Lawmakers Begin Negotiations on State Budget
The Hawai‘i House and Senate conferees began negotiations on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, on a final version of HB1900 HD1 SD1, the state budget bill.
Early agreement on a number of budget items included $7.1 million to increase payments supporting foster children and resource caregivers; $1.7 million for services at Aging and Disability Resource Centers; $3.4 million for rescue and fire fighting staff and vehicles at Līhuʻe Airport; and $500,000 for repair and maintenance projects and $500,000 for books and materials for public libraries statewide.
Lawmakers will continue to meet to iron out differences between the House and Senate versions through April 27, the deadline for all fiscal bills to pass out of conference committee. A final conference draft will then be voted upon by the Legislature and if approved, will be sent to the Governor for his signature.
Among the operating budget items agreed upon to date are:
Department of Accounting and General Services
- $265,000 to Hawai‘i State Digital Archives for server infrastructure and network-attached storage to support archival processing and preservation.
Department of the Attorney General
- $95,000 for the Hawai‘i Integrated Justice Information System.
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
- $142,400 to establish an in-house attorney to provide legal expertise for the Division of Financial Institutions.
Department of Defense
- $146,200 for the Homeland Security Office.
- $1,646,200 in general funds for renovation, repair, and maintenance projects at facilities statewide.
- $150,000 for the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency.
- $200,000 for repair and maintenance of building and structures at the Hawai‘i State Veterans Cemetery.
Department of Education
- $20,000 for Professional Learning System
- $65,016 for two positions for the Early Learning Board and the Executive Office on Early Learning.
Department of Human Services
- $7,129,680 to increase payments supporting foster children and resource caregivers across the state.
- $240,000 for programs to encourage rehabilitation of youths in the juvenile justice system.
Department of Health
- $94,894 to fund a program for youth who are at risk of mainland placement.
- $1,700,000 to fund continued services at Aging and Disability Resource Centers.
- $27,546 to fund one Information Specialist to assist in providing support for online and web-based resources to Hawai‘i residents.
Department of Land and Natural Resources
- $92,100 for two program managers to oversee the Division of Aquatic Resources.
- $26,478 for one fire response coordinator for the Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s O‘ahu Branch.
- $84,730 for one position to oversee the state’s water audit program.
- $53,010 to establish 24/7 dispatch communications for the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement.
- $450,000 to establish a data management system for Historic Preservation.
- $73,422 for three positions to monitor nearshore aquatic resources.
- $188,820 for ten positions to improve visitor experience and preserve state parks across the state.
Department of Public Safety
- $142,144 for psychological screening of applicant Deputy Sheriffs and Adult Corrections Officers.
- $93,101 for the Narcotics Enforcement Forensic Drug Laboratory.
Department of Taxation
- $86,170 to establish one investigator position for the Special Enforcement Section.
Department of Transportation
- $200,000 for automated passport control kiosk maintenance.
- $3,414,352 for airport rescue and fire fighting staff and vehicles at Līhu‘e Airport.
- $400,000 towards the Hawai‘i Statewide Transportation Master Plan update.
University of Hawai‘i
- $79,000 for an Instruction and Student Support Coordinator at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.
Hawai‘i State Public Libraries
- $500,000 for repair and maintenance projects for public libraries statewide.
- $500,000 for library books and materials.
Budget worksheets detailing agreements and disagreements in the state, judiciary, and Office of Hawaiian Affairs budget bills are available on the Capitol website at https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/budget/2018budget.aspx.
The conference committee will reconvene on Friday, April 20, at 2 p.m. in room 309.