Text: S.2661 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 116-172 (10/17/2020)

 
[116th Congress Public Law 172]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 831]]

                        NATIONAL SUICIDE HOTLINE
                         DESIGNATION ACT OF 2020

[[Page 134 STAT. 832]]

Public Law 116-172
116th Congress

                                 An Act


 
   To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to designate 9-8-8 as the 
   universal telephone number for the purpose of the national suicide 
prevention and mental health crisis hotline system operating through the 
  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and through the Veterans Crisis 
   Line, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Oct. 17, 2020 -  [S. 2661]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: National 
Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020.>> 
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 47 USC 609 note.>>  SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``National Suicide Hotline Designation 
Act of 2020''.
SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 47 USC 251 note.>>  FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) According to the American Foundation for Suicide 
        Prevention, on average, there are 129 suicides per day in the 
        United States.
            (2) To prevent future suicides, it is critical to transition 
        the cumbersome, existing 10-digit National Suicide Hotline to a 
        universal, easy-to-remember, 3-digit phone number and connect 
        people in crisis with life-saving resources.
            (3) It is essential that people in the United States have 
        access to a 3-digit national suicide hotline across all 
        geographic locations.
            (4) The designated suicide hotline number will need to be 
        both familiar and recognizable to all people in the United 
        States.
SEC. 3. UNIVERSAL TELEPHONE NUMBER FOR NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION 
                    AND MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS HOTLINE SYSTEM.

    (a) In General.--Section 251(e) of the Communications Act of 1934 
(47 U.S.C. 251(e)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
            ``(4) Universal telephone number for national suicide 
        prevention and mental health crisis hotline system.--9-8-8 is 
        designated as the universal telephone number within the United 
        States for the purpose of the national suicide prevention and 
        mental health crisis hotline system operating through the 
        National Suicide Prevention Lifeline maintained by the Assistant 
        Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use under section 
        520E-3 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 290bb-36c) 
        and through the Veterans Crisis Line maintained by the Secretary 
        of Veterans Affairs under section 1720F(h) of title 38, United 
        States Code.''.

[[Page 134 STAT. 833]]

    (b) <<NOTE: 47 USC 251 note.>>  Effective Date.--The amendment made 
by subsection (a) shall take effect on the date that is 1 year after the 
date of enactment of this Act.

    (c) Required Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and 
Substance Use and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall jointly submit 
a report that details the resources necessary to make the use of 9-8-8, 
as designated under paragraph (4) of section 251(e) of the 
Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 251(e)), as added by subsection 
(a) of this section, operational and effective across the United States 
to--
            (1) the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation 
        of the Senate;
            (2) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;
            (3) the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of 
        Representatives; and
            (4) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
        Representatives.
SEC. 4. <<NOTE: 47 USC 251a.>>  STATE AUTHORITY OVER FEES.

    (a) Authority.--
            (1) In general.--Nothing in this Act, any amendment made by 
        this Act, the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et 
        seq.), or any Commission regulation or order may prevent the 
        imposition and collection of a fee or charge applicable to a 
        commercial mobile service or an IP-enabled voice service 
        specifically designated by a State, a political subdivision of a 
        State, an Indian Tribe, or village or regional corporation 
        serving a region established pursuant to the Alaska Native 
        Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) for 9-8-8 related 
        services, if the fee or charge is held in a sequestered account 
        to be obligated or expended only in support of 9-8-8 services, 
        or enhancements of such services, as specified in the provision 
        of State or local law adopting the fee or charge.
            (2) Use of 9-8-8 funds.--A fee or charge collected under 
        this subsection shall only be imposed, collected, and used to 
        pay expenses that a State, a political subdivision of a State, 
        an Indian Tribe, or village or regional corporation serving a 
        region established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims 
        Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) is expected to incur 
        that are reasonably attributed to--
                    (A) ensuring the efficient and effective routing of 
                calls made to the 9-8-8 national suicide prevention and 
                mental health crisis hotline to an appropriate crisis 
                center; and
                    (B) personnel and the provision of acute mental 
                health, crisis outreach and stabilization services by 
                directly responding to the 9-8-8 national suicide 
                prevention and mental health crisis hotline.

