Proposed legislation that would mandate direct dialing for 911 calls received verbal support from lawmakers last week during a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Communications and Technology Subcommittee.

The bill, Kari’s Law Act of 2015, would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) to allow direct dialing for 911, as opposed to a requirement to dial a prefix—often the number “9” but not always—to get an outside line that will allow connection to a public-safety answering point (PSAP).

“I think we all agree that when you dial 911 from a hotel, an office, anywhere, that you shouldn’t have to have some kind of prefix,” Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said during the hearing, which was webcast. “I never taught my children any prefix. It was just, ‘What did Mommy tell you? Tell me the number again; say the number again,’ from their earliest consciousness.”

The law has tragic origins. On Dec. 1, 2013, Kari Hunt’s estranged husband viciously stabbed her to death in a Marshall, Texas, hotel-room bathroom with their children present. As many children are taught to do, Kari’s oldest daughter tried calling 911 four times during the murder. Because she didn’t know that the hotel required a dialed prefix, the phone went to static each time.

“Had the 911 call gone through, the response time would have been much less than the five minutes [Kari’s husband] spent murdering her,” Kari Hunt’s father and Kari’s Law progenitor Hank Hunt wrote in a written testimony for the subcommittee hearing. “Would that have saved her? He stabbed her a total of 29 times in five minutes, if it had been three minutes...”

Since that time, Hunt has advocated for legislation that would eliminate any prefixes or postfixes for 911 calls made on multiline telephone systems (MLTS). According to Hunt, Kari’s Law has been passed in Suffolk County, N.Y., Illinois, Maryland, Texas and Tennessee. Similar legislation is being consider in Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

The bill, as introduced by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) in December, also contains provisions for prohibiting redirections/interceptions of 911 calls to public-safety answering points (PSAPs), as well as requirement to notify a person or central location at the facility housing the MLTS phone when a 911 call is made on it.

Steve Souder, director of the Fairfax County, Va., Department of Public Safety Communications echoed Hunt’s view that such a law was needed, citing a statistic that that 911 is called 240 million times per year.

“This is a situation that exists across the country, where multiple line telephone systems are employed, including in hotels, colleges, corporate campuses and indeed, government buildings,” Souder said during the hearing. “I commend and appreciate Hank Hunt’s efforts in this regard.”