Michigan police chiefs and sheriffs are opposing legislation to ease phone companies' ability to discontinue traditional land line service starting in 2017.
The bill that cleared the Senate overwhelmingly last week could win quick House approval this week before legislators adjourn for the year.
Law enforcement authorities on Monday said the measure puts seniors and rural residents at risk during emergencies because Internet-based land lines and cellphones are less reliable. The AARP says the legislation wrongly puts the onus on customers to ask regulators to ensure they have a reliable alternative.
Phone companies support the legislation as a way to streamline regulations and free up money to spend on more cell towers and updated fiber optic networks instead of traditional land lines that fewer and fewer customers are using.