The MAB has learned that State Rep. Kevin Coleman (D-16) has introduced a bill (H.B. 4697), which would require Michigan State Police (MSP) to create an emergency notification program to “rapidly disseminate useful information in a predetermined manner to radio and television stations within in this state and to wireless devices through the existing wireless emergency alert system operated under federal law.”
If this sounds familiar it is because we already have one called EAS.
Apparently, the representative didn’t know that. The bill also calls for an interpreter for the deaf to be included in television emergency notifications, even though the emergency alerts are already closed captioned and EAS crawls run across the screen.
The bill does not outline who is to provide the interpreter or how this will work. The bill has been referred to committee. Rob Ehenicky, our MAB lobbyist at Kelley-Cawthorne, says the bill will not get traction.
We will be meeting with Coleman soon and have already communicated our concerns to MSP.