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[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


114th Congress     }                                 {        Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session        }                                 {         114-579
======================================================================

 
                         KARI'S LAW ACT OF 2016

                                _______
                                

  May 23, 2016.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Upton, from the Committee on Energy and Commerce, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 4167]

    The Committee on Energy and Commerce, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4167) to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to 
require multi-line telephone systems to have a default 
configuration that permits users to directly initiate a call to 
9-1-1 without dialing any additional digit, code, prefix, or 
post-fix, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the 
bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose..........................................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     3
Hearings.........................................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     4
Earmark, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff Benefits.......     4
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     4
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     4
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     4
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     4
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6
Minority Views...................................................     8

    The amendments are as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Kari's Law Act of 2016''.

SEC. 2. CONFIGURATION OF MULTI-LINE TELEPHONE SYSTEMS FOR DIRECT 
                    DIALING OF 9-1-1.

  (a) In General.--Title VII of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 
U.S.C. 601 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

``SEC. 721. CONFIGURATION OF MULTI-LINE TELEPHONE SYSTEMS FOR DIRECT 
                    DIALING OF 9-1-1.

  ``(a) System Manufacture, Importation, Sale, and Lease.--A person 
engaged in the business of manufacturing, importing, selling, or 
leasing multi-line telephone systems may not manufacture or import for 
use in the United States, or sell or lease or offer to sell or lease in 
the United States, a multi-line telephone system, unless such system is 
pre-configured such that, when properly installed in accordance with 
subsection (b), a user may directly initiate a call to 9-1-1 from any 
station equipped with dialing facilities, without dialing any 
additional digit, code, prefix, or post-fix, including any trunk-access 
code such as the digit `9', regardless of whether the user is required 
to dial such a digit, code, prefix, or post-fix for other calls.
  ``(b) System Installation, Management, and Operation.--A person 
engaged in the business of installing, managing, or operating multi-
line telephone systems may not install, manage, or operate for use in 
the United States such a system, unless such system is configured such 
that a user may directly initiate a call to 9-1-1 from any station 
equipped with dialing facilities, without dialing any additional digit, 
code, prefix, or post-fix, including any trunk-access code such as the 
digit `9', regardless of whether the user is required to dial such a 
digit, code, prefix, or post-fix for other calls.
  ``(c) On-site Notification.--A person engaged in the business of 
installing, managing, or operating multi-line telephone systems shall, 
in installing, managing, or operating such a system for use in the 
United States, configure the system to provide a notification to a 
central location at the facility where the system is installed or to 
another person or organization regardless of location, if the system is 
able to be configured to provide the notification without an 
improvement to the hardware or software of the system.
  ``(d) Effect on State Law.--Nothing in this section is intended to 
alter the authority of State commissions or other State or local 
agencies with jurisdiction over emergency communications, if the 
exercise of such authority is not inconsistent with this Act.
  ``(e) Enforcement.--This section shall be enforced under title V, 
except that section 501 applies only to the extent that such section 
provides for the punishment of a fine.
  ``(f) Multi-line Telephone System Defined.--In this section, the term 
`multi-line telephone system' has the meaning given such term in 
section 6502 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 
2012 (47 U.S.C. 1471).''.
  (b) Effective Date.--The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply 
beginning on the date that is 2 years after the date of the enactment 
of this Act.

    Amend the title so as to read:
    A bill to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require 
multi-line telephone systems to have a configuration that 
permits users to directly initiate a call to 9-1-1 without 
dialing any additional digit, code, prefix, or post-fix, and 
for other purposes.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 4167, Kari's Law Act of 2016, requires multi-line 
telephone systems (MLTS) to have a default configuration that 
permits users to directly initiate a call to 9-1-1 without 
dialing any additional digit, code, or prefix. The bill also 
requires a MLTS to notify a central point of contact for the 
system when a user dials 9-1-1.

