Key Budget Bill Advances with $19 Million Earmarked for Maui Health System Operating Costs

June 24, 2020, 4:44 AM HST · Updated June 24, 4:44 AM
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A legislative conference committee on Tuesday approved a conference draft to Senate Bill 126 that amends the state budget and provides support to critical state services needed during the cononavirus pandemic.

House and Senate conferees approved funding for a range of social safety net programs and services including hospital operations, mental health and substance abuse programs, homeless support services and rent assistance.

The committee voted to provide $19 million for Maui Health System operating costs, $21.6 million for Hawai‘i Health System Corporation operating costs, $11.4 million from the Mental Health and Substance Abuse special fund to the Department of Health, $750,000 to the Hawaiʻi Public Housing Authority to maintain the State’s existing rent supplement program, and $7 million for stored property and transportation services related to the Department of Human Services’ homeless outreach programs.

The bill also provides funding for state parks, economic recovery efforts, economic development and diversification, along with operating funds for airports, harbors and highways.

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The bill includes the Legislature’s comprehensive plan to use $635 million in federal CARES Act funds to provide ongoing, immediate relief to residents and small businesses who are suffering from the devastating economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Legislature’s goal is to support and reinforce the social safety net for our residents, rebuild and move our economy forward, and address the ongoing pandemic.

The bill is expected to be voted on by the House and Senate during floor sessions on Friday.

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