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Saturday, April 21, 2018
House-Senate Conference Committee Finalizes Budget Negotiations
By News Release @ 11:54 PM :: 6597 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Homelessness

Hanabusa’s Legislators Choke on Plan to Push Homeless Back onto Streets

HNN: A new state budget is on track to being approved after House and Senate committees finalized House Bill 1900 Friday.

The budget bill emphasizes spending on homeless services and improvements to medical care.

"Instead of dividing various amounts for separate programs, the state Homeless Programs Office needs the flexibility to decide where best to use the money," State Rep. Sylvia Luke said. "The state cannot be rigid, especially with our homeless population. It must be able to move funds around to take care of circumstances as they come up."…

$28,000,000 in operating subsidy for Maui Health System....

$15,000,000 lump sum to fund homeless programs and services across the state…. (Listen?  Do you hear them choking?)

The legislature will vote on the bill next week. If approved, it will be sent to the governor's desk….

Related: 

read … State leaders approve final state budget bill with emphasis on health, human services

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Hanabusa’s Legislators are Already Putting Homeless People on the Streets

SA: …Gov. Davig Ige requested more than $8 million to continue to fund existing homeless programs, but the (Hanabusa supporters in the) House wiped out the request and instead proposed pouring $30 million in capital improvement money into the new concept of homeless “ohana zones.” House Speaker Scott Saiki (a Hanabusa endorser) has said existing programs still could be funded through stand-alone bills once the state budget is settled.

The Senate wants to provide $15.9 million to continue existing programs, including Housing First and rapid re-housing, and $650,000 for an ohana zone pilot project for Hawaii County.

Through Housing First some of Hawaii island’s most hard-core, chronically homeless “are getting stabilized or are stabilized,” Menino said. Legislators “invested in the program. Then they don’t even give the time to consider the lives of the people they saved.”

The uncertainty is affecting progress on Hawaii island, Menino said.

“We’re hesitating in putting more people into this program if it’ll only contribute to them being moved onto the street come July” when the current funding ends, she said.

And for Hawaii island landlords, who have already taken a chance on renting their properties to homeless people, the lack of assurances from the Legislature to ensure future funds puts the credibility of Housing First at risk, Menino said….

Menino is hardly alone in her concerns.

Across the state a hui representing 67 social service agencies told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that both the House and the Senate appear reluctant to ensure long-term funding for existing programs — including Housing First and rapid re-housing — that they say are proved to reduce homelessness and are endorsed by federal housing officials….

Reducing Housing First money alone would send people back on the street, “where they’re frequently in the ER, frequently in the courts, frequently in the jails or prison,” said Ellen Carson, who represents Housing Now, a program of Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE).

“It is really important to keep these programs going,” said Catherine Graham, co-chairwoman of FACE’s Housing Now task force for FACE.

Rather than spend $30 million to lay infrastructure for “ohana zones” that are supposed to be temporary, Ryan Kusumoto, vice chairman of the board of directors of PHOCUSED, said legislators might instead be guided by a simple thought: “Think about what’s working right now,” he said….

(Or they could just keep on thinking about August 11th.)

Precisely as Explained: Hanabusa Campaign Plan: Send swarms of homeless into streets as absentee ballots drop 

Big Q: What do you think of Hawaii’s top four lawmakers collaborating on a fundraiser for Gov. David Ige’s opponent, Colleen Hanabusa, at the height of the legislative session? (65% Oppose)

read … Hanabusa

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HOUSE AND SENATE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE FINALIZE NEGOTIATIONS ON THE STATE BUDGET BILL

Priorities include health and homeless services, additional ambulances

News Release from House and Senate Communications, April 20, 2018

House and Senate conferees today approved a final version of HB1900 HD1 SD1, the state budget bill, which includes operating and capital improvement monies to run the state government. The bill puts a priority on appropriating funds for critical health and human service needs that will benefit our residents statewide.

House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke said this budget provides $15 million to fund homeless services, $3 million more than requested by the Governor, to allow the State the flexibility needed to take decisive action and systematically address long-standing problems in the community.

"Instead of dividing various amounts for separate programs, the state Homeless Programs Office needs the flexibility to decide where best to use the money. The state cannot be rigid, especially with our homeless population. It must be able to move funds around to take care of circumstances as they come up," said Representative Luke (Makiki, Punchbowl, Nu‘uanu, Dowsett Highlands, Pacific Heights, Pauoa).

