(BIVN) – Heading into the 2018 election year, Governor David Ige presented a lot of positives in his Supplemental Budget proposal on Monday.
“Housing production is up. Homelessness is down nearly nine percent across the state. Our classrooms are cooler,” stated a media release issued by the governor’s office, complimenting a press conference streamed live over Facebook. “Hawai‘i is a recognized national and international leader in sustainability and clean energy. And Moody’s Analytics reports that Hawai‘i is one of only 16 states with enough cash reserves to weather the ‘stress test’ of another recession.”
Ige’s Fiscal Year 2019 amendments total $85.5 million, which is an increase of .6 percent over FY 19 Operating appropriations in the biennium budget, the governor’s office says. The changes to the Capital Improvements broing the total to $1.497 billion, an increase of 215 percent over FY 19 CIP appropriations in the biennium budget, they report.
“Last year’s biennium budget invested in programs that have helped us address our state’s biggest problems. Evidence shows that we’ve made progress in many of our high priority areas, while being smart about managing taxpayer dollars,” said Gov. Ige.
According to the Governor, the state’s improved G.O. bond ratings and lower interest rates make it a favorable time to invest in the state’s infrastructure. “These capital projects have broad economic impact, supporting about 14,000 jobs of which 5,520 will be in the construction industry,” the governor’s office stated.
Here are some of the budget highlights, according to the governor:
- GOVERNOR SAYS: The future begins with investing in education and improving school facilities to make a difference for generations of students.
- $2.8 million for the Hawaii Keiki program that provides school-based health services
- $1 million for the Early College High School initiative
- $700,000 for the Hawai‘i Promise Scholarship Program
- $15 full-time positions and $1.2 million to support underserved regions and populations at UH Mānoa and the community colleges
- $150 million in capital improvement projects to improve public school facilities
- $120 million in total CIP for the University of Hawai‘i
The future begins with investing in education and improving school facilities to make a difference for generations of students.
- GOVERNOR SAYS: We are asking for a cash infusion of more than $100 million. “Our efforts are paying off. Since I’ve been in office, 5,300 units have been completed, 40 percent of them affordable. There are another 1,400 under construction and 4,500 units in the planning stages. Let’s build on our momentum,” Ige said.
- $25 million CIP for the Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund, statewide
- $50 million CIP for the Rental Housing Revolving Fund, statewide
- The Department of Hawaiian Homelands is helping in the effort to produce more housing.
- $10 million CIP for repairs and maintenance of existing infrastructure
- $15 million CIP for lot development
- GOVERNOR SAYS: “For the first time in eight years, there are fewer homeless people across the state – a decline of nearly nine percent. We hope the State Legislature continues to support our efforts to put more families in homes and drastically reduce our homeless population,” Ige said.
- $15 million for Housing First, Rapid Re-Housing, housing subsidies, homeless outreach services, and other homeless initiatives (this includes $5 million for property storage and trash/debris removal)
- $800,000 for homeless outreach and counseling services for chronically homeless persons experiencing severe substance use disorders
- Asking for 8 FTE (full time equivalent) permanent positions and $419,302 for deputy sheriffs positions to support homeless and illegal camping operations
- $300,000 for staff time and equipment to support homelessness policy reinforcement statewide for the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR)
- GOVERNOR SAYS: “We are asking for this funding to continue support of the initiatives announced at last year’s IUCN World Conservation Congress – protecting our natural resources, doubling local food production, and growing our economy,” said Ige.
- $5 million for cash infusion for the Agricultural Loan Revolving Fund
- $2.8 million for agricultural infrastructure improvements
- $8.3 million for watershed protection
- $7 million for land acquisition for forest reserve expansion on O‘ahu and Maui
- $8.7 million for state parks infrastructure and improvements
- GOVERNOR SAYS: “We see progress on complex issues, and this budget aligns our values and programs with those actions we know will make a difference. My administration remains focused on doing things the right way to achieve the best outcomes for the State of Hawai‘i,” Gov. Ige said.
- $4.5 million for Kupuna Care and Caregivers programs
- $536,819 in operating funds for Maui and Kauai County lifeguard protection at beaches under the jurisdiction of DLNR
- $69 million in revenue bonds for Kona International Airport permanent federal inspection station
- $16.5 million CIP for the Tax System Modernization project