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Governor seeks $50 million in program cuts

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 12:39 p.m. HST, Jun 23, 2011

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie is looking to eliminate $50 million worth of government programs and services instead of making across-the-board cuts.

Abercrombie sent a letter to all department heads last week targeting programs that are marginal, underperforming or low-priority.

He said in the letter that difficult and painful decisions are needed to avoid further reductions in resources to programs that are already hurting.


Today, Abercrombie signed a state budget into law. The budget calls for about $11 billion in total annual state government spending, with about half of that amount in general fund expenditures over which state leaders have the most control.

Abercrombie says government functions will have to be significantly reduced along with tax increases approved by the Legislature to balance the state’s budget.

The Democratic governor wrote in a letter to all department heads last week they need to target programs that are marginal, underperforming or low-priority.


He asked each department to find cuts worth 5 percent of its general fund budget by July 8.

The state Legislature allowed the Democratic governor to decide how to make $50 million in savings when it passed the state budget last month.

Abercrombie's approach is different from former Republican Gov. Linda Lingle’s, who in 2009 sought furloughs and departmental cuts worth 14 percent of their budgets.


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