Senate Ways & Means Approves ‘Prudent’ State Budget
The Senate committee on Ways and Means on Wednesday, March 29, approved an amended state budget which proposes a financially prudent six-year plan to provide funding for core services and priority issues of the community while taking into account declining state revenues, rising fixed costs and the uncertainty of the federal funding climate.
HB100 HD1 SD1 proposes reducing the governor’s budget request by $114 million in general funds over the biennium, which includes fiscal years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. However, the WAM committee was able to provide funding for recurring program needs and essential social services along with appropriating funding for addressing infrastructure and facilities needs in critical areas. WAM members were able to do this by reviewing the details of every budget request as well as each departments’ existing base budget to consider all possible ways to reduce costs without jeopardizing services or core functions of the State.
“With the downgraded report from the Council of Revenues in March, it is daunting to be looking at a deficit of some $31 million for this fiscal year and some $220 million over the next three fiscal years,” said Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi (Dist. 8 – Kaua‘i, Ni‘ihau). “While there are programs and areas that we would like to have funded but are unable to because of fiscal constraints, the Senate budget is at least able to address the basic needs of our most vulnerable citizens.”
“What we’re presenting is a balanced approach to ensure funding for priority community needs while appropriating funds for increasing costs in retirement benefits and other fixed costs,” said Senate WAM Chair, Jill Tokuda (Dist. 24 – Kane‘ohe, Kane‘ohe MCAB, Kailua, He‘eia, ‘‘Āhuimanu). “This is the result of digging deep into the base budgets of each state department and thoroughly examining how to make cuts without impacting the basic, essential needs of our community: keeping the lights on in our schools, provide housing, protecting our natural resources, and ensuring health care services are available to keiki and kūpuna.”
Many of the significant appropriations in education, environment, homelessness and healthcare reflect the Senate’s commitment to the Legislative Program set forth at the start of the 2017 session. The Legislative Program are the priority issues which embrace Hawaiian values and aim to improve the quality of life for the residents of Hawai‘i.
In the area of education, the Senate draft of the executive budget adjusts the Department of Education’s appropriation by adding $52.1 million in general funds in FY2017-18 and $57.2 million in general funds in FY 2018-19. Although $12 million less than the administration’s request, $2.8 million in general funds and $2.8 million in federal funds for each fiscal year will continue and expand school-based health services in Hawai‘i’s public schools. $1 million in general funds was approved for each fiscal year for the Early College High School program to support the success of the initiative and encourage more opportunities for Hawai‘i’s public high school students to earn college credits before graduating high school.
At the University of Hawai‘i, $3 million in general funds was appropriated for the Cancer Center clinical trials and operational support. $1.8 million in general funds was allocated for the Hawai‘i Promise Program that allows more students to afford community college.
In terms of the homeless effort, $3 million in general funds was appropriated for each fiscal year for the Housing First Program, $2.1 million in general funds in each fiscal year for operation of State Family and Elderly Housing Facility. The committee also provided $500,000 for each fiscal year in general funds that will allow for the continuation of outreach and interim case management for homeless individuals with serious and persistent mental health challenges.
In the area of environment, $750,000 in general funds for each fiscal year was allocated for Rapid ‘Ō‘hia Death Response, $400,000 in general funds for each fiscal year for Fire Protection Programs and $250,000 in general funds for each fiscal year for protection of watershed forests.
To ensure Hawai‘i’s seniors are able to continue leading healthy, independent, meaningful and dignified lives, $3.9 million in general funds for each fiscal year was allocated for Kupuna Care; $600,000 for FY 2017-18 in general funds was provided to support family caregivers and $1.7 million in general funds for each fiscal year is appropriated for the Aging and Disability Resource Center.
HB100 HD1 SD1 also includes funding for capital improvement projects (CIP) which reflects the Senate Legislative priorities and supports many of the initiatives the administration has been pledging such as doubling food production, addressing jail overcrowding, attending to capacity issues and new schools for growing communities, and addressing affordable housing, particularly for seniors; $35 million was allocated to address the backlog of repairs and new units for senior housing. Currently, there are over 4,100 seniors on the waitlist for senior housing.
