9-1-1 Funding

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Funding for 9-1-1 services in Pennsylvania has failed to match the rising costs of training and technology, putting a burden on counties to subsidize the gap in funding. Action is needed by state lawmakers to increase and reauthorize the 9-1-1 surcharge before the Jan. 31, 2024 deadline.

The Problem

  • Current 9-1-1 funding in PA is inadequate, and leaves counties the burden of funding the gap.
  • The 9-1-1 surcharge that provides funding to PA counties is set to expire on Jan. 31, 2024.

The Solution

Reauthorize the 9-1-1 surcharge until Jan. 31, 2029, and increase the fee from $1.65 to $1.97.

By The Numbers

  • The current $1.65 surcharge only covers 59% of Cumberland County's budget for 9-1-1 services.
  • We currently subsidize approximately $4 million a year due to inadequate funding for 9-1-1 services.

PEMA Overview of 9-1-1 Service in Pennsylvania

Consequences of Inaction

Failure to reauthorize or increase funding will force Cumberland County to cover the entire deficit using county tax dollars.

  • Failing to reauthorize the surcharge before the deadline, means the county would have to subsidize nearly $10 million per year.
  • Reauthorizing at $1.65 means the county continues to subsidize approximately $4 million per year.

Our Actions

Legislative Outreach 

County officials have initiated legislative outreach efforts, providing information to our state legislators. We are actively engaging with legislators to address any questions and concerns about the funding shortfalls.


The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners passed Resolution 2023-13 on June 8, 2023, calling for a reauthorization of the 9-1-1 surcharge and supporting an increase in the fee.


House Bill 1854 - Introduced on Nov. 15, 2023, and awaiting voting in the House before being sent to the Senate. Proposes a 9-1-1 surcharge increase to $1.97 and does not provide annual increases each year. The bill also reauthorizes the fee until Jan. 31, 2029.

House Bill 1304 - Introduced on Jun. 2, 2023 and passed in the House, the bill proposed a 9-1-1 surcharge reauthorization until Jan. 31, 2029, and an increase to $1.97 along with increases each year tied to Consumer Price Index. The Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee then received the bill and amended it to reauthorize until Sept. 30, 2025, and lower the surcharge back to the current $1.65 with no set annual increases to the fee.

How You Can Help

Make your voice heard by reaching out to your state legislators emphasizing the critical importance of a 9-1-1 surcharge increase and the urgent need for reauthorization before the Jan. 30, 2024 deadline.

Find your legislator and their contact information.

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