Missouri legislature seeks to improve 911 Services

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JEFFERSON CITY - 911 operating services could soon extend to more areas across Missouri where callers cannot currently get help during emergencies. 

The Missouri Senate was in the late stages Thursday of considering a bill that would create funding for 911 services throughout the state, a day after an identical bill passed in the House.

The legislation would allow county residents to vote for a monthly fee of up to $1.50 for cell phone users.

The monthly fees to cell phone users would take the place of any possible telephone service or county-wide sales taxes.

The funding would then be used to improve the answering and dispatching of emergency phone calls for "dead areas". 

Sponsors of the bill in each chamber say local governments need more funding to prevent callers in certain rural areas from having to wait on hold during emergency calls. 

Missouri is the only state that does not have any state funding for 911 services.