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Thursday, July 21, 2016
Maui Hospital Veto Override will jeopardize the Employee Retirement System
By Grassroot Institute @ 12:11 AM :: 6813 Views :: Maui County, Hawaii State Government, Health Care, Labor

Grassroot Institute Exposes Flaws in Veto Override Regarding Maui Hospitals

Think tank argues that this move will jeopardize the Employee Retirement System

News Release from Grassroot Institute

HONOLULU, HAWAII -- (July 20, 2016) -- Today, lawmakers voted to override Governor Ige's veto of SB 2077, ignoring legal advice that this would jeopardize the tax qualified status of the Employee Retirement System. If the ERS is no longer considered tax exempt, then this will add an enormous cost to the public pension system. [1]

The law will also add an estimated $60 million cost to the Maui hospital transition. [2]

According to Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., President/CEO of the Grassroot Institute, “The veto override is an irresponsible action by legislators that will hurt the Employee Retirement System at a vulnerable time and unfairly hurt taxpayers in the process. The high price tag will also have a detrimental effect on the future transition of labor in our failing state hospital system.

"Our legislators are potentially jeopardizing hospital services for those in need of care throughout the islands. This move is also an extravagant waste of taxpayer dollars at a time when the ERS faces rising financial burdens.”

  • Thom Williams, Director of the Employee Retirement System, believes this bill jeopardizes its tax-qualified status. [2]
  • If the ERS is no longer tax exempt, they will owe taxes on the pension fund, which will ultimately be paid by Hawaii’s citizens.
  • No HHSC employee would have suffered any loss of any previously earned rights, benefits or privileges, according to Act 103.




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 at

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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.  Dr. Akina was a candidate for Trustee at Large of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in the 2014 General Election run-off.


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