FAKE FLOOR SPEECHES MISLEAD GUTTING OF HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS BUDGET
News Release from Rep Gene Ward, March 7, 2019
HONOLULU, HI – After a heated exchange over the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands budget and confusion over its numbers on Tuesday, Representative Gene Ward (R-17 Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley) wrote a letter to Finance Chair Sylvia Luke show that the House, in fact, is gutting state money to DHHL by over $23 million.
House Bill 893, DHHL's operating budget, currently allocates $1.75 million in general ("A") funds for its everyday operations—a far cry from their minimum request of $25.5 million.
In an effort to fulfill Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana'ole's 1921 mandate, Representative Ward introduced an amendment to bring DHHL's operational funding to $28 million—$2.5 million more than the Governor's request and the amount originally ruled by Hawaii's First Circuit Court as the minimum for DHHL to fulfill its mission.
"It's incredibly frustrating that the Finance Chair stated the base amount for Hawaiian Homes to keep the lights on is $9 million. It's even more frustrating to hear the Water, Land, & Hawaiian Affairs Chair state that the current amounts of funding are what DHHL is asking for," said Representative Ward.
"We can, and should, be doing better for native Hawaiians and DHHL. Cutting DHHL almost $24 million short of what it needs sends a bad message from the Legislature to the Hawaiian community."
Attached is the letter Representative Ward wrote to Chair Luke, where he shows that the DHHL's minimum request to keep its lights on is $25.5 million.
PDF: Ward Letter