Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just unbelievable what's going on in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Legislature Unsure--Funding or Cutback?

Monday, April 20 2009

Legislators in Oklahoma took steps in opposite directions within four days, voting to cut the statewide 911 surcharge by 70% one day, and then forming a legislative task force to study how upgrade the state's 911 system. Rep. Mike Reynolds (R) proposed an amendment to an existing bill that would cut the surcharge from 50¢ to 15¢, as part of an overall reduction in state taxes. The amendment passed 75-21 and now goes to the Senate for consideration. Reynolds said the proposed fee reduction has nothing to do with 911 services, but rather the public's recent request for reduced taxes. He pointed to the recent "tea party" protests, saying, "Tax payers want to see their money is used appropriately or they want it back. They want it back and this was a great example to do that." Just four days earlier, the legislature named members to a group that will study "possible changes needed…as technology continuously evolves." The 10-member task force will examine rural 911 availability and the increasing use of cellular phones to make 911 calls. Download (pdf) the Reynolds amendment here.

See link here:

What?????????????? Oklahomans will be saving 35 cents a month. Let's see that's $4.20 a year! Oh my God! And they are going to take away much needed 9-1-1 funding? How stupid is that?

I like this:

"Reynolds said the proposed fee reduction has nothing to do with 911 services"

It doesn't?

Just incredible. Mark has been writing Oklahoman senators and legislators all day. This has him really fired up.

This is what he wrote to Rep Reynolds:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 9-1-1 Surcharge
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 2009 09:53:03 -0700
From: Mark Lee <>

Dear Rep. Reynolds,

I just read an article on your amendment to Oklahoma SB1166 to lower thetelephone fee paid for 9-1-1 services from .50/mo. to .15/mo. Our familyhas started a foundation to raise awareness of 9-1-1 issues, promote solutions, and aid victims of 9-1-1 tragedies. Our daughter in law was kidnapped, raped, and murdered as a result of a 9-1-1 breakdown. You can read about the details on our website but to assume that the citizens ofOklahoma would rather have .35 more in their pocket every month in the name of lowering taxes, when the 9-1-1 industry is facing a monumental challengeof accepting the new technologies of calling for help, is absurd! A rapist and murderer took the mother of our 2 little grandsons and the loving wife of our son, because of the lack of training and procedures in our 9-1-1center. Even though a cell phone call of 9 minutes was made by a local bystander witnessing the abduction and describing the exact location of the crime, no one was ever dispatched to save her life. The public is unaware that the 9-1-1 industry does not have the technology to locate a cell phone placing a call. They are unaware that they cannot text a call to a 9-1-1 center and they are unaware that using their Vonage phone to call 9-1-1 is practically useless for identifying who they are and where they are located. People are going to continue to die and families are going to continue to be torn apart by the inability of compassionate, forward thinking legislators to promote legislation to properly fund this first line of Homeland Security to meet the immediate demands of Next Generation technologies. Our tragedy has been the subject of Dateline NBC and ABC20/20 episodes. We are now teaming with the Public Safety industry to speak at state and national conventions and are working with federal lawmakers on legislation. Let's hope your state isn't the subject of one of these national broadcasts because of a 9-1-1 breakdown contributing to a horrible tragedy. I am sure the citizens of Oklahoma will feel much better though watching it with that extra .35 in their pockets. Do what is right!

--Mark Lee
The Denise Amber Lee Foundation

You go, honey! You tell him!!!


Mark wrote to other senators of Oklahoma as well. He's been on this all day. He did hear from one who wholeheartedly agreed with him. What I can't believe is that 75 Oklahoma state representatives voted for this. Just unbelievable.

I certainly hope it doesn't take a tragedy in Oklahoma and a PrimeTime episode about his state for Rep Reynolds to wake up and do what's right for public safety.

Looks like maybe Nate and Mark need to make a Oklahoma road trip. Nate's been invited to Wisconsin in October for the Wisconsin NENA to speak. We're hoping he can do it.

Somebody has to open people's eyes!

In other news:

I stopped by the road sign today. I blogged about it the other day. I placed pretty blue silk flowers (Denise's favorite color) on it along with some silk pink roses. She'd loved those too. The blue flowers reminded me of Virginia bluebells. She would've loved those. I doubt she ever got to see one. In any case! It did the trick and looks much better:o)

I didn't cry so I must be healing. But! I did decide to take I-75 home to Englewood. And I got off the wrong exit, had to make a U-turn yadayadayadayada. So I was shaken but I wasn't a wreck. I really just wanted to get that done before we left for the convention.

I feel much better.