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Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Ige Vetoes $432M CARES Rainy Day Deposit
By Andrew Walden @ 5:45 PM :: 3288 Views :: Hawaii State Government, COVID-19

Dear President Kouchi, Speaker Saiki, and Members of the Legislature:

Governor’s Message #1105, July 6, 2020

This is to inform you that on July 6, 2020, the following bill was signed into law: SB3139 SD1 HD1 RELATING TO THE STATE BUDGET. ACT 004 (20)

Please note the line item veto on page 5 line 6, reducing the $432,000,605 appropriation to $0.


David Ige,

Governor, State of Hawaii

PDF: Full Text

SB3139: Text, Status

  *   *   *   *   *

The Governor, The Legislature, and The Billion Dollar Mess

by Tom Yamachika, Tax Foundation Hawaii, May 31, 2020

…Why was it put there? According to Senator Thielen’s article in Civil Beat, (CARES money) was put (in the Rainy Day fund) so the governor couldn’t touch it. Apparently, the plan is for the Legislature to recess until mid-June, come back into session, and then appropriate the balance of the money so it can be spent by the end of the year. Senate Bill 75 requires that the money to go a new, separate account within the rainy-day fund, which perhaps would make it easier to say that expenditures out of this account came from the COVID-19 money rather than the $395 million that is already in the fund.

Some have pointed out that the rainy-day fund statute, HRS section 328L-3, not only prevents the money from being spent by the Executive Branch without a legislative appropriation, but also prevents the Legislature from appropriating more than 50% of the total balance of the fund in a fiscal year. True; if that statute is left alone, it would prevent the Legislature from using all the federal money, which would result in forfeiture of some of the federal funds that have been set aside for Hawaii. Thus, the Legislature’s plan must be to also amend the rainy-day fund statute in some way to allow the appropriation….

read … The Governor, The Legislature, and The Billion Dollar Mess

  *   *   *   *   *

Flashback: Hawaii lawmakers try to move COVID-19 relief money out of Ige’s reach

SA May 22, 2020: … Simmering frustration between Gov. David Ige and the state Legislature approached the boiling point Thursday as lawmakers voted to move more than $1.3 billion into the state’s “rainy day” budget reserve fund — where lawmakers would control it — and the Senate authorized a committee to issue subpoenas to pry information loose from the administration.

Senate Bill 75 would deposit nearly $636 million in federal CARES Act money into the rainy day budget reserve fund, while Senate Bill 3139 would transfer $452 million in other state funds into the rainy day reserves. SB 3139 also would authorize the Ige administration to transfer another $258 million to the budget reserve fund.

Both bills won final approval Thursday from the Legislature in an abbreviated session called to address issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and the measures now go to Ige for his consideration….

read … Hawaii lawmakers try to move COVID-19 relief money out of Ige’s reach

  *   *   *   *   *

May 19, 2020: House Passes Bills to Allocate CARES Funds--Keeps $635M for a 'Rainy Day'

Ige earlier vetoed HB1631 SD1 State Bonds  see “Statement of Objections

Ige has signed only one bill, Act 1, HB2661 HD1, 5/15/2020  -- Making appropriations to provide for the expenses of the legislature, the auditor, the legislative reference bureau, the ombudsman, and the ethics commission….


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