RELIABLE EMERGENCY ALERT DISTRIBUTION IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2018; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 198
(Senate - December 17, 2018)

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[Pages S7734-S7735]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




     RELIABLE EMERGENCY ALERT DISTRIBUTION IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2018

  Mr. CRAPO. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation Committee be discharged from further 
consideration of S. 3238.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the bill by title.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 3238) to improve oversight by the Federal 
     Communications Commission of the wireless and broadcast 
     emergency alert systems.

  There being no objection, the committee was discharged, and the 
Senate proceeded to consider the bill.

[[Page S7735]]

  

  Mr. CRAPO. I further ask unanimous consent that the Schatz substitute 
amendment at the desk be considered and agreed to; that the bill, as 
amended, be read a third time and passed; and that the motion to 
reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no 
intervening action or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment (No. 4154) in the nature of a substitute was agreed to, 
as follows:

                (Purpose: In the nature of a substitute)

       Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
     following:

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Reliable Emergency Alert 
     Distribution Improvement Act of 2018'' or ``READI Act''.

     SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

       In this Act--
       (1) the term ``Administrator'' means the Administrator of 
     the Federal Emergency Management Agency;
       (2) the term ``Commission'' means the Federal 
     Communications Commission;
       (3) the term ``Emergency Alert System'' means the national 
     public warning system, the rules for which are set forth in 
     part 11 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations (or any 
     successor regulation); and
       (4) the term ``Wireless Emergency Alert System'' means the 
     wireless national public warning system established under the 
     Warning, Alert, and Response Network Act (47 U.S.C. 1201 et 
     seq.), the rules for which are set forth in part 10 of title 
     47, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor 
     regulation).

     SEC. 3. WIRELESS EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM OFFERINGS.

       (a) Amendment.--Section 602(b)(2)(E) of the Warning, Alert, 
     and Response Network Act (47 U.S.C. 1201(b)(2)(E)) is 
     amended--
       (1) by striking the second and third sentences; and
       (2) by striking ``other than an alert issued by the 
     President.'' and inserting the following: ``other than an 
     alert issued by--
       ``(A) the President; or
       ``(B) the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management 
     Agency.''.
       (b) Regulations.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Commission, in consultation with 
     the Administrator, shall adopt regulations to implement the 
     amendment made by subsection (a)(2).

     SEC. 4. STATE EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM PLANS AND EMERGENCY 
                   COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEES.

       (a) Definitions.--In this section--
       (1) the term ``SECC'' means a State Emergency 
     Communications Committee;
       (2) the term ``State'' means any State of the United 
     States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto 
     Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, 
     the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any 
     possession of the United States; and
       (3) the term ``State EAS Plan'' means a State Emergency 
     Alert System Plan.
       (b) State Emergency Communications Committee.--Not later 
     than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
     Commission shall adopt regulations that--
       (1) encourage the chief executive of each State--
       (A) to establish an SECC if the State does not have an 
     SECC; or
       (B) if the State has an SECC, to review the composition and 
     governance of the SECC;
       (2) provide that--
       (A) each SECC, not less frequently than annually, shall--
       (i) meet to review and update its State EAS Plan;
       (ii) certify to the Commission that the SECC has met as 
     required under clause (i); and
       (iii) submit to the Commission an updated State EAS Plan; 
     and
       (B) not later than 60 days after the date on which the 
     Commission receives an updated State EAS Plan under 
     subparagraph (A)(iii), the Commission shall--
       (i) approve or disapprove the updated State EAS Plan; and
       (ii) notify the chief executive of the State of the 
     Commission's findings; and
       (3) establish a State EAS Plan content checklist for SECCs 
     to use when reviewing and updating a State EAS Plan for 
     submission to the Commission under paragraph (2)(A).
       (c) Consultation.--The Commission shall consult with the 
     Administrator regarding the adoption of regulations under 
     subsection (b)(3).

     SEC. 5. EMERGENCY ALERT BEST PRACTICES.

       (a) Guidance.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall develop and 
     issue guidance for State, Tribal, and local governments 
     regarding policies and procedures relating to emergency 
     alerts.
       (2) Contents.--The guidance developed under paragraph (1) 
     shall include best practices and recommendations for--
       (A) the processes and procedures that a State, Tribal, or 
     local government official should use to issue an alert that 
     will use the Emergency Alert System or Wireless Emergency 
     Alert System, including information about the technology used 
     to issue such an alert;
       (B) steps that a State, Tribal, or local government 
     official should take to mitigate the possibility of the 
     issuance of a false alert through the Emergency Alert System 
     and related emergency alerting systems;
       (C) the process that a State, Tribal, or local government 
     official should adopt to retract a false alert in the case of 
     the issuance of such an alert;
       (D) the annual training of State, Tribal, and local alert 
     origination staff related to the--
       (i) issuance of alerts;
       (ii) avoidance of false alerts; and
       (iii) retracting of false alerts; and
       (E) a plan by which participants in the Emergency Alert 
     System and the Wireless Emergency Alert System and other 
     relevant State, Tribal, and local government officials may, 
     during an emergency, contact each other, as well as Federal 
     officials, when appropriate and necessary, by telephone, text 
     message, or other means of communication, regarding an alert 
     that has been distributed to the public.
       (b) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in subsection (a) shall 
     be construed to amend, supplement, or abridge the authority 
     of the Commission under the Communications Act of 1934 (47 
     U.S.C. 151 et seq.) or in any other manner give the 
     Administrator authority over communications service providers 
     participating in the Emergency Alert System or the Wireless 
     Emergency Alert System.

     SEC. 6. FALSE ALERT REPORTING.

       Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this 
     Act, the Commission, in consultation with the Administrator, 
     shall complete a rulemaking proceeding to establish a system 
     to receive from the Administrator or State, Tribal, or local 
     governments reports of false alerts under the Emergency Alert 
     System or the Wireless Emergency Alert System for the purpose 
     of recording such false alerts and examining their causes.

     SEC. 7. REPEATING EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM MESSAGES FOR 
                   NATIONAL SECURITY.

       Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this 
     Act, the Commission, in consultation with the Administrator, 
     shall complete a rulemaking proceeding to modify the 
     Emergency Alert System to provide for repeating Emergency 
     Alert System messages while an alert remains pending that is 
     issued by--
       (1) the President;
       (2) the Administrator; or
       (3) any other entity under specified circumstances as 
     determined by the Commission, in consultation with the 
     Administrator.

     SEC. 8. INTERNET AND ONLINE STREAMING SERVICES EMERGENCY 
                   ALERT EXAMINATION.

       (a) Study.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, and after providing public notice and 
     opportunity for comment, the Commission shall complete an 
     inquiry to examine the feasibility of updating the Emergency 
     Alert System to enable or improve alerts to consumers 
     provided through the internet, including through streaming 
     services.
       (b) Report.--Not later than 90 days after completing the 
     inquiry under subsection (a), the Commission shall submit a 
     report on the findings and conclusions of the inquiry to--
       (1) the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation 
     of the Senate; and
       (2) the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of 
     Representatives.

  The bill (S. 3238), as amended, was ordered to be engrossed for a 
third reading, was read the third time, and passed.

                          ____________________