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Wednesday, March 12, 2014
House Finance Committee Cuts $180M from Abercrombie Budget
By News Release @ 8:33 PM :: 3881 Views :: Hawaii State Government

A Responsible and Responsive Budget Reform By Your House Finance Committee

News Release from Office of House Republican Leader Rep Aaron Ling Johanson  March 12, 2014

Honolulu, HI - Excerpts taken from the Vice Chair of Finance’s floor discussion.

“Your House Finance Committee, in a concerted effort to balance fiscal restraint and an abundance of caution with the actual needs of state government, produced a budget ensuring wise and prudent use of taxpayer dollars.

Your Committee was willing to make tough calls and hard decisions regarding the Governor’s budget.  Highlighting the following budget recommendations:

  • · It reduces the Governor’s budget by $53 million in general funds from the operating budget
  • · Cuts $127 million in general funds from the CIP budget proposed by the Administration.

The courage to make tough leadership calls and not acquiesce to every request, seems increasingly necessary given the new Council on Revenue’s projections yesterday.

These cuts to the Executive Budget continue the House trend of responsibly reducing the Governor’s budget.  At this point last year, the House had reduced the Governor’s budget by almost $600 million.

Reform is never easy.  However, this will to compel greater transparency in accounting, changes the culture of how state government engages in the budgeting process.  Whether it’s fundamentally changing:

  • · The way vacancies and vacation payouts are handled,
  • · Exploring alternative budgeting models or
  • · Trying to break down the culture of mistrust and suspicion between the legislative and executive branches.

…the first fruits of this budgetary transparency are evident this year.

Breaking down that culture of dysfunction is a significant budgetary reform and ultimately, one that will help ensure that Hawaii’s taxpayers are getting maximum value from government for their hard-earned taxpayer dollars.

This is a responsible…and a responsive budget.   This is also a budget that continues long-needed reform.”

AUDIO: Mike Buck Show with Rep. Johanson – March 10, 2014

###

House 2014 Supplemental Budget

From House Democratic Caucus March 12, 2014

The House of Representatives today voted to approve HB1700 HD1, which appropriates funds for operating and capital improvement costs of the Executive Branch for the supplemental year FY2014-2015, including operating monies of $6.253 billion in general funds and $12.148 billion in all means of financing.

House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke (Makiki, Punchbowl, Nuuanu, Dowsett Highlands, Pacific Heights, Pauoa) repeated her view that the State should take a more fiscally prudent stance, especially in light of the latest projections from the Council on Revenues, which again lowered the rate of growth for the State downward to zero for fiscal year 2014 and 5.5 percent for fiscal year 2015

“While the flat rate of growth was a little surprising, we were already planning for a 1-percent worse-case scenario when constructing the House draft of the budget,” Luke said. “That’s the reason we lowered the Governor’s operating and CIP funding requests. Consequently, even under the Council’s latest projections, I think we will be handing over to the Senate a budget that’s much more within the ballpark than if we hadn’t been as prudent.”

“Spending the public’s money wisely goes hand in hand with sound financial planning no matter which way the economic winds blow. We will continue to look at our individual priorities carefully in addition to monitoring our overall budget picture.”

Funding highlights include:

Operating Supplemental Budget totals:

  • FY 2014: $5,983,138,830 General Funds
  • FY 2015: $6,253, 201,496 General Funds
  • FY 2014: $11,765,895,027 All Means of Financing
  • FY 2015: $12,148, 276,300 All Means of Financing

Department of Education

Allocations include funds for individual schools based on the DOE’s Weighted Student Formula; the federal Race To The Top program; and launching of the State’s preschool program.

· $14,482,086 for the Weighted Student Formula to be distributed to schools statewide

· $674,924 to fund programs focused on helping students become college-ready, including:

    • $120,545 to offer extended-day classes to high-risk students and
    • $554,379 to fund an Advanced Placement (AP) Incentive program to prepare students for AP tests.

· $4,658,380 to continue critical programs started with federal funds under the Race To The Top program, and implement the Strive HI Initiative designed to improve the quality of education statewide, including

    • $1,105,208 to provide mentoring and professional development to teachers;
    • $1,327,700 to evaluate teacher effectiveness and school performance;
    • $1,925,472 to provide tailored support to the lowest performing 15% of DOE schools; and
    • $300,000 to upgrade systems so that teachers are awarded pay raises based on their effectiveness.

