House committee approves $18.9B state budget; prioritizes deferred maintenance, natural resources
The House Finance Committee today approved the FY 2023-2024 and FY 2024-2025 operating and capital improvement budget.
The budget – HB300 now goes to the House floor and is anticipated to crossover to the Senate on Wednesday, March 15.
Finance Chair Kyle Yamashita (D-12, Upcountry, Maui) acknowledged that the committee’s approach included restoring funding to critical programs that were cut during the pandemic, tackling long standing large one-time funding priorities, and enhancing the state’s ability to withstand an economic downturn by shoring up its reserve funds.
“The legislature entered FY2023 with a fiscal surplus, which pushed us to be very careful in developing the budget. This budget proposes to spend $1.3 billion on deferred maintenance which not only includes a backlog in facilities repair, but our most valuable resource, our natural environment – our parks, forests, and ocean resources,” said Chair Yamashita said in a news release. “The intention is not to immediately spend the money, but to strategically tackle these projects to ensure that the state receives the best value while keeping the projects’ timetables in mind. Additionally, Medicaid, health care, kūpuna care, homeless services, climate change, and affordable housing remain priority issues for the residents of Hawaiʻi.”
The Committee and its members have emphasized that the approved budget highlights are just one step in the process to finalizing the state’s budget.
“We have much more work to do in analyzing budget proposals until we get to a final version in May,” said Chair Yamashita.