COUNTIES AND COUNTY LAW
EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS ACT
31-4801. Purpose. The legislature recognizes that providing consolidated emergency communications systems and interoperable public safety communications and data systems is vital in enhancing the public health, safety, and welfare of the people in the state of Idaho. The legislature further finds that there is an obvious need for providing a means to finance the initiation, maintenance, operation, enhancement and governance of interoperable and consolidated emergency communications systems.
(1) The legislature of the state of Idaho finds that:
(a) Since the original enactment of the emergency communications act in 1988, many of Idaho’s communities have found that they are lacking in the resources to fully fund emergency communications systems at the local level;
(b) Changes in technology and the rapid growth of communications media have demonstrated that financing such systems solely by a line charge on subscribers to wireline services does not reflect utilization of emergency communications systems by subscribers to wireless and other forms of communications systems;
(c) There is a need to enhance funding for the initiation and enhancement of consolidated emergency communications systems throughout the state;
(d) Utilization of cellular telephones and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) communications to access emergency communications systems has substantially increased citizen access to emergency services while at the same time increasing demands upon the emergency response system;
(e) In order to protect and promote the public health and safety, and to keep pace with advances in telecommunications technology and the various choices of telecommunications technology available to the public, there is a need to plan and develop a statewide coordinated policy and program to ensure that enhanced 911 services, next generation 911 services, and future and emerging public safety technologies are available to all citizens of the state and people in all areas of the state.
(2) Therefore, it is hereby declared that the intent and purpose of the provisions of this act are to:
(a) Provide authority to counties and 911 service areas to impose an emergency communications fee on the use of telephone lines, wireless, VoIP or other communications services that connect an individual or entity dialing or accessing 911 to an established public safety answering point;
(b) Provide that the emergency communications fee in section 31-4803, Idaho Code, shall be exclusively utilized by the counties or 911 service areas electing to impose it to finance the initiation, maintenance, operation, enhancement and governance of consolidated emergency systems as well as enhanced consolidated emergency systems or next generation consolidated emergency systems;
(c) Provide for the agreed-to reimbursement to telecommunications providers for their implementation of enhanced consolidated emergency communications systems by counties or 911 service areas that have implemented enhanced consolidated emergency communications systems;
(d) Create the Idaho public safety communications commission that will have the duty to provide the governance structure through which public safety communications stakeholders can collaborate to advance consistency and common objectives, to provide integrated facilitation and coordination for cross-jurisdictional consensus building, to assist in the standardization of agreements for sharing resources among jurisdictions with emergency response communications infrastructure, to suggest best practices, performance measures and performance evaluation in the integrated statewide strategic planning and implementation of interoperability among public safety communications professionals and entities that serve people in Idaho regardless of jurisdiction, to manage the Idaho public safety interoperable communications and data systems fund as established by section 31-4820, Idaho Code, and to pursue budget authorizations as set forth in this chapter.
[31-4801, added 1988, ch. 348, sec. 1, p. 1027; am. 1990, ch. 200, sec. 1, p. 449; am. 2003, ch. 290, sec. 1, p. 785; am. 2003, ch. 311, sec. 1, p. 853; am. 2004, ch. 325, sec. 1, p. 973; am. 2007, ch. 340, sec. 1, p. 995; am. 2016, ch. 127, sec. 1, p. 364.]