The committee also agreed on funding $4.5 million to provide three new ambulances and staff for Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i Island and Honolulu; a $28 million operating subsidy for the Maui Health System; and $3.8 million in additional funds for the Kūpuna Care program and $1.2 million more for the Kupuna Caregiver Fund.

The House Finance and Senate Ways and Means conference committee worked quickly to close the budget a week earlier than scheduled.

On Wednesday, the committee passed Senate Bill 192 to provide $125 million in immediate disaster relief funding for Kaua‘i and other areas affected by recent destructive flooding. The state constitution requires that the budget bill be passed before other appropriation measures.

“We worked double time to pass disaster relief for those impacted by the floods and we were challenged to find the funding to adequately address the other critical needs of the state. But we were able to work together and what we presented here today is a good product that we can be proud of,” said Sen. Donovan M. Dela Cruz (Mililani Mauka, Waipi‘o Acres, Wheeler, Wahiawā, Whitmore Village, portion of Poamoho) Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

At today’s hearing, the committee highlighted many budget items upon which the House and Senate reached agreement.

Department of Accounting and General Services

  • $163,425 for 3 positions and supplies to Central Services for maintenance and servicing of state cemeteries.

  • $150,000 to establish a motor vehicle replacement schedule for neighbor island school repair and maintenance.

Department of the Attorney General

  • $50,000 for Community Protection and Outreach.

  • Additional 2 positions and $500,000 for the Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism

  • $1,500,000 for the Excelerator Program to aid development of local businesses.

  • $500,000 for an Aquaculture accelerator initiative to help local startups in the aquaculture industry.

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

  • $1,210,906 federal grant spending ceiling and 2 positions to implement insurance market reforms and consumer protections for Insurance Regulatory Services.

  • Establishment of Deputy Securities Commissioner for Business Registration and Securities Regulation.

Department of Defense

  • $1,646,200 in general funds for renovation, repair, and maintenance projects at facilities statewide.

  • $95,000 for a director for the Hawai‘i State Fusion Center.

Department of Education

  • Additional $500,000 for the Early College program.

  • $500,000 to provide additional support to English Language Learners.

  • $4,500,000 and one position for Alternative Learning Centers.

  • $400,000 for the Teacher Certification Stipend Program to help increase the number of qualified public-school teachers.

  • $1,100,000 for the Alternative Teacher Route Program to help with recruitment and certification of potential public-school teachers.

  • $850,000 in general funds for athletic travel to provide students with the opportunity to compete in interscholastic athletic competitions.

Department of Human Services

  • $450,000 for the State Rent Supplement Program to provide housing support for vulnerable families.

  • $15,000,000 lump sum to fund homeless programs and services across the state.

  • $5,250,000 to Medquest to support online enrollment for Medicaid.

Department of Health

  • $28,000,000 in operating subsidy for Maui Health System.

  • $4,500,000 for (3) new ambulances, (1) each for County of Kaua‘i, County of Hawai‘i, and the City and County of Honolulu.

  • $3,877,063 in additional funds for the Kūpuna Care program.

  • $1,200,000 in additional funds for the Kūpuna Caregiver fund.

Department of Land and Natural Resources

  • $450,000 for the Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts to support environmental protection efforts.

  • $500,000 to support fire response activities for DOFAW across the state.

  • $800,000 to combat the spread of Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death on the island of Hawai‘i.

  • $500,928 to establish a DOCARE training academy.

Department of Taxation

  • Funds for 6 additional investigator positions for the Special Enforcement Section.

Department of Transportation

  • $11,000,000 for replacement of the Wiki Wiki Shuttle bus fleet with electric vehicles.

  • $39,000,000 for Consolidated Rental Car Facilities at Daniel K. Inouye Honolulu International Airport and Kahului International Airport.

  • $11,000,000 for Special Maintenance Highway Projects, Statewide.

  • $500,000 for Safety Oversight on the Rail Project.

University of Hawaii

  • $300,000 for the Student Success Initiative to help support the wide variety of students and their individual needs at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

  • $300,000 for Rat Lungworm Research at Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy.

  • $130,000 for 6.2 positions for the Health Sciences Academy at the University of Hawai‘i at West O‘ahu.

  • $260,000 to support the Apprentice Program at the University of Hawai‘i, Community Colleges. 

  • $750,000 and 8 positions for student success initiative at University of Hawai‘i, Community Colleges.

The Capital Improvement Project portion of the budget includes about $800 million for Department of Education projects and an additional $40 million to finish construction of the new women's prison which will free up space at the overcrowded Oʻahu Community Correctional Center.

