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Misused funds delay 911 improvements

courtesy of komonews.com

State officials argue against claims that they aren't assisting enough to improve New York's 911 system.

New York trails other states in modernizing its 911 systems to handle greater cell phone use, in part because lawmakers routinely use money intended for that purpose to plug holes in the state budget. An upgraded 911 system would make it easier to pinpoint the location of cell phone callers or accept 911 text messages.

County officials say the state is not contributing nearly enough toward the estimated $2.2 billion price tag.

Like many states New York imposes a surcharge on cell phone bills to support local 911 systems. The surcharge generated $185 million last year, but only $75 million went to local communities.

New York officials dispute claims they are not doing enough for 911. They say since 2010 the state has awarded more than $48 million to support 911 upgrades.

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