House Bill No. 901, 1993 Regular Session, shall convert to the following structure for service charge levy: If the current charge is five percent (5%) of the basic tariff service rate, the new collection shall be Eighty Cents ($.80) per month per residential subscriber line and One Dollar and Sixty Cents ($1.60) per month per commercial subscriber line. The collections may be adjusted as outlined in House Bill No. 901, 1993 Regular Session, and within the limits set forth herein.
(2) If the proceeds generated by the emergency telephone service charge exceed the amount of monies necessary to fund the service, the board of supervisors may authorize such excess funds to be expended by the county and the municipalities in the counties to perform the duties and pay the costs relating to identifying roads, highways and streets, as provided by Section 65-7-143. The board of supervisors shall determine how the funds are to be distributed in the county and among municipalities in the county for paying the costs relating to identifying roads, highways and streets. The board of supervisors may temporarily reduce the service charge rate or temporarily suspend the service charge if the proceeds generated exceed the amount that is necessary to fund the service and/or to pay costs relating to identifying roads, highways and streets. Such excess funds may also be used in the development of county or district communications and paging systems when used primarily for the alerting and dispatching of public safety entities and for other administrative costs such as management personnel, maintenance personnel and related building and operational requirements. Such excess funds may be placed in a depreciation fund for emergency and obsolescence replacement of equipment necessary for the operation of the overall 911 emergency telephone and alerting systems.
(3) No such service charge shall be imposed upon more than one hundred (100) exchange access facilities per subscriber per location. Trunks or service lines used to supply service to cellular telephone sites or personal communications systems sites shall not have a service charge levied against them. Every billed service user shall be liable for any service charge imposed under this section until it has been paid to the service supplier. The duty of the service supplier to collect any such service charge shall commence upon the date of its implementation, which shall be specified in the resolution for the installation of such service. Any such emergency telephone service charge shall be added to and may be stated separately in the billing by the service supplier to the service user.
(4) The service supplier shall have no obligation to take any legal action to enforce the collection of any emergency telephone service charge. However, the service supplier shall annually provide the board of supervisors and board of commissioners with a list of the amount uncollected, together with the names and addresses of those service users who carry a balance that can be determined by the service supplier to be nonpayment of such service charge. The service charge shall be collected at the same time as the tariff rate in accordance with the regular billing practice of the service supplier. Good faith compliance by the service supplier with this provision shall constitute a complete defense to any legal action or claim which may result from the service supplier's determination of nonpayment and/or the identification of service users in connection therewith.
(5) The amounts collected by the service supplier attributable to any emergency telephone service charge shall be due the county treasury monthly. The amount of service charge collected each month by the service supplier shall be remitted to the county no later than sixty (60) days after the close of the month. A return, in such form as the board of supervisors and the service supplier agree upon, shall be filed with the county, together with a remittance of the amount of service charge collected payable to the county. The service supplier shall maintain records of the amount of service charge collected for a period of at least two (2) years from date of collection. The board of supervisors and board of commissioners shall receive an annual audit of the service supplier's books and records with respect to the collection and remittance of the service charge. From the gross receipts to be remitted to the county, the service supplier shall be entitled to retain as an administrative fee, an amount equal to one percent (1%) thereof. From and after March 10, 1987, the service charge is a county fee and is not subject to any sales, use, franchise, income, excise or any other tax, fee or assessment and shall not be considered revenue of the service supplier for any purpose.
(6) In order to provide additional funding for the district, the board of commissioners may receive federal, state, county or municipal funds, as well as funds from private sources, and may expend such funds for the purposes of Section 19-5-301 et seq.
SECTION 5. Section 19-5-315, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
19-5-315. (1) All provisions of Section 19-5-301 et seq., with the exception of Section 19-5-307, shall not be construed to amend, repeal or supersede any local and private act under which a county or municipality has, prior to the effective date of Section 19-5-301 et seq., established an emergency communications district.
(2) The governing authorities of any municipality which has established an emergency communications district under the provisions of a local and private act enacted prior to the effective date of Section 19-5-301 et seq., may merge such district with the district established by the county in which the municipality is located, by order duly adopted and entered on the minutes of the governing authority and after the board of supervisors has duly adopted and entered on its minutes a similar order. After the county and the municipal districts have been merged, the local and private act for such municipality shall be of no force or effect.
(3) Two (2) or more counties may, by order duly adopted and entered on their minutes, establish a single emergency communications district to be composed of all of the territory within such counties provided that before the establishment thereof the board of supervisors of each of such counties has established an emergency communications district for its county in accordance with Section 19-5-305. When two (2) or more counties have established a single emergency communications district for the counties as provided under this subsection, the board of commissioners of the district shall consist of the members of the board of supervisors of each of such counties or a board of commissioners to be appointed as provided in Section 19-5-307.
SECTION 6. Section 19-5-317, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
19-5-317. (1) When there is not an emergency, no person shall make a telephone call to an emergency telephone service and knowingly or intentionally:
(a) Remain silent;
(b) Make abusive or harassing statements to an emergency telephone service employee;
(c) Report the existence of an emergency; or
(d) Falsely report a crime.
(2) No person shall knowingly permit a telephone under his control to be used by another person in a manner described in subsection (1) of this section.
(3) Conviction of a first offense under this section is punishable by a fine not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or by imprisonment for a period of time not to exceed one (1) year, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Conviction of any subsequent offense under this section is punishable by a fine not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) or by imprisonment for a period of time not to exceed three (3) years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(4) For the purpose of this section, "emergency telephone service" shall mean a service established under Section 19-5-301 et seq., Mississippi Code of 1972, or established under the provisions of a local and private act enacted prior to October 20, 1987. In addition, it shall apply to any telephone service listed to a public safety agency or emergency service provider used for the purpose of receiving calls for service from the public.
SECTION 7. The following shall be codified as Section 19-5-319, Mississippi Code of 1972:
19-5-319. Automatic number identification (ANI), automatic location identification (ALI), and geographic automatic location identification (GeoALI) information that consist of the name, address, and telephone number of telephone or wireless subscribers shall be confidential dissemination of the information contained in the 911 automatic number and location data base is prohibited except for the following purpose:
(a) The information will be provided to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) on a call-by-call basis only for the purpose of handling emergency calls, or for training and any permanent record of the information shall be secured by the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and disposed of in a manner which will retain that security, except as otherwise provided by law.
(b) All telephone calls and telephone call transmissions received pursuant to this chapter, and all tapes containing records of telephone calls shall remain confidential and used only for the purposes as may be needed for law enforcement, fire medical rescue or other emergency services. These calls shall not be released to any other parties without court order or subpoena from a court of competent jurisdiction.
SECTION 8. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.