911 funding now at issue in Capitol

Illinois Capitol News
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ILLINOIS (WCIA) — 911 call center funding could now be part of budget negotiations if House Speaker Michael Madigan (D) has his way.

Governor Bruce Rauner says he will veto a bill increasing tax on 911 calls and allow AT&T to cut its landlines, but Madigan hopes to change his mind.

In Tuesday’s leaders’ meeting, Madigan added the bill to his list of non-budgetary demands. Republican leader Jim Durkin says the speaker is moving the goal post and making a budget harder to achieve.

Wednesday, more than a dozen 911 operators and first responders came to the Capitol asking for funding. The bill would nearly double the tax on 911 calls, raising it to $1.50. In Chicago, the fee would jump to $5.

Operators say it would help modernize technology and increase jobs. Rauner says he’s concerned about cuts to old AT&T landlines.

AARP says more than a million seniors would lose access to their phones and it supports Rauner’s veto.

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