· $3,000,000 to launch a prekindergarten program at DOE schools to prepare the State's four-year-olds to enter kindergarten

· $300,000 for the State Public Library System to offer extended public service hours in eight Neighbor Island libraries that currently have no weekend hours

· $200,000 to provide extended security service hours in libraries statewide

· $597,219 to continue the Hawaii State Public Library System's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, which allows patrons to access computers in libraries and borrow netbooks for free

University of Hawaii

The bulk of the funds will go to restore previous faculty and staff salary cuts during the recent economic slowdown and funds for the community colleges.

· $39,857,688 for collective bargaining agreements, salary restoration, and increases to support the University of Hawaii:

  • $14,000,000 for UHPA faculty salary restoration of salary reductions from 2010-2011;
  • $6,357,688 for HGEA and UPW labor savings restoration of cuts imposed between 2009-2010; and
  • $19,500,000 for faculty salary increases in FY14 and FY15.

· $1,000,000 to support Hawaii’s community colleges by providing for outcome based funding tied to student performance and graduation rates

Department of Accounting and General Services

Allocations will allow DAGS to stabilize the State’s infrastructural and capital improvement needs, including those relating to elections.

· $102,624 for the Office of Elections to reestablish critical positions

· $346,668 to establish an online statewide voter registration system

Department of Public Safety

Expansion of the department’s mental health programs are among its top priorities.

· $1,599,730 to expand mental health care programs for the purpose of instituting nationally accepted mental health care standards

· $592,146 to upgrade and replace outdated equipment, including surveillance camera systems, at various correctional facilities statewide

· $130,000 to expand the Sex Offender's Treatment Program (SOTP)

· $339,930 and 2 deputy sheriff positions for the 3rd Circuit and 4 deputy sheriff positions for the 1st Circuit

Department of Health

Funding for critical laboratory and specialized equipment, as well as assistance for children with developmental and special health needs highlight the department’s budget allocations.

· $482,000 for new equipment at the state labs for environmental monitoring of water, air, and soil, and in the regulation of agriculture and food safety. Tests which used to take hours to complete can be completed in minutes

· $2,800,000 for the Hilo Medical center residency program

· $2,970,383 shortfalls in federally mandated services

  • $1,537,888 to the developmental disability division to provide care for the most developmentally handicapped
  • $1,432,495 for the children with special health needs branch to provide early intervention services to young children

Department of Defense

Allocations were made to support National Guard, Air National Guard and Civil Defense priorities, including:

· $1,989,856 in federal funds and $652,179 in general funds to support the Hawaii Air National Guard facility at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam

· $1,000,000 for the purpose of mitigating hazardous situations statewide, including rockfall mitigation

Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism

Allocations include funding for clean energy initiatives and to foster economic international relations.

· · $1,225,000 for initiatives that contribute to the development of renewable and efficient energy in Hawaii and meet Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative goals:

  • $475,000 for technical assistance with inter-island cable issues;
  • $500,000 for the Energy Excelerator (Energy-Focused Economic Development Program); and
  • $250,000 for technical expertise for upcoming Public Utility Commission dockets.

· · $1,094,000 to foster Hawaii’s foreign relations and domestic economy through supporting international education programs with:

  • $394,000 to support understaffed Beijing and Taipei state offices;
  • $150,000 for an International Student Attraction program;
  • $300,000 for a China Visa Streamlining Project; and
  • $250,000 for fostering sister-state relationships.

Department of Human Services

Monies will go to assist at-risk youth, child care for low-income working families and the Housing First Program.

· · $2,641,996 to raise the general assistance monthly payment to $348

· · $1,500,000 for the Housing First Program to house the most vulnerable and chronically homeless and coordinate intensive support services

· · $3,500,000 for the Child Care Connection Hawaii and First-to-Work child care subsidy programs to reduce out of pocket expenses for parents who are working or going to school

· · $2,000,000 million for the REACH program, which engages at-risk middle and intermediate school students in after-school activities

Department of Labor and Industrial Relations

Funds will go for an electronic case management system to improve the Disability Compensation Program.

· · $1,250,000 for an electronic case management system to increase efficiency, reduce paperwork, and provide better customer service in the Disability Compensation Program

Department of Land and Natural Resources

Monies will support conservation and enforcement efforts of the department.

