Hawaii Senate Minority's Alternative Budget cuts spending, caps collective bargaining to balance the state budget
News Release from Office of Sen Sam Slom, April 6, 2015
HONOLULU— Senator Sam Slom released the Senate Minority Alternative Biennium Budget at a press conference today, slashing $1.59 billion from the Governor's version of the budget for the fiscal years 2016 and 2017.
The Alternative Budget builds on the $665 million spending cuts approved by the House of Representatives in their budget draft released in March, and has three main priorities:
1. Reduce the rising cost of living for Hawaii's working families
2. Improve Hawaii's deteriorating business environment
3. Make government less expensive and more effective
Senator Slom says "The Alternative Budget does two very important things. It brings relief to our beleaguered taxpayers and small businesses, and balances our state finances in the long term. These are two things the Senate Minority believes will stop the cyclical increasing of taxes and fees to sustain irresponsible spending, and will really help the working families in Hawaii who are struggling. With this plan, the cost of living will be reduced by about $600 annually for the average family."
Senate Minority Budget Director Paul Harleman prepared the Alternative Budget and talked on the particulars, noting the main budget cuts as:
· $665 million cut by mirroring the House of Representatives' budget draft
· $566 million cut by refusing increases in collective bargaining contracts
· $315 million by maintaining executive spending restrictions first put in place by the Abercrombie administration and imposing a hiring freeze on all vacant positions
· $35.7 million by consolidating programs within the Department of Health and Human Services
· $8.2 million by cutting out several low-priority government programs
A draft of the Senate Minority Alternative Biennium Budget with further details on the budget cuts proposed by the Senate Minority is available at hawaiialternativebudget.com.
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 HB500 HD1 is attached as a PDF and is also available at LINK.