HOUSE REPUBLICAN BUDGET FUNDS CLEAN ENERGY INITIATIVES WITHOUT INCREASING FUEL TAXES
News Release from Rep Gene Ward (R Hawaii Kai-Kalama Valley) April 22, 2010
Honolulu – In honor of Earth Day, the House Republican Caucus today added $8.8 million for food and energy security initiatives to their budget proposal, which balances the state budget without raising taxes.
"With our natural resources, there is no excuse for Hawaii to be exporting over $8 billion a year for food and oil," said Minority Leader Lynn Finnegan, "We must invest in food and energy security now."
House Bill 2421, which was recently transmitted to the Governor, creates special funds for food and energy security initiatives with monies generated by increasing the tax on imported oil from $.05 per barrel to $1.05 per barrel. The drastic tax increase will cause the price of almost everything in Hawaii to rise, and only 25% of the profits will actually be designated for energy security. All members of the House Republican Caucus voted no.
"Real leadership requires us to adequately fund Hawaii's renewable energy future and actually provide the financial means to implement the goals of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative," said Rep. Cynthia Thielen.
As it is drafted, the House Republican Caucus believes House bill 2421 is just another mechanism to boost the general fund with a tax increase that will hurt Hawaii's already struggling families unnecessarily. However, if the Governor vetoes the bill, lawmakers will have a chance to reconsider the increase.
"What our budget proposal does is show that we can fund food and energy security without raising taxes," said Rep. Gene Ward. "In fact, we can balance the whole budget without raising taxes."
To view the House Republicans' balanced budget proposal, go to www.gene-ward.com/budget.
RELATED: Can YOU make it balance? Introducing interactive online State budget planning