OPERATING FUNDING HIGHLIGHTS
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
• Add (2) positions and $226,134 in FY18 and (3) positions and $200,000 in FY19 in general funds for the Agricultural Food Safety Certification Program
• Add $750,000 in general funds in each FY for pesticide regulation expenses and studies
• Add (3) permanent positions and $79,236 in FY18 and $158,472 in FY19 in general funds for pesticides compliance
DEPARTMENT OF ACCOUNTING AND GENERAL SERVICES
• Add $2,185,567 in FY18 and $2,210,913 in FY19 in general funds for New Payroll System and Time and Attendance System
• Add $937,024 in FY18 and $922,326 in FY19 in general funds for integration of Human Resources System with Payroll and Time and Attendance System
• Add $3,175,000 in general funds in each FY for Carrier Circuit and Collocation Costs for the Office of Enterprise Technology Services
• Change means of financing for (5) permanent positions and $505,585 from trust funds to general funds in each FY for Campaign Spending Commission
DEPARTMENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
• Add $38,000 in general funds in each FY for Criminal Justice Division Rent, Family Law Division Rent, Tax and Charities Division Rent
• Add $110,000 in general funds in each FY for Criminal Justice Information Systems Hawai‘i software licenses/renewals for the State Criminal Justice Information and ID Program
• Add (1) position and $50,000 in general funds in each FY for Police Review Board
DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND TOURISM
• Add (1) permanent position and $25,386 in FY18 and $50,772 in FY19 in general funds for compliance with decisions and orders of Land Use Commission
• Add (1) temporary position and $27,618 in FY18 and $55,236 in FY19 in general funds for Special Action Team on Affordable Rental Housing
• Add (1) permanent position and $29,868 in FY18 and $59,736 in FY19 in general funds for Transit-Oriented Development Projects and Interagency Transit-Oriented Development Council/Support
• Add (0.5) temporary position and $23,750 in FY18 and $47,500 in FY19 in special funds for Chief Operating Officer/Industry Specialist for Hi Technology Development Corporation
• Add (0.5) temporary position and $16,250 in FY18 and $32,500 in FY19 in special funds for Special Projects Coordinator for Hi Technology Development Corporation
DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND FINANCE
• Add $30,637,298 in general funds in FY18 for severance pay and social security and Medicare payments for employees to be separated from state employment due to the upcoming transfer of the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation’s (HHSC) Maui Region to Kaiser Permanente management
• Add $4,493,450 in general funds in each FY for Centralized Vacation Payout for various departments
• Add $34,625,428 in FY18 and $70,673,178 in FY19 in general funds for additional retirement benefit payments funding for the State to reflect phase-in of employer contribution rate increases.
• Add (1) permanent position and $2,018,171 in FY18 and $107,552 in FY19 in other funds for Hawai‘i Domestic Relations Orders Implementation for the Employee Retirement System
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS
• Add (1) staff attorney and $68,145 in FY18 and $130,180 in FY19 in special funds for unfair and deceptive trade practices enforcement for Office of Consumer Protection
• Add $200,000 in special funds in FY18 for consultant services and training
• Add $303,949 in special funds in FY18 for other current expenditures for Public Utilities Commission equipment, renovation, and moving costs
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
• Add $90,000 in general funds in each FY for State Active Duty continuing operations
• Add $768,000 in FY18 and $464,000 in FY19 in general funds for tree trimming and removal at Hawai‘i State Veterans Cemetery
• Add (1) permanent position and $50,772 in each FY for Veteran Services Counselor
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
• Add $1,000,000 in general funds in each FY for Early College High School Initiative
• Add $2,800,000 in general funds and $2,800,000 in federal funds in each FY for Hawai‘i Keiki Program
• Add (2) permanent positions and $91,909 in FY18 and $183,818 in FY19 in general funds for School Based Behavioral Health Services for Maui and Hawai‘i Island
• Add (2) permanent positions and $183,818 in general funds in each FY for Hawai‘i Teachers Standards Board
• Add (15) permanent positions and $779,310 in FY18 and $1,434,885 in FY19 in general funds for Civil Rights Compliance Capacity
