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Associated Press, Published March 03 2013

Pranking 911? Minnesota bill would stiffen penalties

ST. PAUL — Minnesota lawmakers want to put prank callers to 911 emergency lines on notice that future fake calls could come at a price.

Bipartisan legislation introduced last week would make it a gross misdemeanor to report a fictitious emergency to 911 dispatchers with the intent of luring authorities somewhere. If the call results a serious injury, felony charges could ensue.

Just making a 911 call when no emergency exists would be grounds for a misdemeanor.

The bill covers phone calls and text messages.

The bill was introduced by Reps. Steve Simon, a St. Louis Park Democrat, and Tony Cornish, a Republican from Good Thunder. It heads first to the House Public Safety Committee.