                  Background and need for Legislation

    Multi-Line Telephone Systems (MLTS) serve multiple 
telephone users at a single site, often an office building, 
hotel, university campus, or similar location. One common 
feature of MLTS is the configuration that permits shorter 
dialing sequences within the system by requiring a user to dial 
a digit or prefix to reach a number outside of the system--that 
is, dial ``9'' before reaching an outside line. Thus, on some 
MLTS a user may have to dial the prefix when attempting to make 
an emergency call.
    In December 2013, Kari Hunt was killed by her estranged 
husband in a motel room in Texas. Her daughter repeatedly 
attempted to dial 9-1-1 from the motel room, but was unable to 
reach emergency responders because the motel's MLTS required 
users to dial ``9'' to reach an outside line. Kari's Law seeks 
to ensure that this situation does not result in confusion in 
the heat of an emergency, preventing others from accessing 
essential emergency services from an MLTS phone. While many 
hotels and office buildings have begun to make this change to 
their systems, this bill would make it a universal requirement.
    H.R. 4167 requires that all MLTS have a default 
configuration that allows users to directly dial 9-1-1, without 
the need for any additional digit or prefix, from any phone 
with dialing facilities. In addition, the system must also be 
configured to notify a designated central point of contact when 
someone initiates a call to 9-1-1 using the system. By 
notifying a central point of contact, emergency responders are 
better able to access, locate, and assist a caller who 
initiates a 9-1-1 call within the MLTS.

                                Hearings

    On April 13, 2016, the Subcommittee on Communications and 
Technology held a hearing on H.R. 4167. The Subcommittee 
received testimony from:
           Hank Hunt, father of Kari Hunt; and
           Steve Souder, Director, Fairfax County, VA 
        9-1-1 Center.

                        Committee Consideration

    Representative Gohmert introduced H.R. 4167 on December 3, 
2015.
    On April 18 and 19, 2016, the Subcommittee on 
Communications and Technology met in open markup session and 
forwarded H.R. 4167 without amendment, to the full Committee by 
a voice vote.
    On April 26, 27, and 28, 2016, the full Committee on Energy 
and Commerce met in open markup session. Chairman Walden and 
Ranking Member Eshoo offered an amendment to the bill to more 
accurately reflect the technical configuration of MLTS, and to 
allow for a central point of contact not located at the MLTS 
facility. The amendment was adopted and the Committee ordered 
H.R. 4167 reported to the House, as amended, by a voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. No 
recorded votes were taken on this legislation.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee held a hearing and made 
findings that are reflected in this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    The goal and objective of H.R. 4167 is to ensure that MLTS 
allow callers to directly initiate calls to 9-1-1 without 
dialing a prefix or an additional digit.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H.R. 
4167 would result in no new or increased budget authority, 
entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or revenues.

       Earmark, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff Benefits

    In compliance with clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI 
of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee 
finds that H.R. 4167 contains no earmarks, limited tax 
benefits, or limited tariff benefits.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. At the 
time this report was filed, the estimate was not available.

                  Congressional Budget Office Estimate

    At the time this report was filed, the cost estimate 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
was not available.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H.R. 4167 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that enacting H.R. 4167 does not 
direct any rule making within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 551, as 
specified in Section 2(a).

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides that the Act may be cited as the 
``Kari's Law Act of 2016.''

Section 2. Configuration of multi-line telephone systems for direct 
        dialing of 9-1-1

    Section 2(a) adds a new Section 721 to the Communications 
Act of 1934, as amended.
    New Section 721(a) requires that any person manufacturing, 
selling, importing, or leasing multi-line telephone systems 
only do so if the system is pre-configured in a way that a user 
may directly initiate a call to 9-1-1 without dialing any 
additional digits or prefixes. This section applies to any 
system that is sold, leased, offered, or imported for use in 
the United States after the effective date. This includes 
systems that have call control located outside of the U.S., but 
have terminals or end points in the U.S. While systems are 
required to be pre-configured with the default dialing pattern 
described in this section, it does not preclude the inclusion 
of additional optional dialing patterns to reach 9-1-1 (e.g. 
(9)9-1-1). However, if the system is configured with these 
additional dialing patterns, they must be in addition to the 
default pattern.
    New Section 721(b) requires that any person who installs, 
operates, or manages a MLTS only do so if the system is 
configured such that a user may directly initiate a call to 9-
1-1 without any additional digit or prefix. This section also 
applies to systems installed, managed, or operated for use in 
the United States.
    New Section 721(c) requires that systems be configured to 
provide a notification to either a central location at the 
facility where the system is located, or to a contact person or 
organization regardless of location. This section is intended 
to assist first responders in their emergency response by 
providing access and information needed to locate the caller. 
This can be particularly important in large buildings like 
hotels, hospitals, and schools, where on-site personnel are 
uniquely suited to provide information about the building and 
its occupants. This provision requires the system to designate 
a central point of contact, but allows the MLTS owner or 
operator some flexibility in determining the most appropriate 
contact, whether in the building or otherwise.
    This subsection only applies to systems where the 
configuration is achievable without an improvement to the 
hardware or software of the system. The Committee intends this 
provision to include upgrades to the core systems of a MLTS, 
but not the addition of additional extensions or lines. The 
Committee also intends this provision to apply to substantial 
upgrades to the software, particularly those requiring a 
significant purchase. Minor software upgrades that are easily 
achieved or are made to improve the security of the system 
would not be considered an ``improvement'' for the purposes of 
this section. The legislation seeks to balance the need for an 
on-site notification with the goal of not placing an undue 
burden on MLTS owners or operators.
    New Section 721(d) clarifies that this legislation does not 
alter the authority of state or local agencies with 
jurisdiction over emergency communications, as long as that 
authority isn't exercised in a manner inconsistent with this 
legislation.
    New Section 721(e) allows for enforcement under Title V of 
the Communications Act, but only to the extent that the section 
allows for the imposition of a fine.
    New Section 721(f) defines multi-line telephone system by 
cross-referencing the definition in Section 6502 of the Middle 
Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.
    Section 2(b) sets an effective date for the changes at two 
years after the date of enactment of the Act.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                       COMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1934




