Abercrombie Submits Initial Version of State Budget
Governor Neil Abercrombie today submitted the initial version of the state budget to lawmakers today. While the FY 2012-2013 budget document is the version created by the Lingle Administration, Abercrombie said it is no indication of agreement with previous administrative policies.
“To the contrary, there is a broad call from all people of Hawaii for a change in direction. However, such dramatic changes in these times of severe budgetary constraints require an open dialogue of information gathering and analysis, which cannot be completed in the two-week period between the inauguration of our new Administration and the submittal of the budget,” said Gov. Abercrombie.
Abercrombie called the document a “starting point” noting that changes to balance the budget and reflect new priorities will be made following the start of the 2011 legislative session in January.
He said that while the state’s economy is slowly improving, he called on all players to take steps to improve and accelerate the recovery process. Gov. Abercrombie also released a list of four steps his administration will be taking to address budget shortfalls including: (1) Reconfigure, retool and strengthen government services, (2) Create jobs, (3) Pursue federal funding, and (4) Invest in long-term economic and social well-being.
According to administration projections, the state faces a $71.6 million budget shortfall in the next six months. The administration attributes the shortfall to rising costs that have not been addressed.
“We have hit a point where it’s almost impossible for government offices to perform its most basic functions and for people to receive government services,” said Gov. Abercrombie.
The governor plans to request emergency appropriations in January for Medicaid, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, and operating requirements for the Offices of the Governor and Lt. Governor.
“I am confident that we can and will do better, stimulating our economy and creating the breathing space we need to reinvest in our core priorities,” said Gov. Abercrombie.
(Information courtesy Office of the Governor, state of Hawaii).