Governor signs bill to hike fees to upgrade 911 system

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law an increase in 911 fees to upgrade Michigan’s emergency response system.

The law enacted Tuesday will boost the monthly surcharge on phone bills by 6 cents, from 19 cents to 25 cents. The surcharge on prepaid wireless plans will rise to 5 percent per retail transaction. It is currently under 2 percent.

The fee hikes will generate $20 million more a year.

Supporters say the 911 system is in dire need of upgrades. Technology is being used that hasn’t been updated in nearly 60 years.

Backers say first responders will be better equipped to respond to a scene with more information — pictures, videos, text, GPS — helping to pinpoint disoriented callers.

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