Grassroot Institute Praises Governor for Proposed Pension Reforms
Watchdog group says fiscal responsibility is key to improving state's economy
News Release from Grassroot Institute
HONOLULU, HAWAII -- (Oct. 11, 2016) -- Following Governor Ige's announcement that his administration is proposing changes to the public pension system, the Grassroot Institute praised the Governor for pursuing much-needed reforms.
The free-market think tank and watchdog group is a long-time advocate of reforming Hawaii's pension system, and has warned that the state's unfunded liabilities are a drag on the economy. Earlier this year, Grassroot cited a Truth in Accounting report that revealed the state continues to hide more than a billion dollars in pension debt and reiterated that Hawaii has one of the highest taxpayer burdens for state debt in the nation.
In light of this history, Grassroot welcomed Governor Ige's announcement that his administration will seek to both accelerate state payments into the Employee Retirement System pension fund and establish new rules for dealing with the privatization of government operations.
"This is an important day for Hawaii's taxpayers," stated Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., President of the Grassroot Institute. "For years, we have seen the looming presence of the state's unfunded liabilities as a threat to our state's future solvency and economic well-being. With these proposed reforms, the Governor has demonstrated that he understands the seriousness of the problem and is prepared to act."
Dr. Akina continued: "While we have a long way to go before Hawaii is no longer a 'sinkhole state,' today's announcement is a step in the right direction. We hope that all of Hawaii's policymakers understand that addressing the broken pension system will help ensure a brighter economic future for our state."
About the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii:
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, the free market, and limited, accountable government throughout Hawai`i and the Asia-Pacific region. Read more about us athttp://www.grassrootinstitute.org/
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About Grassroot President:
Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., is a recognized scholar, educator, public policy spokesperson, and community leader in Hawaii. Currently, he is President/CEO of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a public policy think tank dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, free markets and limited, accountable government. An expert in East-West Philosophy and ethics, Dr. Akina has taught at universities in China and the United States and continues as an adjunct instructor at Hawaii Pacific University.