- Associated Press - Monday, March 20, 2017

WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) - Two Republican lawmakers want Rhode Island’s emergency services telephone surcharge to strictly fund emergency services, as it did before 2000.

The Westerly Sun reports (https://bit.ly/2nrIaK0 ) the state made $17 million from the fees last year.

The general fund received $12 million. The state’s central E-911 center received $5 million.

Rhode Island imposes a $1 emergency services surcharge on every land line telephone bill and $1.26 on every cellphone bill.

Lawmakers changed the law in 2000 to free up the money for uses other than 911 services.

State Sen. Dennis Algiere, of Westerly, has proposed a bill that would require all funds collected from the surcharge go toward emergency services. State Rep. Robert Lancia, of Cranston, has proposed similar legislation.

The office of Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo (ray-MAHN’-doh) declined to comment.

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Information from: The Westerly Sun, https://www.thewesterlysun.com

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