FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        May 10, 2017

Contact: Representative Ron Tusler (608) 266-5831

911 Systems Set For Upgrade

Joint Finance Committee Approves Funding In Budget

Madison, WI – Yesterday, the Joint Finance Committee adopted a motion Representative Ron Tusler (R - Harrison) worked on with Representative Felzkowski (R - Irma) and his legislative colleagues that funds an upgrade to the state’s 911 systems.

“I am thrilled the Joint Finance Committee adopted the motion I supported that takes the first steps in upgrading the state’s 911 systems. It is mind-boggling that in 2017 many of our emergency dispatch centers are incapable of receiving text messages and other non-voice communications in emergencies.”

The motion, supported by Representative Tusler, appropriates $6.7 million for Next Generation 911 and a 911 Council tasked with advising the Department of Military Affairs on the statewide upgrade and suggesting service standards, among other things. The newly-created system is required to support all types of requests for emergency assistance, including calls, non-voice, and multimedia messages.

“Next Generation 911 has been on my radar since I first got to Madison. This is a big win for our rural communities and all communities across the state. Our current 911 systems are quickly becoming obsolete or will become cost-prohibitive to maintain as more and more technology goes digital. More importantly, this is a step towards keeping people safe by making sure everyone can communicate with our emergency dispatchers using the Twenty-First Century technology we carry in our pockets.”

The proposal, officially placed into the 2017-19 state budget, awaits final approval by the legislature and signature by the Governor.