Emergency Communications Legislation: Implications for the 110th Congress [Updated March 19, 2008]   [open pdf - 127KB]

This report discusses the First Responders and Emergency Communications systems, relevant legislation including the Homeland Security act of 2002, Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, the Deficit Reduction Act, the Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007 as well as 9/11 Commission recommendations. From the report: "Since September 11, 2001, several bills introduced in the U.S. Congress have included provisions to assist emergency communications. Key provisions from a number of these bills have become law. The Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-53) was passed in the 1st Session of the 110th Congress. Sections in the act modified and expanded provisions for emergency communications passed in P.L. 109-171 and P.L. 109-295. Coming into the 2nd Session, funding public safety may come under renewed consideration by Congress. Bills already introduced include S. 74 (Senator Schumer), to ensure adequate funding for high-threat areas; H.R. 3116 (Representative Stupak) creating a Public Safety Communications Trust Fund to receive the balance remaining in the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Fund after payments already required by Congress have been made; H.R. 130, a funding bill for first responders (Representative Frelinghuysen), with a provision that would require the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a study evaluating the need to assign additional spectrum for use by public safety; S. 345 (Senator Biden), that would provide funding and includes a requirement for the immediate release of spectrum for public safety use, now scheduled for 2009."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL33747
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