911 legislation killed Feb. 26 in committee by Jaimi Reimer Integrating the 911 emergency system and various state telecommunication systems will not happen soon due to the death of the bill requiring action on Feb. 26.
The Senate State Affairs committee voted, 8-1, to defer HB 1292 to the 41st legislative day.
The bill would have required all agencies that currently operate their own telecommunications systems, to integrate their functions and facilities by July 1, 2001.
�South Dakota would be a much better state if 911 was available to everybody,� said Jim Burg, Public Utilities Commissioner. �(The state) strives for the same kind of 911 service throughout the state and assess the same phone surcharge across the state.�
Plans for both local and state run emergency systems need to develop in a coordinated and comprehensive method, said Dave Knudson, the governor�s chief of staff.
Rep. Scott Eccarius, R-Rapid City, agreed. �If you want to do anything worthwhile and good, you have to have a plan,� he said.
�It only works when everybody wants to work together and we�re not seeing that. Unless passed with a cooperative spirit, this is not going to happen,� said Sen. Michael Rounds, R-Pierre.
Integrating the systems would add a step and time to the process, �which means a lot in public safety,� said Steve Willard, lobbyist for the Police Chiefs, Sheriffs and Joint Fire Councils Associations.
Eccarius introduced the bill.