Wednesday, March 9, 2016


The House Finance Committee today passed out a proposed supplemental budget that continues a fiscal conservative framework focused on increasing transparency in the budget process and enabling the state to spend more efficiently. 
HB1700 appropriates an additional $1.19 billion for operating and capital improvement costs of the Executive Branch for FY2017, bringing the budget total to $7.08 billion for the second year of the biennium.  There were no changes for FY2016 in the supplemental budget.  
The bill includes funds for Transient Oriented Development, sexual abuse victims services, and the transfer of the Maui Health Systems to Kaiser Foundation Hospital.  The proposed budget also includes monies from general obligation bonds and all other means of financing for capital improvement projects (CIP), including:
$675,317,000 in general obligation bonds for FY2016
$1,172,952,000 in general obligation bonds for FY2017
$1,642,156,000 in all means of financing funds for FY2016
$2,834,919,000 in all means of financing funds for FY2017

“We started several years ago to look for ways to make state government more efficient and to create a mindset for the state to spend within its means as a matter of consistent practice,” said Representative Sylvia Luke (Makiki, Punchbowl, Nuuanu, Dowsett Highlands, Pacific Heights, Pauoa), House Finance Chair. 
“One of the primary ways to achieve this end was for us to get a more accurate accounting of what the needs of our departments were, especially when it came to manpower.  What we found were issues relating to hard-to-fill vacancies and vacation payouts for retirees clouding a clear picture of what those needs were.
“In the case of longstanding vacancies of two years or more, we are asking the departments to reassess the positions to see why they are so hard to fill.  If we need to be more competitive with the private sector to attract quality employees, then we need to consider that,” Luke said.
Luke also said that, in the past, departments have assumed the cost of vacation compensations for retirees as part of their operating budget, which further clouded the true cost of operations. 
“So we’ve asked the departments to be more forthcoming in identifying those costs so that we can account for them.  Since implementing this new ‘truth in budgeting’ policy, I believe we have made the process more transparent and, in the long run, will lead to making state government more efficient,” Luke said.
The budget bill goes to the full House next week for its consideration.
Funding highlights include:
Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS)
 Funding for critical statewide personnel system support and Office of Elections improvements

·         $319,190 for additional support for payroll processing
·         $356,000 ($702,668 add for FY16 and FY17) for the Office of Elections to establish an online statewide voter registration system

Department of Agriculture
Funding for diversified agriculture

·         $211,445 to support efforts to promote diversified agriculture

Department of the Attorney General
Funding for sexual assault victim services and computer system upgrades

·         $85,000 to remain a member of the Open Justice Broker Consortium, which provides free programming hours to continue building Hawaii Integrated Justice Information Sharing Program, a wide-ranging state of the art information hub
·         $160,000 to equip deputy attorneys general with upgraded computers
·         $380,000 to fund statewide sexual assault victims services

Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT)
Funding to foster domestic economic growth and international economic relations

·         $250,000 for domestic economic development including:
o   $100,000 for an executive assistant to the DBEDT director, to aid in projects including the Hawaii Broadband Initiative;
o   $92,386 for a Transit-Oriented Development Coordinator to assist with statewide planning along the rail line;
o   $60,000 for a planner position to update the Hawaii State Plan.
·         $190,000 to foster Hawaii’s foreign relations:
·         $90,000 to support operations for the Beijing and Taipei state offices;
·         $100,000 for fostering sister-state relationships

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Funds for computer system upgrades

·         $500,000 for new Management Systems Application to track and monitor newer types of financial instruments.  The new system will be compatible with nation-wide clearing houses.

