NEWS & EVENTS
All Eyes on Kari’s Law as U.S. Senate Considers Approval and Texas Commission as State Emergency Communications Begins Implementation
Avaya to Honor Texas Commission as it Sees Momentum Across Country for Kari’s Law Adoption with U.S. Senate Considering Passage of S. 123, After House Bill H.R. 582 passes 408-0 in the House of Representatives
Santa Clara, CA – July 25, 2017 - Avaya, the global market leader in contact center and call taking solutions for public safety communication centers, today announced that it will be honoring the Texas Commission on State Emergency Communications (CSEC) this Fall for demonstrating its leadership in the development and implementation of Kari’s Law in Texas.
The 2015 law mandates that owners of multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) used in commercial businesses, schools and government facilities in the State must provide direct-dial access to 9-1-1 without having to first dial an additional digit such as 9 before getting an outside line, and recommends that critical on-site notification be deployed when available in the system. The award presentation is scheduled to take place at the Illinois Institute of Technology during its Real Time Collaboration Lab Conference being held on campus on September 25-28.
In alignment with Kari’s Law, enacted by Governor Abbot in 2015, current MLTS operators must now be compliant by September, or if applicable, file for a financial hardship waiver for their telephone system, as provided by the legislation. The State recently reminded MLTS operators in a press release from CSEC that the window to remediate systems or file for a hardship waiver is quickly approaching. Business owners and operators of a MLTS system have until September 1, 2017 according to the recent CSEC press release. This action is the latest milestone for Kari’s Law, which has been gaining momentum throughout the country.
Despite a unanimous House bill approving H.R. 582, Hank Hunt hasn’t been waiting to keep the ball moving on a State by State basis until this becomes the law of the land. After testimony in 2016 by Avaya’s Mark J. Fletcher, ENP just last year, Elizabeth Crowley introduced the NYC 911 Direct Access Bill. Fletcher said, “Avaya’s influence and expertise was clearly visible in this law recently enacted in all five boroughs of New York City Council following similar legislation by the governors of Illinois, Maryland, Texas, Tennessee, and Maine, as well as local Suffolk County, NY Legislators.”
House bill H.R. 582, which amends the Communications Act of 1934, was introduced by Representative Louie Gohmert, from Marshall, Texas, Kari’s home district, and was immediately passed in a bi-partisan vote of 408-0 vote in the first weeks of the new congress.
Support of this House bill in the U.S. Senate, S.123, known as the Kari’s Law Act of 2017, has also enjoyed bi-partisan, bi-cameral support since it was introduced on January 12, 2017 by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D – MN) and the bill’s five Republican and Democratic senators who co-sponsored the bill after meeting with Fletcher and Hunt in Washington DC last summer. Approval may be imminent as Senator John Thune (R -SD), one of the five co-sponsors and chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, referred the bill to the Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders on July 10, 2017. The Senate Committee referred the bill to the Congressional Budget Office, which had estimated on February 14, 2017 that S.123 would have “an insignificant revenue effect,” while providing protection for millions of government workers. Fletcher added that, “one of the key requirements of our efforts on the bill has been a minimal or, in many cases, a zero-cost impact,” making the bill easy to implement anywhere and on any system.
Avaya offers mission critical services in a resilient, reliable and secure environment to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) around the world. In collaboration with the European Emergency Number Association in Brussels, and NENA, Avaya is helping replace the many legacy first responder systems developed and deployed in the 1960s and 1970s, better connect the more than 6,000 9-1-1 centers across the United States and transform how first responders save lives.
“Shortly after this tragic incident, I personally met with the Hunt family and committed Avaya’s support championing this initiative. We are proud to have made good on that promise, and continue to do so as part of our daily business in educating and enabling our partners and customers. We commend the State of Texas and Governor Abbott for being an example for others to follow.”
Kevin Kennedy, CEO, Avaya
“I signed Kari’s Law to ensure that all Texans have the ability to access 9-1-1 services no matter where they find themselves during an emergency. This important change to Texas law is only as good as the compliance that follows. The use of multi-line telephone systems should not impede anyone’s ability to make a life-saving phone call, and I am urging all business service users employing a MLTS to ensure they are compliant. Lives depend on your cooperation.”
Greg Abbott, Governor, Texas
“I am so proud of the example set by my home state of Texas. Not only for what my fellow Texans did but what it means for the rest of the country and the world. When the eyes of the world were on Texas, the folks at CSEC moved quickly to ensure that no other American in their jurisdiction would have to suffer a similar fate.”
Hank Hunt, Kari Hunt’s Dad
Avaya enables the mission critical, real-time communication applications of the world’s most important operations. As the global leader in delivering superior communications experiences, Avaya provides the most complete portfolio of software and services for contact center and unified communications with integrated, secure networking— offered on premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid. Today’s digital world requires some form of communications enablement, and no other company is better positioned to do this than Avaya. For more information, please visit www.avaya.com.
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