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Saturday, June 27, 2020
SB785 --$150M Raises for Public Employees-- How They Voted
By Selected News Articles @ 5:53 PM :: 2704 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Labor, COVID-19

SB785 --$150M Raises for Public Employees-- How They Voted

SB785: Text, Status 

6/26/2020  S -- Passed Final Reading, as amended (CD 1).
  • 21 Ayes;
  • 7 Ayes with reservations: Senator(s) Baker, Fevella, Kim, Moriwaki, Nishihara, Ruderman, Wakai.
  • 3 Noes: Senators J.Keohokalole, Riviere, L. Thielen.
  • 0 Excused: none.
6/26/2020 H -- Passed Final Reading as amended in CD 1 with:
  • 45 Ayes;
  • 5 Representatives DeCoite, Kong, McKelvey, San Buenaventura, Say voting aye with reservations;
  • 4 Representatives McDermott, Okimoto, Thielen, Ward voting no and
  • 2 Representatives Cabanilla-Arakawa, Wildberger excused.

Hawaii lawmakers approve public worker raises worth more than $150M

Star-Adv June 27, 2020: … The state House and Senate on Friday approved public worker raises worth more than $150 million for tens of thousands of public employees even as hundreds of thousands of private sectors workers have lost their jobs, but lawmakers noted that public employees may still face furloughs or layoffs in the months ahead.

Members of the Hawaii Government Employees Association will receive the bulk of the raises, and lawmakers pointed out those are the same workers who have been supporting the state and county responses to the coronavirus pandemic by handling tasks such as distributing food aid and unemployment payments, and doing contact tracing to search out people who may be infected with COVID-19.

The state is facing a $2.3 billion budget shortfall for this year and the new fiscal year that begins July 1, but House Finance Committee Chairwoman Sylvia Luke told her colleagues that Gov. David Ige has developed a financial plan that assumed lawmakers would approve the raises.

However, the final details of Ige’s financial plan have not been made public, and it is unclear if furloughs or layoffs might be part of the plan.

Ige in mid-April told public-worker union leaders that public employees including teachers would need to take furloughs that would amount to a 20% pay cut to help offset the budget shortfall. He later backtracked on that, saying there is “no immediate need” for furloughs or pay cuts.

If the administration does come up short, House Speaker Scott Saiki has noted lawmakers also authorized Ige to borrow up to $2.1 billion from the Municipal Liquidity Facility, a federal program established to make emergency loans to states and counties for up to three years to help cover their costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. ….

read … Hawaii lawmakers approve public worker raises worth more than $150M

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