GOVERNOR IGE ANNOUNCES LINE-ITEM VETOES, WILL SIGN BUDGET BILL TOMORROW
Office of the Governor Press Releases, July 6, 2022
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HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige today outlined line-item vetoes for House Bill 1600, the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2022. As required by law, the governor submitted his line-item vetoes to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature and intends to sign HB1600 tomorrow.
The measure appropriates funds for Fiscal Biennium 2021-2023, to fund operations and capital improvement projects of Executive Branch agencies and programs.
Federal American Rescue Plan Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds:
As previously announced, Gov. Ige has line-item vetoed all appropriations for the Federal American Rescue Plan Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds for three reasons:
First, the Legislature over-appropriated the funds by more than $104M.
Second, the Legislature did not comply with the federally mandated Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds Maintenance of Effort (MOE) proportional funding requirement in appropriating funds to the Department of Education and the University of Hawaiʻi. To meet the MOE requirement, American Rescue Plan funds must be allocated to the DOE and UH to increase their proportional levels of funding.
And finally, the American Rescue Plan Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery funds are being line-item vetoed so the governor can reallocate funds to the essential work of the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority.
“This is necessary, because the “gut and replace” procedure used to pass HB1147 was unconstitutional,” said Gov. Ige.
The governor is also line-item vetoing several appropriations because the appropriate due diligence, planning and permitting were not conducted prior to the appropriation of funds.
Gov. Ige is reducing the general fund appropriation for the spillway and Lake Wilson Reservoir. Neither the Department of Agriculture nor the Department of Land and Natural Resources has done due diligence work that would be a prerequisite for undertaking a project of this size. Consequently, it is unclear if sufficient funding is provided to acquire the designated parcels; repair and expand the spillway to bring it into compliance with dam safety requirements; operate the dam and irrigation system; and operate and maintain the Lake Wilson reservoir area. In addition, there is no clear framework as to the responsibilities of the Department of Agriculture, the Agribusiness Development Corporation, and the DLNR regarding the operation and maintenance of the irrigation system and reservoir.
For these reasons, Gov. Ige is reducing appropriations to provide funding only for due diligence work such as a feasibility assessment study/preliminary design report, survey and planning, environmental impact statement preparation, and other due diligence costs.
The governor is reducing the $29.6M appropriation for Agricultural Resource Management to $6.6M. He also reducing the $3.8M appropriation in FY23 for the Agribusiness Development and Research irrigation management to $3M. These reductions will leave $3.5M for due diligence for the projects.
First Responder Tech Campus:
Gov. Ige also reduced the amount appropriated to the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency for the First Responder Technology Campus from $51.6M to $16.6M.
“Planning and permitting for the campus is still in its initial stages. A masterplan must be prepared to subdivide the campus to make possible the participation and development of the facilities by non-state agencies. It is highly unlikely these steps can be completed before funding for the project lapses in June 2024,” said Gov. Ige.
It is also unclear why development funding for the campus is being provided to HIEMA since the agency is a potential occupant of the campus, instead of the agency responsible for developing the campus.
Gov. Ige is also line-item vetoing the $17.8M in general obligation bonds appropriated to the Hawaiʻi Technology Development Corporation for the plans, design, and land acquisition for the campus and Cybersecurity Data Center.
“The additional land acquisition for the campus is premature,” Gov. Ige said. “According to the draft environmental impact statement prepared for the campus, development is planned to take place in six phases over the next 15 years.
The initial phase, programed for FY23-25, is estimated to cost $100M to $150M, covering construction of a roadway into the existing campus, drainage, and utilities, in preparation for the full campus buildout in subsequent phases. The total estimated cost of all six phases is $315M to $470M. The estimate only includes costs for roadway development, infrastructure, and common area facilities. It does not include costs to construct facilities for specific agency occupants. It is also unclear why the HTDC is acquiring a parcel of land classified as preservation lands.
SA: Gov. David Ige vetoes $244 million in state budget spending
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