Rhode Island Governor Raimondo - Thank You for Opposing 911 Fee Diversion

April 17, 2018

The Honorable Gina Raimondo
Governor of Rhode Island
82 Smith Street
Providence, RI 02903

Dear Governor Raimondo:

On behalf of the 4,802 members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) in Rhode Island, I want to thank you for voicing your support to change state law to prohibit 9-1-1 fee diversion in your state.

As Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Reilly indicated in his April 3, 2018 letter to you, ending the practice of 9-1-1 fee diversion is “more than necessary.”  An effective communications system can mean the difference between life and death for the neediest of our nation’s citizens.  Underfunded emergency communications systems lead to longer wait times and emergency response times, putting pressure on the time and morale of the 9-1-1 operators who work hard each day to provide help to those most in need.

Each day, citizens across the state of Rhode Island rely on the 9-1-1 emergency communications system for help during urgent, often life-threatening situations.  This critical resource is in part funded through the collection of fees on telephone bills, and is one of government’s most important resources to maintain.  Yet some of the fees intended to support the 9-1-1 system are diverted for other uses, sometimes to pay down public deficits, or to pay for wasteful pet projects.  This practice must stop, and I applaud your support to end it.

Rhode Island taxpayers and consumers expect the 9-1-1 fees they pay each month will be used to provide critical, lifesaving support to people in grave danger, not to fill their state’s coffers or to make up for mismanagement of tax dollars.

CCAGW stands ready to assist you and Rhode Island legislators of both parties in ending the destructive practice of 9-1-1 fee diversion as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Thomas A. Schatz

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