While recent state legislation will generate additional revenue for local emergency communications, a few things need to be worked out before Schuylkill County Communications Center receives more funding. Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill Monday that would raise millions for emergency call centers throughout the state by increasing the monthly fees paid by phone customers to $1.65. "Local governments have struggled to maintain adequate funding for 911 systems for far too long," Wolf said Monday in a prepared statement. "I commend the General Assembly for passing a bill that will bolster these institutions that are vital to maintaining public safety in our communities." Communication centers are funded on surcharges placed on phone calls. The Public Safety and Emergency Telephone Act of 1990 put a fee on every landline phone. The law was updated in 2004 to include wireless calls and Voice over Internet Protocol. Landline calls carry a $1.25 fee while wireless and VoIP calls are $1. The new law sets a uniform fee of $1.65 a month for all lines. The legislation changes the fees for the first time since 2004. The increase will go into effect in August.
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