Martinez Vetoes 911 Phone Fee

New Mexico – Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has vetoed legislation to extend a surcharge to more telephone services to help pay for the state's emergency 911 system.

The bill would have imposed a monthly fee on prepaid cellular phone plans and communication services allowing people to make telephone calls over the Internet. The fee would raise about $2 million a year.

Currently, there's a 51-cents-a-month surcharge on cell phones and traditional land line telephones. Supporters say more people are switching to other communications services, eroding the money available for equipment and upgrades to the 911 call system.

Martinez vetoed the bill on Tuesday, saying she had pledged not to raise taxes and the proposed fee "will increase costs to New Mexicans at a time when people are struggling in this economy."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.