Topeka Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday signed into law bills designed to improve emergency 911 systems, and prevent the spread of certain synthetic drugs.
The 911 bill will modernize call centers statewide to be able to receive e-mail, text messages, video and vehicle systems, such as OnStar.
Brownback said the bill was "incredibly important for the saving of lives in Kansas."
"This will basically allow them to upgrade systems," said state Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence. "It will take several years," said Sloan, who sponsored the legislation in the House.
State Sen. Pat Apple, R-Louisburg, said that during the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007 when 33 were killed, hundreds of text messages were sent to call centers that didn't go through.
The new law imposes a 911 fee of 53 cents per month on each land telephone line and cell phone. Previously, most land line charges had been 75 cents per month, and cell phones, 50 cents per month, Apple said. It also imposes a new pre-paid wireless 911 fee of 1.06 percent per transaction.
The collected fees will be distributed to counties based on population. The law also establishes a council to monitor 911 services.
Also signed into law was a bill that outlaws synthetic drugs, such as K-3, and those commonly known as bath salts. The products are said to mimic the effects of marijuana and other illegal drugs.
In 2009, the Legislature approved a bill banning K-2. Then the slightly different product K-3 hit the market. State Sen. Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka, said the way the law is written it will ban a class of drugs so that "we won't be back here for K-4."