House and Senate budget conferees funded $28 million in Grant-in-Aid (GIA) for local organizations serving the public and working to improve the state of Hawaii. The total appropriations, amounted to nearly $20 million in capital improvement projects (CIP) funding and $8 million in operating funds. The funding agreements were made as lawmakers agreed on House Bill 500, relating to the state budget.
Lead by House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke and Senate Ways and Means Chair Jill Tokuda, the two sides focused on developing a responsible financial plan that lawmakers hope will create a continuing mindset in state government of “spending within its means.” That’s why lawmakers are looking to control government growth and spending even in good years.
“This year we received over two hundred eighty applications for Grant-in-Aid assistance. It was tough to make a decision from the many worthwhile requests, but the decisions that we made fit into what we could afford in this year’s state budget and our conservative fiscal plan,” said Rep. Ty Cullen (Royal Kunia, Village Park, Waipahu, Makakilo, West Loch), lead House GIA manager.
“Fortunately, the House and Senate were able to put together just over $28 million to support our local community and service groups, who assist a wide range of individuals within our community and are an integral part of our social safety net providing essential services for our state.”
The agreement culminated nearly two weeks of discussions on a wide range of issues such as social services, mass transit, healthcare, education, the environment and support for statewide government services. HB500, CD1 will now go before the full House and Senate for a final vote.
All GIA applications received this year and the full list of operating and CIP appropriations are available on the Capitol website at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/GIA/2015GIA.aspx.