Capital Improvement Project Totals:

  • FY2018: $1.027 Billion General Obligation Bond Funds

  • FY2019: $734.4 Million General Obligation Bond Funds

  • FY2018: $2.289 Billion All Means of Financing Funds

  • FY2019: $2.369 Billion All Means of Financing Funds

HB 1900, the budget bill, will be voted upon by the Legislature next week and if approved, sent to the governor for his signature.

Budget worksheets detailing the appropriations in the overall Executive, Judiciary and Office of Hawaiian Affairs budget bills are available on the Capitol website at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/budget/2018budget.aspx.

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HOUSE AND SENATE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE BEGINS NEGOTIATIONS ON STATE BUDGET

Early agreements include funds for foster children, kupuna services, libraries

News Release from Conference Committee, April 17, 2018

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – House and Senate conferees began negotiations today on a final version of HB1900 HD1 SD1, the state budget bill.

Early agreement on a number of budget items included $7.1 million to increase payments supporting foster children and resource caregivers; $1.7 million for services at Aging and Disability Resource Centers; $3.4 million for rescue and fire fighting staff and vehicles at Lihue Airport; and $500,000 for repair and maintenance projects and $500,000 for books and materials for public libraries statewide.

Lawmakers will continue to meet to iron out differences between the House and Senate versions through April 27, the deadline for all fiscal bills to pass out of conference committee. A final conference draft will then be voted upon by the Legislature and if approved, will be sent to the Governor for his signature.

Among the operating budget items agreed upon to date are:

Department of Accounting and General Services

  • $265,000 to Hawai‘i State Digital Archives for server infrastructure and network-attached storage to support archival processing and preservation.

Department of the Attorney General

  • $95,000 for the Hawai‘i Integrated Justice Information System.

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

  •  $142,400 to establish an in-house attorney to provide legal expertise for the Division of Financial Institutions.

Department of Defense

  • $146,200 for the Homeland Security Office.
  • $1,646,200 in general funds for renovation, repair, and maintenance projects at facilities statewide.
  • $150,000 for the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency.
  • $200,000 for repair and maintenance of building and structures at the Hawai‘i State Veterans Cemetery.

Department of Education

  • $20,000 for Professional Learning System
  • $65,016 for two positions for the Early Learning Board and the Executive Office on Early Learning.

Department of Human Services

  • $7,129,680 to increase payments supporting foster children and resource caregivers across the state.
  • $240,000 for programs to encourage rehabilitation of youths in the juvenile justice system.

Department of Health

  • $94,894 to fund a program for youth who are at risk of mainland placement.
  • $1,700,000 to fund continued services at Aging and Disability Resource Centers.
  • $27,546 to fund one Information Specialist to assist in providing support for online and web-based resources to Hawai‘i residents.

Department of Land and Natural Resources

  • $92,100 for two program managers to oversee the Division of Aquatic Resources.
  • $26,478 for one fire response coordinator for the Division of Forestry and Wildlife's ‘Oahu Branch.
  • $84,730 for one position to oversee the state's water audit program.
  • $53,010 to establish 24/7 dispatch communications for the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement.
  • $450,000 to establish a data management system for Historic Preservation.
  • $73,422 for three positions to monitor nearshore aquatic resources.
  • $188,820 for ten positions to improve visitor experience and preserve State Parks across the state.

Department of Public Safety

  • $142,144 for psychological screening of applicant Deputy Sheriffs and Adult Corrections Officers.
  • $93,101 for the Narcotics Enforcement Forensic Drug Laboratory.

Department of Taxation

  • $86,170 to establish one investigator position for the Special Enforcement Section.

Department of Transportation

  • $200,000 for automated passport control kiosk maintenance.
  • $3,414,352 for airport rescue and fire fighting staff and vehicles at Līhu‘e Airport.
  • $400,000 towards the Hawai‘i Statewide Transportation Master Plan update.

University of Hawaii

  • $79,000 for an Instruction and Student Support Coordinator at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

Hawaii State Public Libraries

  • $500,000 for repair and maintenance projects for public libraries statewide.
  • $500,000 for library books and materials.

Budget worksheets detailing agreements and disagreements in the state, judiciary, and Office of Hawaiian Affairs budget bills are available on the Capitol website at 2018budget.aspx.

The conference committee will reconvene on Friday, April 20, at 2 p.m. in room 309.

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