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  H.B. No. 1972
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the provision of 9-1-1 services; providing criminal
  penalties.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 771.001(6), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
               (6)  "9-1-1 service" means a communications
  [telecommunications] service that connects users [provides the
  user of the public telephone system the ability] to [reach] a public
  safety answering point through a [by dialing the digits] 9-1-1
  system.
         SECTION 2.  The heading to Section 771.053, Health and
  Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 771.053.  STATEWIDE LIMITATION ON LIABILITY OF SERVICE
  PROVIDERS AND CERTAIN PUBLIC OFFICERS.
         SECTION 3.  Section 771.053, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (c) to
  read as follows:
         (a)  A service provider of communications
  [telecommunications] service involved in providing 9-1-1 service,
  a manufacturer of equipment used in providing 9-1-1 service, a
  developer of software used in providing 9-1-1 service, a third
  party or other entity involved in providing 9-1-1 service, or an
  officer, director, or employee of the [a] service provider,
  manufacturer, developer, third party, or other entity involved in
  providing 9-1-1 service is not liable for any claim, damage, or loss
  arising from the provision of 9-1-1 service unless the act or
  omission proximately causing the claim, damage, or loss constitutes
  gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.
         (c)  This section shall be interpreted to provide protection
  relating to confidentiality and immunity and protection from
  liability with at least the same scope and to at least the same
  extent as described by federal law, including 47 U.S.C. Section
  615a and 47 U.S.C. Section 1472.
         SECTION 4.  Section 771.061, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 771.061.  STATEWIDE CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION.
  (a) Information that a service provider of communications
  [telecommunications] service is required to furnish to a
  governmental entity, including a regional planning commission,
  emergency communications district, or public safety answering
  point, in providing 9-1-1 service or that a service provider, third
  party, or other entity voluntarily furnishes at the request of a
  governmental entity in providing [computerized] 9-1-1 service is
  confidential and is not available for public inspection.
  Information that is contained in an address database maintained by
  a governmental entity or a third party used in providing
  [computerized] 9-1-1 service is confidential and is not available
  for public inspection. The service provider or third party is not
  liable to any person who uses a [computerized] 9-1-1 service for the
  release of information furnished by the service provider or third
  party in providing [computerized] 9-1-1 service, unless the act or
  omission proximately causing the claim, damage, or loss constitutes
  gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.
         (b)  Information that a service provider [of
  telecommunications service] furnishes to the commission or an
  emergency communication district to verify or audit emergency
  service fees or surcharge remittances and that includes access line
  or market share information of an individual service provider is
  confidential and not available for public inspection.
         (c)  This section shall be interpreted to provide protection
  relating to confidentiality and immunity and protection from
  liability with at least the same scope and to at least the same
  extent as described by federal law, including 47 U.S.C. Section
  615a and 47 U.S.C. Section 1472.
         SECTION 5.  Section 772.001(6), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
               (6)  "9-1-1 service" means a communications
  [telecommunications] service that connects users [through which
  the user of a public telephone system has the ability] to [reach] a
  public safety answering point through a 9-1-1 system [by dialing
  the digits 9-1-1].
         SECTION 6.  Sections 42.061(a), (b), and (c), Penal Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  In this section "9-1-1 service" and "public safety
  answering point" or "PSAP" have the meanings assigned by Section
  771.001 [772.001], Health and Safety Code.
         (b)  A person commits an offense if the person makes a
  [telephone] call to a 9-1-1 service, or requests 9-1-1 service
  using an electronic communications device, when there is not an
  emergency and knowingly or intentionally:
               (1)  remains silent; or
               (2)  makes abusive or harassing statements to a PSAP
  employee.
         (c)  A person commits an offense if the person knowingly
  permits an electronic communications device, including a
  telephone, under the person's control to be used by another person
  in a manner described in Subsection (b).
         SECTION 7.  The heading to Section 42.062, Penal Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 42.062.  INTERFERENCE WITH EMERGENCY REQUEST FOR
  ASSISTANCE [TELEPHONE CALL].
         SECTION 8.  Sections 42.062(a), (b), and (d), Penal Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  An individual commits an offense if the individual
  knowingly prevents or interferes with another individual's ability
  to place an emergency [telephone] call or to request assistance,
  including a request for assistance using an electronic
  communications device, in an emergency from a law enforcement
  agency, medical facility, or other agency or entity the primary
  purpose of which is to provide for the safety of individuals.
         (b)  An individual commits an offense if the individual
  recklessly renders unusable an electronic communications device,
  including a telephone, that would otherwise be used by another
  individual to place an emergency [telephone] call or to request
  assistance in an emergency from a law enforcement agency, medical
  facility, or other agency or entity the primary purpose of which is
  to provide for the safety of individuals.
         (d)  In this section, "emergency" means a condition or
  circumstance in which any individual is or is reasonably believed
  by the individual making a [telephone] call or requesting
  assistance to be in fear of imminent assault or in which property is
  or is reasonably believed by the individual making the [telephone]
  call or requesting assistance to be in imminent danger of damage or
  destruction.
         SECTION 9.  Section 772.401, Health and Safety Code, is
  repealed.
         SECTION 10.  Subchapter C, Chapter 171, Health and Safety
  Code, is amended by adding Section 771.0512 to read as follows:
         Sec. 771.0512.  OBLIGATIONS OR REQUIREMENTS CONCERNING
  VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL, INTERNET PROTOCOL ENABLED SERVICE, OR
  COMMERCIAL MOBILE SERVICE OR WIRELINE SERVICE.  Defining "9-1-1
  service" as a communications service and other amendments effective
  September 1, 2013, do not expand or change the authority or
  jurisdiction of a public agency or the commission over commercial
  mobile service or wireline service including Voice over Internet
  Protocol service or Internet Protocol enabled service or expand the
  authority of a public agency or the commission to assess 911 fees.  
  Nothing in this chapter affects Section 52.002(d), Utilities Code.
  In this section, "Voice over Internet Protocol service," "Internet
  Protocol enabled service," and "commercial mobile service" have the
  meanings assigned by Sections 51.002 and 51.003, Utilities Code.
         SECTION 11.  Subchapter A, Chapter 772, Health and Safety
  Code, is amended by adding Section 772.003 to read as follows:
         Sec. 772.003.  OBLIGATIONS OR REQUIREMENTS CONCERNING VOICE
  OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL, INTERNET PROTOCOL ENABLED SERVICE, OR
  COMMERCIAL MOBILE SERVICE OR WIRELINE SERVICE.  Defining "9-1-1
  service" as a communications service and other amendments effective
  September 1, 2013, do not expand or change the authority or
  jurisdiction of a public agency or the commission over commercial
  mobile service or wireline service including Voice over Internet
  Protocol service or Internet Protocol enabled service or expand the
  authority of a public agency or the commission to assess 911 fees.  
  Nothing in this chapter affects Section 52.002(d), Utilities Code.
  In this section, "Voice over Internet Protocol service," "Internet
  Protocol enabled service," and "commercial mobile service" have the
  meanings assigned by Sections 51.002 and 51.003, Utilities Code.
         SECTION 12.  The change in law made by this Act applies only
  to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act.
  An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is
  governed by the law in effect on the date the offense was committed,
  and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For
  purposes of this section, an offense was committed before the
  effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurred
  before that date.
         SECTION 13.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2013.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1972 was passed by the House on April
  24, 2013, by the following vote:  Yeas 144, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1972 was passed by the Senate on May
  15, 2013, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________
                     Date          
   
            _____________________
                   Governor