U.S. senators who co-sponsored Kari's Law laud passage of bill i - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

U.S. senators who co-sponsored Kari's Law laud passage of bill in Senate

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EAST TEXAS (KLTV) -

Two of the co-sponsors of legislation that will change the way the way Americans access 9-1-1 at businesses are applauding the passage of the bill in the Senate.

Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed Kari's Law. The legislation requires businesses using multi-line telephone systems to provide callers with direct access to 9-1-1, rather than first dialing a digit to access an outside line.

Differences between the bills passed in the U.S. House and Senate will be hammered out by a bipartisan committee, before being placed on the desk of President Donald Trump for final approval.

If signed by the president, Kari’s Law would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to allow direct dialing of 9-1-1 for emergency services without changing current dialing patterns that include the extra digit.

The state of Texas recently passed similar legislation.

RELATED: Senate approves Kari’s Law Act of 2017 clearing way for bill to head to White House

Two of the bill's sponsors, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, lauded the passage Friday.

“I am grateful my colleagues in the Senate have come together to pass this bill that has the potential to save many lives,” Cruz said. “No family should have to endure the grief inflicted upon the Hunt family when technology that was supposed to be there in Kari's time of need was not easily accessible. I am a proud supporter of this bipartisan bill that will make dialing 911 easier and I hope it quickly becomes law.”

Cornyn echoed his sentiments in his own statement released to the public, saying the move would prevent tragedies.

“In an emergency situation, every moment counts. By ensuring all callers are able to directly dial 911, we can help save critical seconds that could mean the difference between life and death,” Cornyn said.  “Following the example of the State of Texas, I’m glad my colleagues in the Senate have taken this common sense step to help prevent tragedies across the nation.”

The legislation is named for Kari Hunt, a 31-year-old mother who was murdered by her estranged husband in the bathroom of a Marshall hotel. The couple’s daughter, then 9 years old, tried dialing 9-1-1 four times from the hotel room but the call did not connect due to the extra digit required to reach an outside line. 

The bipartisan bill was originally introduced in February 2016 by U.S. Sens. Cruz, Cornyn, Deb Fisher, R-Neb., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.

READ MORE:
+Kari's Law filed in U.S. Senate
+Gov. Abbott signs Kari's Law with namesake's family by his side
+Kari's Law passes in the U.S. House of Representatives, moves on to Senate
+Kari's Law re-filed in U.S. House, Senate
+Kari's Law takes effect in Texas; 911 access to change for businesses

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