Johnson, McCaskill Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Legislation Passes the House, Heads to President’s Desk

Washington – Monday, the House passed S.1180, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Modernization Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill introduced by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). This bill would modernize the nation’s public alert and warning system to ensure that federal, state and local officials can effectively warn citizens during times of disasters, acts of terrorism, and other threats to public safety.

“In an emergency, information is crucial,” said Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “This bill takes important steps to expand our nation’s public warning system to ensure the largest number of people are reached.  The IPAWS Modernization Act also ensures effective training and collaboration so that when an emergency hits, we are ready. I was pleased to have guided this bipartisan bill through the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee earlier this year and am equally pleased to see it pass the House.  I look forward to having President Obama sign this into law and thereby strengthen our nation’s public warning system.”

“We’re one step closer to ensuring our communities are prepared and have the best protection possible when we face a disaster or other unexpected event,” said McCaskill, a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. “In Missouri, we’re all too familiar with that need—and this bipartisan bill would result in more families and businesses receiving lifesaving information quickly, and would ensure our government has the flexibility it needs to evolve with future changes in technology. I look forward to the President signing it into law.”

The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA) said, “The WBA specifically appreciates the bipartisan leadership of Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), who sponsored and shepherded this legislation through the United States Senate, as well as Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), the chairmen and ranking members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and House Homeland Security Committee for their efforts to see this bill through the House of Representatives and on to the president’s desk. Wisconsin Broadcasters take our responsibility as first informers seriously. This legislation will help public safety officials and local broadcasters disseminate information in a timely and targeted manner and will allow for the public alert system to keep up with and adapt to changing technologies.”