OREGON – Members of Ogle County law enforcement held a press conference on Wednesday, June 28 asking Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign a bill aimed at improving the state's 9-1-1 emergency system.
If he fails to act, on June 30 the 9-1-1 act sunsets, eliminating its statutory ability to operate or have authority to pay its employees, said Sandra Beitel, Ogle County 9-1-1 coordinator and president of the Illinois Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association.
(No new information was available at press time).
“Today we are here to ask the office of Gov. Bruce Rauner to pass Senate Bill 1839,” said Beitel, flanked by area law enforcement. “The governor's office indicated their intention to veto the bill because of the surcharge increase. We are asking the governor to reconsider his intention to veto and sign the bill.”
She said the surcharge increase for the service would be from 87 cents to $1.50. She said that would be about a $7.56 increase annually. That money would go to replace the now 30 year old system.
Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle said this affects the entire state, and encouraged people to reach out to the governor's office seeking support for the bill.
“I think it is important for the citizens to remember that this is a surcharge that is nothing new,” he said. “It just increases back to the level of the past. This will definitely be an increase in service to the citizens of our county and it will allow us to continue to proved the excellent service that we do day in and day out through our 9-1-1 center.”
Beitel also pointed out that bill has support statewide from police and fire associations, the state Ambulance Association, the Illinois Municipal League and others. It also received bipartisan support in the State Legislature.
“Our message is, if he plans on vetoing the bill we encourager him to do so rapidly so that we can take it back to the General Assembly and get the majority override that we need, which we do have,” she said.