Business

Gov. Ige Unveils Supplemental Budget Proposal

December 18, 2017, 2:49 PM HST
* Updated December 20, 3:07 PM
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File photo by James Grenz.

Gov. David Ige unveiled his supplemental budget proposal on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, asking the state Legislature to continue supporting programs that tackle many of the challenges Hawai‘i’s communities face.

“Last year’s biennium budget invested in programs that have helped us address our state’s biggest problems,” said Gov. Ige. “Evidence shows that we’ve made progress in many of our high priority areas, while being smart about managing taxpayer dollars.”

Housing production is up. Homelessness is down nearly 9% across the state. Classrooms are cooler. Hawai‘i is a recognized national and international leader in sustainability and clean energy. Moody’s Analytics reports that Hawai‘i is one of only 16 states with enough cash reserves to weather the “stress test” of another recession.

SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET OVERVIEW

Operating: FY 19 amendments total $85.5 million – an increase of .6 percent over FY 19 Operating appropriations in the biennium budget (all revenue sources).

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Capital Improvements: FY 19 amendments total $1.497 billion, an increase of 215 percent over FY 19 CIP appropriations in the biennium budget (all revenue sources).

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The state’s improved G.O. bond ratings and lower interest rates make it a favorable time to invest in the state’s infrastructure. These capital projects have broad economic impact, supporting about 14,000 jobs of which 5,520 will be in the construction industry.

BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS

Education

  • $2.8 million for the Hawaii Keiki program that provides school-based health services
  • $1 million for the Early College High School initiative
  • $700,000 for the Hawai‘i Promise Scholarship Program
  • $15 full-time positions and $1.2 million to support underserved regions and populations at UH Mānoa and the community colleges
  • $150 million in capital improvement projects to improve public school facilities
  • $120 million in total CIP for the University of Hawai‘i
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The future begins with investing in education and improving school facilities to make a difference for generations of students.

Housing

The governor is asking for a cash infusion of more than $100 million.

  • $25 million CIP for the Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund, statewide
  • $50 million CIP for the Rental Housing Revolving Fund, statewide

The Department of Hawaiian Homelands is helping in the effort to produce more housing.

  • $10 million CIP for repairs and maintenance of existing infrastructure
  • $15 million CIP for lot development

“Our efforts are paying off,” Gov. Ige said. “Since I’ve been in office, 5,300 units have been completed, 40% of them affordable. There are another 1,400 under construction and 4,500 units in the planning stages. Let’s build on our momentum.”

Homelessness

  • $15 million for Housing First, Rapid Re-Housing, housing subsidies, homeless outreach services, and other homeless initiatives (this includes $5 million for property storage and trash/debris removal)
  • $800,000 for homeless outreach and counseling services for chronically homeless persons experiencing severe substance use disorders

Public Safety

  • Asking for eight FTE (full time equivalent) permanent positions and $419,302 for deputy sheriffs positions to support homeless and illegal camping operations
  • $300,000 for staff time and equipment to support homelessness policy reinforcement statewide for the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR)

“For the first time in eight years, there are fewer homeless people across the state – a decline of nearly nine percent. We hope the State Legislature continues to support our efforts to put more families in homes and drastically reduce our homeless population,” Ige said.

Sustainable Hawai‘i

  • $5 million for cash infusion for the Agricultural Loan Revolving Fund
  • $2.8 million for agricultural infrastructure improvements
  • $8.3 million for watershed protection
  • $7 million for land acquisition for forest reserve expansion on O‘ahu and Maui
  • $8.7 million for state parks infrastructure and improvements

“We are asking for this funding to continue support of the initiatives announced at last year’s IUCN World Conservation Congress – protecting our natural resources, doubling local food production, and growing our economy,” said Ige.

Other Highlights

  • $4.5 million for Kupuna Care and Caregivers programs
  • $536,819 in operating funds for Maui and Kauai County lifeguard protection at beaches under the jurisdiction of DLNR
  • $69 million in revenue bonds for Kona International Airport permanent federal inspection station
  • $16.5 million CIP for the Tax System Modernization project

“We see progress on complex issues, and this budget aligns our values and programs with those actions we know will make a difference,” said Gov. Ige. “My administration remains focused on doing things the right way to achieve the best outcomes for the State of Hawai‘i.”

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