Perry not among cell phone jamming bill backers

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Texas Gov. Rick Perry's signature is notably absent from a letter signed by 20 governors in support of a bill to allow jamming of cell phone signals from prisons.

The bill is sponsored by Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is challenging Perry in the 2010 GOP primary for governor. Hutchison filed the legislation after a Texas death row inmate used a smuggled cell phone to call state Sen. John Whitmire.

A later search of the state's prison system turned up hundreds of contraband phones, chargers and phone equipment. Other prisons around the country have also reported uncovering hundreds of smuggled cell phones.

A request for comment left with Perry's state office was not immediately returned. The bill would allow states to seek permission from the Federal Communications Commission to use cell phone jamming technology in prisons.