Senate Bill 2577 would change the way a $1 monthly surcharge on cellphones and other wireless devices is distributed. Currently, 31 percent goes into a fund created to repay phone carriers since they built the system infrastructure. The remainder goes to the local 911 systems, roughly 69 percent. With the state cell infrastructure more or less complete, the fund has grown to $31 million.
Under the new bill, the local 911 systems would receive 95 percent of the wireless surcharge. The legislature’s Senate Energy Committee is recommending phasing the change in over the next two years, adding 12.5 percent each year.