    (b) Fee Accountability Report.--To ensure efficiency, transparency, 
and accountability in the collection and expenditure of a fee or charge 
for the support or implementation of 9-8-8 services, not later than 2 
years after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually 
thereafter, the Commission shall submit to the Committees on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation and Appropriations of the Senate and the 
Committees on Energy and Commerce and Appropriations of the House of 
Representatives a report that--

[[Page 134 STAT. 834]]

            (1) details the status in each State, political subdivision 
        of a State, Indian Tribe, or village or regional corporation 
        serving a region established pursuant to the Alaska Native 
        Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) of the collection 
        and distribution of such fees or charges; and
            (2) includes findings on the amount of revenues obligated or 
        expended by each State, political subdivision of a State, Indian 
        Tribe, or village or regional corporation serving a region 
        established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act 
        (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) for any purpose other than the purpose 
        for which any such fees or charges are specified.

    (c) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Commercial mobile service.--The term ``commercial mobile 
        service'' has the meaning given that term under section 332(d) 
        of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 332(d)).
            (2) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Federal 
        Communications Commission.
            (3) IP-enabled voice service.--The term ``IP-enabled voice 
        service'' shall include--
                    (A) an interconnected VoIP service, as defined in 
                section 9.3 of the title 47 of the Code of Federal 
                Regulations, or any successor thereto; and
                    (B) a one-way interconnected VoIP service.
            (4) State.--The term ``State'' has the meaning given that 
        term in section 7 of the Wireless Communications and Public 
        Safety Act of 1999 (47 U.S.C. 615b).
SEC. 5. LOCATION IDENTIFICATION REPORT.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Federal Communications Commission shall 
submit to the appropriate committees a report that examines the 
feasibility and cost of including an automatic dispatchable location 
that would be conveyed with a 9-8-8 call, regardless of the 
technological platform used and including with calls from multi-line 
telephone systems (as defined in section 6502 of the Middle Class Tax 
Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (47 U.S.C. 1471)).
    (b) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Appropriate committees.--The term ``appropriate 
        committees'' means the following:
                    (A) The Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation of the Senate.
                    (B) The Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and 
                Pensions of the Senate.
                    (C) The Committee on Energy and Commerce of the 
                House of Representatives.
            (2) Dispatchable location.--The term ``dispatchable 
        location'' means the street address of the calling party and 
        additional information such as room number, floor number, or 
        similar information necessary to adequately identify the 
        location of the calling party.
SEC. 6. REPORT ON CERTAIN TRAINING PROGRAMS.

    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or 
        queer (referred to in this section as ``LGBTQ'') are more than 4 
        times more likely to contemplate suicide than their peers, with 
        1 in 5 LGBTQ youth and more than 1 in 3 transgender youth 
        reporting attempting suicide;

[[Page 134 STAT. 835]]

            (2) American Indian and Alaska Natives have the highest rate 
        of suicide of any racial or ethnic group in the United States 
        with a suicide rate over 3.5 times higher than the racial or 
        ethnic group with the lowest rate, with the suicide rate 
        increasing, since 1999, by 139 percent for American Indian women 
        and 71 percent for men;
            (3) between 2001 and 2015, the suicide death rate in rural 
        counties in the United States was 17.32 per 100,000 individuals, 
        which is significantly greater than the national average, and 
        the data shows that between that same time period, suicide rates 
        increased for all age groups across all counties in the United 
        States, with the highest rates and the greatest increases being 
        in more rural counties; and
            (4) the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services 
        Administration must be equipped to provide specialized resources 
        to these and other high-risk populations.

    (b) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use 
shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation 
of the Senate, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions 
of the Senate, and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of 
Representatives a report that--
            (1) <<NOTE: Strategy. Consultation.>>  details a strategy, 
        to be developed in consultation with the Centers for Disease 
        Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Mental Health, 
        and organizations capable of providing nationwide suicide 
        prevention and crisis services for LGBTQ youth, minorities, 
        rural individuals, or other high-risk populations, for the 
        Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to 
        offer, support, or provide technical assistance to training 
        programs for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline counselors to 
        increase competency in serving high-risk populations; and
            (2) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  includes recommendations 
        regarding--
                    (A) the facilitation of access to services that are 
                provided to specially trained staff and partner 
                organizations for LGBTQ youth, minorities, rural 
                individuals, and other high-risk populations; and
                    (B) a strategy for optimally implementing an 
                Integrated Voice Response, or other equally effective 
                mechanism, to allow National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 
                callers who are LGBTQ youth, minorities, rural 
                individuals,

[[Page 134 STAT. 836]]

        or members of other high-risk populations to access specialized 
        services.

    Approved October 17, 2020.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 2661:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 166 (2020):
            May 13, considered and passed Senate.
            Sept. 21, considered and passed House.

                                  <all>

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