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
TITLE VII--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 721. CONFIGURATION OF MULTI-LINE TELEPHONE SYSTEMS FOR DIRECT 
                    DIALING OF 9-1-1.

  (a) System Manufacture, Importation, Sale, and Lease.--A 
person engaged in the business of manufacturing, importing, 
selling, or leasing multi-line telephone systems may not 
manufacture or import for use in the United States, or sell or 
lease or offer to sell or lease in the United States, a multi-
line telephone system, unless such system is pre-configured 
such that, when properly installed in accordance with 
subsection (b), a user may directly initiate a call to 9-1-1 
from any station equipped with dialing facilities, without 
dialing any additional digit, code, prefix, or post-fix, 
including any trunk-access code such as the digit ``9'', 
regardless of whether the user is required to dial such a 
digit, code, prefix, or post-fix for other calls.
  (b) System Installation, Management, and Operation.--A person 
engaged in the business of installing, managing, or operating 
multi-line telephone systems may not install, manage, or 
operate for use in the United States such a system, unless such 
system is configured such that a user may directly initiate a 
call to 9-1-1 from any station equipped with dialing 
facilities, without dialing any additional digit, code, prefix, 
or post-fix, including any trunk-access code such as the digit 
``9'', regardless of whether the user is required to dial such 
a digit, code, prefix, or post-fix for other calls.
  (c) On-site Notification.--A person engaged in the business 
of installing, managing, or operating multi-line telephone 
systems shall, in installing, managing, or operating such a 
system for use in the United States, configure the system to 
provide a notification to a central location at the facility 
where the system is installed or to another person or 
organization regardless of location, if the system is able to 
be configured to provide the notification without an 
improvement to the hardware or software of the system.
  (d) Effect on State Law.--Nothing in this section is intended 
to alter the authority of State commissions or other State or 
local agencies with jurisdiction over emergency communications, 
if the exercise of such authority is not inconsistent with this 
Act.
  (e) Enforcement.--This section shall be enforced under title 
V, except that section 501 applies only to the extent that such 
section provides for the punishment of a fine.
  (f) Multi-line Telephone System Defined.--In this section, 
the term ``multi-line telephone system'' has the meaning given 
such term in section 6502 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and 
Job Creation Act of 2012 (47 U.S.C. 1471).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                             MINORITY VIEWS

    Democrats support the basic premise for the introduction of 
H.R. 4167, the ``Kari's Law Act of 2015'': no one should be 
left unable to call for help or to believe erroneously that 
they have called for help, simply because their call to 9-1-1 
was made on a phone system that is not fully configured to 
communicate directly with a 9-1-1 answering point or service.
    A simple first step towards remedying this problem is 
outlined in H.R. 4167. Specifically, this measure would require 
that callers using multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) be able 
to call for help or assistance directly by dialing or phoning 
9-1-1 on these systems, without having to dial another digit 
first.
    MLTSs have another shortcoming that also risks lives. Many 
of these systems do not provide first responders with the 
location of the caller. In an emergency situation, every second 
counts. Not knowing a precise or even an approximate location 
from where a call for assistance has been placed is likely to 
add to or delay life and property-saving response times, or 
worse yet render them too late to have any real impact or 
effect.
    Due to this particular shortcoming, Congress should take an 
additional and very important step: to require that MLTSs 
provide location information directly to emergency responders. 
These two actions, taken together, will ensure that callers not 
only reach emergency responders in a faster manner, but 
guarantee that the responders will immediately know where to go 
without additional notifications.

