Rockefeller and Hutchison Statement on Senate Passage of Bipartisan Public Safety Communications Bill

October 15, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Ranking Member, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, issued the following statement today regarding the Senate’s passage of S. 1694, a bill that extends the Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) grant program established under the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 to remain available until expended through fiscal year 2012.  The PSIC grant program provides funding for state projects that arm public safety personnel with interoperable communications equipment and the necessary training for system users.
“The PSIC grant program extension is important public safety communications legislation, and I am extremely pleased to see it pass the Senate,” said Chairman Rockefeller.  “Interoperable communications resources help first responders keep Americans out of harm’s way and protect the brave emergency response personnel who put their lives on the line. I am proud to say that we will continue our strong commitment to public safety and providing resources for those who do all they can to keep us safe.”     

“This legislation will provide an important boost to America’s first responders by allowing them access to needed emergency communications funds,” said Senator Hutchison.  “In an emergency or crisis, it is vital that our public safety personnel be able to communicate with each other.  Extending this grant program will give first responders across the country additional time to deploy new interoperable communications systems.”