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State senators debate governor's innovation plan

By Anita Hofschneider

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:54 a.m. HST, Mar 25, 2013

The state Senate Ways and Means Committee is mulling whether to fund Gov. Neil Abercrombie's proposed innovation initiative.

Abercrombie is asking for $20 million to fund a new program to help spur entrepreneurship in Hawaii.

But the House state budget proposal didn't include any money for the plan.

Senators in the Ways and Means Committee met today to vote on the initiative but chose to delay decision-making until Wednesday.

That's also when they plan to publish the Senate's state budget proposal.

Karl Fooks from the Hawaii Strategic Development Corp. says the money would provide investment funding for Hawaii businesses and resources to help new start-ups grow.

He says Hawaii's economy has grown just 0.8 percent over the past 20 years compared to the national average of 2.6 percent.

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AhiPoke wrote:
The reason for "Hawaii's economy has grown just 0.8 percent over the past 20 years compared to the national average of 2.6 percent", is that our legislature has no expertise in business development. Virtually all of them are oriented from the perspective of labor unions. Thus when they look at new business initiatives they wonder how can they tax these companies as oppose to how can we make them successful. It's no wonder why few successful companies relocate or stay here.
on March 25,2013 | 12:48PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
I've read the innovation initiative and must say that most of it is a waste. The only valuable component is the commercialization initiative. Everything else seems redundant to services already provided by other organizations. The $20mm would best be spent by providing direct loans to small businesses like DBEDT use to do many years ago. Now they just refer you to the bank which in turn requires collateral that most startups do not have...
on March 25,2013 | 01:21PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Take the $20 million and burn in the park at night. It will keep the homeless warm. That's more than this give away will do if given to Abercrombie. Stop wasting tax dollars, Guv.
on March 25,2013 | 04:44PM
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