• Add $1,100,000 in general funds in each FY for Student Information System Enhancement and Expansion
• Add $670,000 in general funds in each FY for Alternative Teacher Route Programs
• Add $2,500,000 in FY18 and $4,000,000 in FY19 in general funds for School Service and Maintenance
• Add $1,500,000 in general funds in each FY for Utilities
• Add (4) permanent positions and $1,755,525 in FY18 and $3,711,835 in FY19 in general funds for Student Transportation Services Statewide
• Add (6.5) permanent positions and $50,799 in FY18 and $203,196 in FY19 in general funds for Nanakuli Public Library
• Add (1) permanent position and $23,466 in FY18 and $46,932 in FY19 in general funds for Office of the State Librarian
• Add $250,000 in general funds in each FY for Repair and Maintenance Backlog
• Add $9,651,776 in FY18 and $9,944,866 in FY19 in general funds for Per Pupil Adjustment
• Add (10) permanent positions and $136,688 in FY18 and $556,842 in FY19 in general funds for Pre-Kindergarten and Induction Program
• Add (2) permanent positions and $53,733 in FY18 and $82,317 in FY19 in general funds for Executive Office on Early Learning
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
• Add $117,167 in general funds in each FY for membership fees for national and regional chief executive organizations
DEPARTMENT OF HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS
• Add $6,865,887 in general funds in each FY for fringe benefits for general funded positions
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
• Add $2,100,000 in general funds in each FY for operation of State Family and Elderly Housing Facility
• Add $3,000,000 in general funds in each FY for Housing First Program
• Add $1,500,000 in general funds in each FY for homeless outreach services
• Add $3,000,000 in general funds in FY18 for Rapid Re-Housing Program
• Add $300,000 in general funds and $100,000 in federal funds in each FY for services for child victims of sex trafficking
• Add $4,558,858 in general funds and $2,454,770 in federal funds in FY18 and $4,634,292 in general funds and $2,495,388 in federal funds in FY19 for settlement for foster care board rates
• Add $2,500,000 in general funds and $7,056,720 in federal funds in FY18 and $5,000,000 in general funds and $14,113,440 in federal funds in FY19 for adult dental benefits
• Add $1,886,205 in general funds and $2,309,090 in federal funds in FY18 and $4,052,472 in general funds and $4,961,033 in federal funds in FY19 for nursing facility inflation factor
• Add $2,947,556 in general funds and $2,691,040 in federal funds in each FY for Medicare Part B Premiums
• Transfer $500,000 in general funds in each FY from Office of Youth Services to School Community Services for Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture, and Health (REACH) Program.
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT
• Add $2,396,000 in general funds in FY18 for worker’s compensation claims
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
• Add (2) temporary positions and $144,054 in FY18 and $208,143 in FY19 in special funds for Medical Marijuana Registry Program
• Add (5) temporary positions and $890,000 in non-recurring special funds in each FY for medical marijuana dispensary licensing program
• Add $6,507,305 in general funds in each FY for base budget funding of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Administration, Primary Prevention, and Chronic Disease Management per funding in Act 118, SLH 2015.
• Add $500,000 in general funds in each FY for services for homeless individuals with serious and persistent mental health challenges
• Add $800,000 in general funds in each FY for outreach and counseling services for chronically homeless individuals and families with severe substance abuse disorders
• Add $300,000 in general funds in each FY for clean and sober housing for chronically homeless individuals with severe substance use disorders
• Add $1,340,000 in FY18 and $1,613,000 in FY19 in general funds for purchase of service contracts for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
• Add $2,754,980 in FY18 and $7,118,914 in FY19 in general funds for rebased provider payment rates for Development Disabilities
• Add $3,000,000 in general funds in each FY for maintenance of effort for Healthy Start
• Add $799,833 in FY18 and $742,034 in FY19 in general funds for statewide emergency ambulance services
• Add (1) permanent position and $60,629 in FY18 and $121,259 in FY19 in general funds for investigation of suspected health clusters from environmental sources
• Add $3,976,435 in general funds in each FY for Kupuna Care