                               BACKGROUND

    H.R. 4167 is named after Kari Dunn, a mother of three, who 
was fatally stabbed by her estranged husband while visiting him 
in a hotel near their home. During the altercation, Kari's 
nine-year-old daughter attempted to dial 9-1-1, but she did not 
know that the hotel's system required that she dial ``9'' 
before ``9-1-1.'' Kari's daughter tried to dial 9-1-1 four 
times, but was unsuccessful each time. Only after guests in an 
adjacent room heard the attack were the police notified.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\See Children Tried to Save Mother as She was Murdered by Their 
Dad but Couldn't get Through to 911, Gail Shortland, Mirror (Apr. 26, 
2015) (online at http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/
children-tried-save-mother-murdered-5568686)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This issue is common among the MLTSs found in hotels and 
office buildings.\2\ In March 2014, the American Hotel and 
Lodging Association (AH&LA;), conducted a survey of U.S. 
properties regarding emergency dialing procedures.\3\ Of the 
52,500 U.S. properties that AH&LA; contacted, 6000 properties 
responded. Thirty-two percent of independent properties and 45 
percent of franchised properties indicated that guests could 
dial 9-1-1 directly from their guestrooms.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\See ETX Man Campaigns for 911 Reform After Daughter's Murder, 
Sara Machi, KTBS-TV (Apr. 4, 2015) (online at http://ktbs.com/story/
24648521/etx-man-campaigns-for-911-reform-after-daughters-
murder?clienttype=generic&mobilecgbypass;).
    \3\See American Hotel & Lodging Association, Industry 911 Dial-
Through Update (Mar. 25, 2014) (online at http://ahla.com/
uploadedFiles/Industry911Dial(2).pdf).
    \4\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    AH&LA; also convened a task force on the issue and developed 
an industry recommendation. The industry recommendation 
``encourages lodging properties to review their current 
telephone systems to ensure that when 9-1-1 is directly dialed, 
without using an access code, from a guestroom phone, the guest 
is connected to emergency services personnel and/or a hotel 
employee.''\5\ If changes to systems are not ``readily 
achievable,'' AH&LA; encourages properties to ``make efforts and 
develop policies that facilitate summoning emergency services 
without delay.''\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Id.
    \6\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                ANALYSIS

    H.R. 4167, as introduced by Representative Gohmert (R-TX) 
with bipartisan support, requires that all MLTSs made or 
imported into the U.S. have a default configuration that allows 
a user to directly call 9-1-1 without having to dial an 
additional digit, code, prefix, or post-fix. The bill also 
requires MLTS installers to configure the system to provide a 
notification to a central location when 9-1-1 is called, as 
long as the system can be reconfigured without improvements to 
the MLTS's hardware. The law would take effect two years after 
the date of enactment.
    H.R. 4167 was amended at full Energy and Commerce markup on 
April 28, 2016. The changes add a direct 9-1-1 dialing 
requirement for installers, managers, and operators of MLTSs. 
The amendment also modified the on-site notification provision 
to allow the central location for such notifications to occur 
off-site or to another person or organization, and to preserve 
local or state authority. Democrats supported these changes 
because they better define the responsibilities of the various 
parties involved with MLTSs, in addition to the manufacturer.
    Communications and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member 
Eshoo (D-CA) offered an amendment at both the Subcommittee and 
full Committee markups that would take the next steps forward. 
The amendment would have required the Federal Communications 
Commission (FCC) to begin a proceeding within 180 days of 
enactment regarding the location accuracy of MLTSs systems.
    Ranking Member Eshoo agreed to withdraw her amendment after 
Subcommittee Chairman Walden (R-OR) and Representative Shimkus 
(R-IL) committed to work with her on the location issue in a 
separate bill. The Democratic members of the full Committee 
desire and are eager to move forward quickly with next steps at 
the FCC to study and remedy the underlying technical and 
logistical shortcomings and problems as expeditiously as 
possible.

                                   Frank Pallone, Jr.,
                                           Ranking Member, Committee on 
                                               Energy and Commerce.
                                   Anna G. Eshoo,
                                           Ranking Member, Subcommittee 
                                               on Communications and 
                                               Technology.

                                  [all]