· · $1,700,000 for training and operating supplies needed to adequately equip Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement (DOCARE) officers

· · $1,000,000 and 12 positions for DOCARE officers to be deployed on Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai

The Judiciary

Funds allocated included support to provide essential treatment for adult and juvenile offenders and their victims.

· $1,700,000 to restructure the budget of the Judiciary so it can reclassify critical positions, eliminate vacancies, and restore operational stability

· $198,493 to expand programs for vulnerable clients who receive services for mental health issues

· $658,000 to provide essential treatment to adult and juvenile offenders and their victims

· $152,788 to ensure continuation of periodic drug testing of offenders in the Judiciary's Project HOPE (Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement) Program

· $131,000 for purchase of service contracts in the 1st Circuit


Capital Improvement Projects (CIP)

"The funding for CIP projects approved by the House will allow us to maintain our statewide infrastructure including those supporting essential services such as our highways and airports, even as we keep a close eye on changing economic conditions and long-term trends," said House Speaker Joe Souki (Kahakuloa, Waihee, Waiehu, Puuohala, Wailuku, Kahului).

“This year’s CIP budget continues one of the significant actions begun last year of addressing the most basic necessities for our schools, infrastructure and state facilities," added House Majority Leader, Representative Scott Saiki (McCully, Kaheka, Kakaako, Downtown).

The CIP budget now goes to the Senate for further consideration. Once approved by the House and Senate the funds are released at the discretion of the Governor.

CIP funding highlights include:

Capital Improvement Program Supplemental Budget totals:

  • FY 2014: $973,131,000 General Obligation Bond Funds
  • FY 2015: $787,524,000 General Obligation Bond Funds
  • FY 2014: $2,234,685,000 All Means of Financing Funds
  • FY 2015: $2,468,096,000 All Means of Financing Funds

Agriculture

· $187.5 million for purchase of agricultural lands for conservation purposes

· $9 million for statewide irrigation reservoir systems safety improvements

· $4.9 million for improvements to the lower Hamakua Ditch

· $6 million for installation of a new pipeline system for the upcountry Maui watershed

· $6 million for development of an agricultural park in Upcountry Maui

Accounting and General Services

· $15 million for design and construction of a Liliha Civic Center

· $400,000 for planning and design of the Molokai Athletic Complex

· $48 million for development of an Enterprise Resource Management System for the State of Hawaii (ERP)

· $39.738 million in funds for repair and maintenance on existing public facilities

· $23 million for elimination of health and safety hazards at Aloha Stadium

Business, Economic Development, and Tourism

· $3.460 million for various improvements to the Hawaii Film Studio

· $23 million for development of a replacement tech facility at the gateway to the University of Hawaii at Manoa for the High Technology Development Corporation

Defense

· $2 million each year of the biennium for improving hurricane protection for public buildings and increasing the number of public shelters statewide

· $2.5 million each year of the biennium for replacement and upgrading of state civil defense warning system

· $16 million total for upgrades to the National Guard facilities to meet current standards

· $10.264 million for planning and improvements to a range of veteran facilities across the state

Education

A total of over $408 million for school facilities statewide, including design, construction, improvements and equipment purchases.

· $130 million for design and construction of Kihei High School

· $10 million for modernization of Farrington High School

· $18.4 million for construction of a new school wing at Ewa Makai Middle School

· $14 million for construction of a new auditorium for King Kekaulike High School

· $60 million for design, construction and equipment for campus-wide improvements to include modernization of classrooms and school facilities at Solomon Elementary School

· $14.89 million for construction of a specialty and support classroom building at Waimea Middle School

Hawaiian Homelands

· $40 million for plans, design and construction for various Hawaiian homestead projects and improvements statewide

Human Services

· $75 million for plans, design, construction, and equipment to develop and renovate public housing facilities statewide

Health

· $100 million for Hawaii Health System Corporation hospitals for repair and maintenance, upgrades, and improvements

Judiciary

· $40 million for design, engineering, and construction of the Kona Judiciary Complex

Libraries

· $15.5 million for construction of a new library in Nanakuli

· $250,000 for planning of a new Makiki public library

Land and Natural Resources

· $7.5 million for watershed initiative protection and management

· Over $19 million for renovations and upgrades to various boating facilities across the state

Taxation

· Over $32 million for the Tax System Modernization program

University of Hawaii

· $33 million in all means of financing for design and construction of a new instructional facility at the University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Pharmacy.

---30---

Background: Council on Revenues Knocks $478M Hole in Abercrombie Budget

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