From House Republican Caucus May 2, 2013
The 2013 legislative session that came to a close today gives fiscal conservatives much to be encouraged by.
The final state budget that passed this week spends about $253 million less in general funds over the next two fiscal years than Governor Abercrombie requested. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives approved it unanimously.
Moreover, many of the worst bills that would have hurt local businesses and families failed to pass this year.
Tax and fee increases that died
- General excise tax
- Barrel tax
- Conveyance tax
- Tobacco tax
- Internet sales tax
- Sugary beverages fee
- Glass container fee
- Single-use checkout bag fee
- Electronic waste fee
State budget specifics
- Cuts government bloat by eliminating unfilled department positions
- Requires departments to justify funding for each new position
- Makes smart investments that strengthen Hawaii’s bond rating and lower long-term borrowing costs
- Addresses unfunded liabilities by requiring the public sector to contribute money annually, beginning with $217 million this fiscal biennium
- Fully recapitalizes the Rainy Day and Hurricane Relief funds with $50 million and $160 million, respectively, after the previous Legislature raided these reserves in 2011
Most importantly, the budget maintains fiscal restraint – despite a strengthening economy and increasingly optimistic Council on Revenues projections – due to concerns about federal sequestration effects and other economic uncertainties both nationally and globally. The budget that was crafted through meticulous negotiations moves Hawaii forward by reducing wasteful expenditures and investing wisely in our future.
Thank you for your involvement and support throughout this session. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact the House Republican Caucus. We look forward to continuing to work with you to make Hawaii an even better place to live.
Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson
T: (808) 586-9470
Rep. Beth Fukumoto
Minority Floor Leader
T: (808) 586-9460