Bill Seeks to Defer Salary Increases for Executive, Judicial, and Legislative Branches in Hawai‘i

May 14, 2020, 1:32 PM HST · Updated May 14, 1:32 PM
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State Capitol. PC: Hawai’i Senate Majority.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee today approved House Bill 117 SD1, a bill to defer salary increases as recommended by the State Commission on Salaries for executive, judicial, and legislative government officials. The bill aims to help close the $1 billion deficit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and now moves to the full Senate for second reading.

Established by the State Constitution, the Commission on Salaries is tasked with making salary recommendations for State court justices and judges, members of the legislature, governor and lieutenant governor, and appointed officials within the executive branch.

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Implementation of the Commission’s 2019 salary recommendations began for the executive and judicial branches on July 1, 2019, with the second of six planned raises for the executive and judicial branches scheduled for July 1, 2020.

The first recommended raise for members of the legislature is scheduled for January 1, 2021. House Bill 117 SD1 defers further implementation of the executive and judicial branch salary increases that are scheduled for July 1, 2020, as well as planned raises for members of the legislature on January 1, 2021.

Lawmakers reconvened the 2020 legislative session in an effort to address the budget deficit facing the State of Hawaiʻi. Due to the staggering fiscal challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislature believes that continued implementation of the Commission’s recommendations for the executive and judicial branches, and planned adjustments for the legislature, is irresponsible at this time.

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