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June 10, 2014

State Telecom Activities

  Communications Daily

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed HB-2453 (http://bit.ly/1jV2Ht9) into law Friday, letting Chicago increase its monthly 911 charges on wireline, wireless and prepaid cellphones. The fee could be up to $3.90 for landline and wireless service and up to 9 percent of the transaction cost for prepaid cellphones, said a summary by Illinois APCO (http://bit.ly/1pTMkSX).

Chicago wireline and wireless fees were capped at $2.50 and the prepaid fee at 7 percent, APCO said. The measure, which took effect immediately, has come under attack from free-market groups like the Institute for Policy Innovation, which said the increase could produce more than 911 needs and be used for other purposes like bolstering the city's pension fund.

Consumers "expect the money to be spent on the 911 system, not supporting the city's general slush fund, especially when a typical family of four will be paying well over $300 a year just in taxes and fees, almost enough for five kids to eat a subsidized school lunch the whole school year," said the institute in a blog post Thursday (http://bit.ly/1kWOWiw).

"It is exactly those families with the least resources who will be hit the hardest."

Neither Quinn nor Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, both Democrats, responded to our inquiries Monday. The measure also brings changes in 911 funding throughout the state (CD June 6 p13).


 

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