Monday, February 6, 2017

Radio Funding Bill Passes Senate

The North Dakota Senate overturned a committee recommendation and passed SB2204 which allows a surcharge to be added to certain traffic violations for the creation and funding of a statewide interoperable radio network for law enforcement and first responders.
The bill came out of the Transportation committee with a do not pass recommendation. But it was persuasive testimony on the floor that convinced the Senate body to approve the bill 26-17.
"This is about protecting our law enforcement and first responders," said Sen. Rich Wardner. "We need to give them the equipment they need to protect them and us. We have to do something."
Sen. Curt Kreun also spoke up, "when equipment does not work properly, lives are at stake."
While many lawmakers say they didn't like the bill, they understand that the radios are reaching their end of their lives and that keeping this bill alive was vitally important.
SB 2204 is one of two bills that relate to funding a new radio system. HB 1178 has passed the House and would allow counties to increase the 9-1-1 fee .50 to be set aside for the local cost of paying for the radio system.

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