Thursday, April 24, 2014

Budget Conferees to Reconvene for Final Deliberations

Even as the budget conferees announced agreement on hundreds of budget items, time is running out on putting the finishing touches on the state budget. The joint committee on the budget has until 11:30 PM on Friday, April 25, to pass HB1700 out of conference. Members of the conference committee, led by House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke and Senate Ways and Means Chair David Ige, will continue to iron out differences until all items are agreed upon by both sides. The committee is scheduled to reconvene on Friday, April 25, at 10:15 a.m. in room 309.

The joint senate-house conference committee on the budget also announced agreement on numerous spending items to support Hawaii’s education system, including:

Department of Education
· $15 million for the weighted student formula, which are funds that are distributed to schools based on enrollment and are spent at the principals’ discretion
· $3 million in general funds for pre-kindergarten program, which will be coordinated by the DOE and the Executive Office on Early Learning in the Office of the Governor
· $1.925 million for the Strive HI performance system, which supports the lowest-performing 15% of schools
· $256,000 in general funds to implement a mentoring program for new teachers
· $200,000 in general funds for a contract with Teach for America
· $9,000,000 to cover the shortfall in utility costs
· $592,000 in general funds for sabbatical leave for teachers

Charter Schools
· $134,802 for charter school per-pupil allotment
· $800,000 for the Charter School Commission operating and administration costs

University of Hawaii
· $600,000 for a Model Indigenous Serving University to be expended on programs that would help native Hawaiian students succeed in they have not traditionally been successful in
· A total of $4 million for 89 campus operation and growth positions at the newly constructed University of Hawaii-West Oahu campus
· A total of $33.5 million to accommodate salary restorations and increases for University of Hawaii faculty members
· Increase of the special fund ceiling by nearly $46 million to support UH-Manoa campus operations and programs
· Addition of 50 positions to support UH community colleges operations

Public Libraries
· $685,000 for electricity budget shortfall in libraries statewide.
· $200,000 to increase security services at libraries statewide.
· $600,000 to maintain computers and other technological services offered by Hawaii State Public Libraries System to patrons.

Budget worksheets detailing agreements and disagreements in the state and judiciary budget bills are available on the Capitol website at

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