Special cell phone fund helped balance HI budget

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii's cell phone customers helped the state balance its budget last year.

The Federal Communications Commission reports $16 million was taken from Hawaii's Wireless Enhanced 911 Fund. It was created to maintain and improve the e911 system, which has often been praised by rescue crews to help find lost or injured hikers.

The money in the fund comes from cell phone customers who are charged a fee by their carriers.

The FCC says Hawaii was one of 10 states to raid their 911 or e911 funds to help balance their budgets in 2009. The agency didn't fault Hawaii or the nine other states.

Hawaii officials also dealt with the budget crisis by tapping the Hawaii Tobacco Settlement Fund and the Housing Revolving Fund for $20 million each.

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