Hawaii Votes’ Bill of Interest 4-22-2011: House Bill 200 (Relating to the state budget)
News Release from Grassroot Institute
With less than 2 weeks left in the 2011 session, the Legislature has, as of today, scheduled 232 bills to be heard in conference committees next week. See the list of hearing notices here: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/hearing2.asp?button1=current
The bill with the most negative impact for taxpayers is House Bill 200, the state budget bill.
Fraught with mythical numbers and needs, the budget does not tell citizens the reality of what the state currently has in its coffers nor what it really needs to operate. How can the people, or even legislators really know what is currently going on financially with the state when the Department of Accounting and General Services takes nearly 2 years to release its comprehensive annual fiscal reports? It just released the report for fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. See it at:
Statements by the governor throughout the session have stressed that government and taxpayers are equally responsible to attain a balanced budget. It’s evident that taxpayers are paying more and more in increased fees and taxes, which includes more taxes through the loss of tax exemptions and credits. But where exactly are the cuts for all the state departments and government workers that support the notion that everyone is sharing the burden of paying for an ever-growing government?
Comparing last year’s budget bill (2010 HB2200) with this year’s, no cuts are evident throughout the departments. Perhaps once all the other bills are finalized next week, lawmakers will get around to doing some actual cuts to government expenditures.
Why aren’t lawmakers held accountable for what happens with the taxpayers’ money that is entrusted to them? If the private sector is required to be transparent and open in its accounting practices, why settle for anything less from the public sector?
It is up to citizens to keep an eye on the way the state creates its budget. One way is to attend the conference committee on Monday, April 25 at 7 p.m. in room 309 at the state Capitol in which HB200 will be discussed as it is being finalized.
To see the status of HB200, go to: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/lists/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=200
Public testimony is not permitted in the conference committee meeting, but the public can still send comments to the co-chairs, Rep. Marcus Oshiro at repmoshiro@Capitol.hawaiigov and Sen. David Ige at sendige@Capitol.hawaii.gov
To see this post at Rooted In Reason, go to: http://bit.ly/gI9a90 or to see other posts there, go to: http://rootedinreason.com/
Here is a list of all bills that made it through the second crossover and headed to conference committees: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/lists/RptPassedSecondX.aspx?timeframe=all
To send an email to all legislators on the budget bill (HB200) or any other bill, go to:
Or find your individual Senator or Representative at:
To contact the governor, go to: http://hawaii.gov/gov/contact/
Start a discussion at http://www.HawaiiVotes.org or on HawaiiVotes Facebook.
Hawaii Votes is a free public service of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Its purpose is to inform citizens, community leaders, business people, media, and public officials about legislation that affects their families, schools, jobs and communities. The site empowers citizens to take a more active part in the democratic process, and hold their elected representatives accountable. Hawaii Votes gives users instant access to concise, plain language and objective descriptions of bills, substantive amendments, and votes that take place in the Hawaii Legislature. Unlike any other bill tracking utility, Hawaii Votes is unique because all legislative actions are described - not just those selected by a particular interest group. It is searchable by legislator, keyword, and 50 subject categories, so users can create their own custom "voting record guide." See the Web site at http://www.hawaiivotes.org