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Monday, December 20, 2010
$772M short: Abercrombie submits two-year budget, blames Lingle, tells Legislature to fix it
By News Release @ 9:55 PM :: 5741 Views :: Energy, Environment

Governor Abercrombie Calls for Collaboration During Difficult Economic Times  

News release from www.hawaii.gov/gov

Governor Neil Abercrombie today submitted the initial version of the state’s budget with a call to legislators, businesses, nonprofits and all community members to work collaboratively throughout the legislative process to address fiscal challenges and accelerate the state’s economic recovery.

The budget for fiscal years 2012 to 2013 forwarded to the State Legislature today, as required by state law, is the version created by the Lingle Administration. The submitted budget serves as a starting point. Changes to balance the budget and reflect new priorities will be made following the start of the 2011 legislative session next month.

“The budget I am submitting today is not an indication of agreement with the policies of the previous administration,” Governor Abercrombie said. “To the contrary, there is a broad call from all people of Hawaii for a change in direction. However, such dramatic changes in these times of severe budgetary constraints require an open dialogue of information gathering and analysis, which cannot be completed in the two-week period between the inauguration of our new Administration and the submittal of the budget.”

Given current revenue projections by the Council on Revenues and updated budget requirements, these are the projected budget shortfalls:

 

July 2011 to June 2012

July 2012 to June 2013

Revenue

$5.4 billion

$5.7 billion

Expenditures

$5.8 billion

$6.1 billion

Shortfall

$410.1 million

$361.8 million

“Hawaii’s economy is slowly improving, but we must all take steps to accelerate our economic recovery,” Governor Abercrombie said. “Everyone will have to share in coming up with solutions. We must be practical, diligent and fully committed to working together as we address the challenging issues before us.”

Governor Abercrombie outlined four steps his Administration will be taking:

  1. Reconfigure, retool and strengthen our fractured governmental services to better serve the people of Hawaii and to become a better partner with the private sector.
  2. Create jobs with a significant capital improvement program that improves the infrastructure and economic landscape for sustained economic and social advancement.
  3. Pursue every available federal funding and private partnership opportunity.
  4. Invest in our long-term economic and social well-being, including clean energy, food security, technology, education and health.

In the remaining six months of the current fiscal year – January to June 2011 – the state is facing a $71.6 million shortfall because of rising costs that have not been addressed.
“We have hit a point where it’s almost impossible for government offices to perform its most basic functions and for people to receive government services,” Governor Abercrombie said.
To address immediate needs, Governor Abercrombie will be requesting emergency appropriations in January for:

  1. Medicaid. The Medicaid program has expanded over the years. The recent ruling to restore services for citizens from Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands contributes to that ongoing expansion. Additionally, the state will stop receiving federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for Medicaid next year.
  2. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, a time-limited welfare program for families with the goal of achieving financial self-sufficiency. Over the last several years, the program has expanded to help more Hawaii families and as a result, program costs have increased.
  3. Operating requirements of the Office of the Governor and Office of the Lieutenant Governor. The Executive offices have essentially no funds to operate for the next six months without an emergency appropriation.

“I am confident that we can and will do better, stimulating our economy and creating the breathing space we need to reinvest in our core priorities,” Governor Abercrombie said. “Our approach will be recognizing that as island people we work together and acknowledge the contribution each of us makes. We will not look to someone else to blame for the situation we confront. We are going to face the realities of our challenges.”

---30---

Auditing the DoE will NOT be part of the Abercrombie budget plan.  But even without an audit, we have discovered enough to solve a lot--maybe all--of the problems:  Hawaii DoE: Cost of waste, fraud, and corruption between $191M and $431M per year

PBN: Abercrombie files state budget for 2012-13

HNN: Abercrombie says state will 'retool' with new budget

REALITY: Gaming Industry Lobbyist screens Abercrombie cabinet picks

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