911 call centers

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JOLIET, Ill. (AP) - Will County officials have offered to add a $5 million emergency dispatch center to the sheriff's office it plans to build this year.  The plan would alleviate headaches for the county as it struggles to meet a state-required 2017 deadline to consolidate 911 services.  The offer was announced at a working session of the Emergency Telephone System Board last week.

Illinois Senators easily approved sending some two billion dollars to local governments money that thus far has been caught in the political fight between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and legislative Democrats.

The funding will send 911 fees to the call centers, give municipalities their share of proceeds from video gaming, and allow localities to pay for road salt. 

President of the Illinois Municipal League Brad Cole says it's fortunate that winter has been warm so far:   

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Illinois residents seeking help through their local emergency 911 systems may be on their own if the budget fight between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats in the Legislature continues. Without a budget in place, emergency call systems are no longer receiving revenue from a tax on cell phone users. Under state law, 911 fees for landline phones are paid to county-level systems. Fees for cell phones go into a statewide pool.

As more people ditch their landline phones for cell phones, 911 call centers are struggling to maintain services. That’s because wireless phone lines in Illinois are often taxed at a lower rate than landlines. There’s a push to change that.