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Lawmakers approve money for state worker pay raises

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:06 p.m. HST, Apr 25, 2013

Hawaii lawmakers are moving forward bills to provide funding for collective bargaining agreements with nurses, teachers and correctional workers.

Committees of legislators approved the bills today. The full House and Senate still have to vote on the measures.

Sen. David Ige, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said higher-than-expected settlements in the state’s negotiations with unions have delayed funding decisions for other proposed programs, including Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s preschool initiative.

A budget committee approved a draft of the state budget Tuesday that left just $30 million to divide among collective bargaining agreements and other measures still being debated in the Legislature.

Funding for proposals still in limbo should be clear by the end of the day Friday, the last day for lawmakers to approve the final versions of bills.

Abercrombie originally asked for about $32 million to fund a new preschool program, but lawmakers have been reluctant to give it to him. Sen. Jill Tokuda said advocates for the bill are now focusing on getting funding for the 2014-15 school year and could revisit the issue next session.

In addition to his early childhood education proposal, Abercrombie’s plan to encourage innovation also is in limbo. He originally asked for $20 million, and the Senate gave initial approval for $8 million.

Lawmakers also are weighing the potential financial impact of proposals for more generous tax credits for the film industry and other industries.

The last day of the legislative session is May 2.

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Maneki_Neko wrote:
What a surprise.
on April 25,2013 | 06:59PM
asmkristy wrote:
"what a surprise" What is that supposed to mean?
on April 25,2013 | 07:40PM
AmbienDaze wrote:
surprise, sur·prise, sə(r)ˈprīz

Noun. an unexpected or astonishing event, fact, or thing.

Verb. (of something unexpected) Cause (someone) to feel mild astonishment or shock.

Synonyms, noun, astonishment - amazement - wonder - wonderment

verb, astonish - amaze - astound - startle

how's that?
on April 25,2013 | 08:35PM
HD36 wrote:
True, but in this case, I think he meant S.O.S.
on April 25,2013 | 09:56PM
AmbienDaze wrote:
on April 25,2013 | 10:48PM
localguy wrote:
Former Governor Ben had it soooo right when he said anytime there were funds in the budget, bureaucrats would kowtow to their union bosses and give them pay raises. Next they realize the budget is gone, now they have to raid funds or raise taxes, starting the spiral all over again. 4% pay raise per year? Really? How do they deserve this? Now the $25 billion union related shortfall just got bigger as retirement bennies just increased. Does anyone not see the financial house of cards are bureaucrats are sticking taxpayers with? Bureaucrat / Union Bosses = an official who works by fixed routine without exercising intelligent judgment.
on April 25,2013 | 10:08PM
BRock wrote:
Local guy: you're too ignorant even to ask the questions. Come back when you gain so e u deratandig.
on April 25,2013 | 10:51PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Their Union Masters have spoken, they have no choice but to fund pay increases for all.
on April 25,2013 | 11:33PM
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