Senate Version of Budget Bill Less Than Governor’s, House’s
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by Dave Smith
***Updated to correct headline.***
A Senate committee today approved a biennial budget bill that uses $141 million less in general funds than proposed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie and $206 million less than the version approved by the House of Representatives.
“Although the revenue forecast continues to improve, we took a cautious and conservative approach in our version of the budget,” said Sen. David Ige, chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.
The Senate’s spending plan for the next two fiscal years also includes $2 billion in capital improvement projects for fiscal year 2013-2014 and $990 million for 2014-2015.
The version of the budget sent over by the House on March 13 proposed CIP spending of $1.7 billion and $912 million for those years, respectively.
The Senate’s amended version of the budget measure, House Bill 200, included $1.2 billion for Department of Transportation projects including $70 million for expansion of Kona International Airport, $140 million for improvements to Honolulu’s airport and $250 million to expand the capacity of the state’s harbors.
Senate officials said another $120 million would be spent on information systems to streamline tax collections, maintain and share “critical health information” and to provide for an enhanced communication network for the state.