Kari's Law passes Texas House, heads to governor's office

Published: Apr. 30, 2015 at 6:15 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 30, 2015 at 6:31 PM CDT
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(KLTV) - Kari's Law, SB 788 by State Senator Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, passed the Texas House Thursday and is headed to the governor's office.

The bill requires direct access to 911 service from certain telephone systems and equivalent systems that use Internet Protocol enabled services. The bill passed the Texas House on April 16.

Kari Hunt Dunn, whom the bill is named after, was murdered in a Marshall, Texas hotel room in 2013.

Kari's daughter tried repeatedly to get help for her mother in that hotel room but did not know she needed to dial an extra '9' to receive an outside line.

The phone system in that hotel has been fixed to allow direct access to 9-1-1. Our reporting also uncovered the hotel showed up as the wrong name, which in an emergency would have sent police to the wrong location if they went based on the name of the hotel.

Since that tragic series of events, Kari's family has been petitioning for 'Change for Kari' to have states and the federal government pass Kari's Law. Days before the bill passed the Texas Senate, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed a bill into law named after the East Texas mother.

Bills require direct dialing of 9-1-1 to be directly accessible from multi-line telephone systems have been introduced across the country.

Numerous hotels have stepped up to initiate the change themselves making it mandatory that their facilities allow direct 9-1-1 dialing.

Kari's Law has been in effect in Illinois since August 2014.

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