Department of Defense
Funding to support National Guard, Air National Guard and Civil Defense priorities

·         $549,592 to continue funding for the joint base Pearl Harbor Hickam
·         $642,644 to switch burial services for the Office of Veteran Services from contract to in-house
·         $500,000 to staff Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency

Department of Education (DOE)
Funding for critical needs affecting all schools in the DOE

·         $2,000,000 for worker's compensation
·         $6,984,689 to transport general and special education students safely to and from school
·         $5,215,919 for DOE utility payments
·         $387,210 to ensure that every state public library has a security presence
·         $500,000 for bonuses to teachers working in hard to staff schools

Department of Health (DOH)
Funding for Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, as well as investments in DOH's IT infrastructure

·         $21,000,000 for Hawaii Health Systems Corporation to maintain current levels of critical healthcare services, particularly on the neighbor islands
·         $10,000,000 in working capital and $6,000,000 in capital projects for the first year operations of Maui Health System, a Kaiser Foundation Hospital, LLC
·         $3,660,000 to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division and the Developmental Disability Division to develop a data tracking and analytics solution to better control costs, manage care, and track outcomes
·         $1,745,818 to the Women, Infants, and Children program to implement a new Management Information System, as well as design an Electronic Benefit Transfer food delivery system

Department of Human Services
Funding will go to training for SNAP recipients and social workers, as well as preschool and after school program subsidies for low-income working families

·         $6,000,000 for Preschool Open Doors to provide preschool subsidies on a sliding scale for low to moderate income families
·         $770,000 in additional after school program subsidies for employed low-income families
·         Over $400,000 to educate and train 20 social workers annually
·         Over $500,000 in a partnership with UH community colleges to help educate and train SNAP recipients

Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
Funds allocated for new positions to ensure compliance with Worker’s Compensation, Temporary Disability Insurance, and Prepaid Health Care Laws

·         $50,772 for positions to enforce compliance with Worker’s Compensation, Temporary Disability Insurance, and Prepaid Health Care Laws

Department of Public Safety
Funds for expanded prison furlough program and increased deputy presence

·         $163,965 for expanded electronic monitoring as part of the prison furlough program.  Funds will create new positions and allow for a reduction in inmate population
·         $400,445 for 12 deputy sheriffs to be assigned to capitol security and increase presence at Iolani Palace, Washington Place, Supreme Court and other State buildings

Department of Taxation
Funds for local tax compliance initiatives on Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii

·         $65,052 for examiner positions to enact and enforce voluntary tax compliance initiatives on Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island

Department of Transportation
Funds for new firefighter vehicles and equipment, sonar-equipped vessels to mitigate disaster impacts in various harbors, appropriations to establish the Joint Traffic Management Center to help ease traffic congestion and reduce accidents on Oahu

·         $4,469,933 for new firefighter vehicles, equipment, resources, and facilities improvements
·         $1,410,000 for sonar-equipped vessels to assist in mitigating disaster impacts at statewide harbor facilities
·         $1,342,284 to establish a new Joint Traffic Management Center on Oahu to help reduce traffic incidents and limit traffic congestion

University of Hawaii
  • $50,000,000 for repair and maintenance
  • $15,000,000 for the Athletic Department to renovate current facilities
  • $1,250,000 in funds annually to increase the existing equipment funding pool to maintain and replace equipment used at the Community Colleges

Vacation Payout
Additional funds for unbudgeted expenses which will allow agencies to fill positions rather than hold them vacant. $3,985,898
  • $532,616 Dept. of Accounting and General Services
  • $1,914 Dept. of Attorney General ($280,000 in base)
  • $38,389 Dept. of Agriculture ($150,000 in base)
  • $309,897 Dept. of Budget and Finance
  • $295,517 Dept. of Business Economic Development and Tourism
  • $97,483 Dept. of Human Resources
  • $1,041,568 Dept. of Human Services
  • $145,240 Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations ($250,000 in base)
  • $235,868 Dept. of Land and Natural Resources ($150,000 in base)
  • $660,756 Dept. of Public Safety
  • $271,755 Dept. of Taxation
  • $70,000 Office of the Governor
  • $31,391 Office of the lieutenant Governor

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