Governor’s Proposed Budget Reverses 5% Pay CutDecember 18, 2012, 7:55 AM HST · Updated December 18, 9:40 AM 0 Comments
By Wendy Osher
The Abercrombie Administration submitted its 2013-2015 fiscal biennium budget to the Hawaii State Legislature on Monday.
The two-year $12.4 billion (approximately $6.1 billion for fiscal year 2014, and $6.3 billion for fiscal year 2015) request for general funds includes provisions for the development of technology, protection of watersheds, and the development of renewable energy resources. The budget also reverses the 5% reduction in state employee wages, which was implemented following what was described as the worst recession in a generation.
Governor Neil Abercrombie said the new document represents a new commitment to a proven fiscal strategy that has put Hawai’i’s economy on track toward recovery.
“This balanced budget will build upon sound strategies that will continue to stimulate our local economy, while moving forward on IT transformation initiatives to better prepare Hawaii for an increasingly technological age,” Governor Abercrombie said. “We are also proposing significant investments in early education and health initiatives, as well as building an improved support system for our kupuna.”
Budget highlights include:
- $59 million per year for information technology initiatives and improvements
- $7.1 million in 2014 and $22.2 million in 2015 for digital curriculum for Common Core State Standards
- $9.6 million in 2014 and $35.3 million in 2015 for the Executive Office of Early Learning and early childhood education and health initiatives
- $5.6 million in 2014 and $5.9 million in 2015 for the Executive Office on Aging, Aging and Disability Resource Centers, and kupuna care programs
- $118.1 million in 2014 and $172.8 million in 2015 for health premium payments and other post-employment benefit pre-funding
The requested CIP budget is approximately $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2014 and $906 million in fiscal year 2015.
Authorities say priority has been given to needed repair and maintenance projects at public and educational facilities, and ongoing CIP projects, which can begin construction quickly. Other proposed projects focus on addressing health and safety, and court-mandated or statutory requirements.
“Our budget allows our state to make clear and deliberate steps in addressing unfunded liabilities that otherwise would continue to threaten our future fiscal solvency,” said Kalbert Young, director of the state Department of Budget and Finance. “Rather than leaving unresolved long-term commitments for the next generation, we are fulfilling our responsibility to deal with them now.”
“There is much more work to be done but we are excited about Hawaii’s future,” said Governor Neil Abercrombie. “We have laid the groundwork for a stable foundation and commit our energies to making our Hawaii a place for all of us to prosper. Working together, we can make this happen.”