Bill increases 911 fees, but doesn’t distribute money to 911

New legislation in Illinois puts an increase on your cell phone bill for 911 services, but 911 won’t see any of the money.

Illinois House Bill 1398 would increase cell bills by $.02 a month for 911 services, but the money would be used to build a new trauma center in the south suburbs of Chicago.

This doesn’t sit right with Saline Co. 911 Director Tracy Felty since ten counties in Illinois don’t have advanced 911 systems.

“We actually cover Saline and Gallatin 911 calls,” said Tracy Felty. “We also take wireless calls from Hardin, Pope, and part of Hamilton County. At times calls from ten counties and three states bounce into our system.”

When Felty first heard 911 fees could increase, he thought it could be a good thing.

“We could always add more staff, but we have to look long range because equipment is not cheap,” said Felty.

After a closer look he realized HB1398 wouldn’t benefit 911 at all.

“How does this benefit the state,” said Felty. “You’re wanting to take money from a statewide system where the fee is levied statewide at the same rate, and only use it for a small project in south suburban Chicago. I have a real problem with that.”

Felty says he does believe the hospital project is a good thing, he is tired of the state taking 911 money and throwing it at projects in Chicago.

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