Saturday, November 28, 2015         

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State Legislature adjourns after passing $11.2B budget

By Derrick DePledge and B.J. Reyes


The state House and Senate today gave final approval to an $11.2 billion state budget and a $3.2 billion capital improvement project outlay, as lawmakers took measured steps to restore state programs cut during the recession while investing in state construction to prod economic recovery.

The supplemental budget came in slightly over what Gov. Neil Abercrombie requested in December and later than anyone at the state Capitol can remember. The budget contains more money next fiscal year for health care for the poor, welfare, and a student spending formula to reflect enrollment increases at public schools.

Lawmakers also made down payments on Gov. Neil Abercrombie's early childhood, watershed protection and justice reform initiatives, while giving the new chief information officer the resources to start an overhaul of the state's outdated technology footprint.

The compromise over state construction — the issue that delayed the budget — produced a $3.2 billion outlay, including $825 million in general-obligation bond financed construction, a $428 million increase. Abercrombie had asked for a $300 million increase in bond-financed construction.

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