03142017AM4965rPLAINFIELD – State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is pleased to see nation-wide implementation of “Kari’s Law,” a measure she introduced in the Illinois Senate in 2014.

Today, President Donald Trump signed legislation that requires newly installed business phone systems to allow users to dial "9-1-1" without needing to pre-dial a code such as the number "9."

“We teach our children to dial 9-1-1 in case of emergencies. That number should work all the time from anywhere,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “In the time of crisis, you don’t have the time to learn new phone systems.”

Bertino-Tarrant introduced this legislation after the tragic news that a 9-year-old girl was unsuccessful at dialing 9-1-1 from a Texas hotel room as her mother, Kari, was being stabbed to death. The hotel, like many hotels nationwide, was on a closed business circuit and the young girl didn’t realize that she needed to dial the number 9 to reach an outside line.  

Immediately following Kari's death her father, Hank Hunt, started a petition that got the attention of hundreds of thousands of people, including lawmakers in several states.  He has been pushing for changes at the federal level for years.

“This nation-wide law is a true testament to Mr. Hunt’s dedication to preventing similar tragic events from ever happening again,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This monumental legislation will help victims of tragedies receive vital assistance with more simplicity and ease.”

Thanks to Hunt’s collaboration with Bertino-Tarrant, Illinois was one of the first states to adopt this law.

Kari’s Law mandates that all businesses must have their phone lines in compliance within two years of the bill becoming law. The Federal Communication Commission is charged with enforcing it.

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