Quantcast
  

Saturday, April 19, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 25 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Abercrombie's budget aims to build fiscal reserves

By Audrey McAvoy

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 04:42 p.m. HST, Dec 16, 2013


Gov. Neil Abercrombie proposed setting aside money for less prosperous times while Hawaii enjoys a record budget surplus.

The state had an $844 million surplus at the end of June, which is a record. Instead of starting new programs, however, the governor wants to focus on putting money toward financial reserves and filling shortfalls in state employee pension and retiree health care funding.

Abercrombie said at a news conference today he wants to build state reserves so they reach the equivalent of 10 percent of general fund revenue.

He's proposing that the Legislature transfer $50 million to a budget reserve fund and $50 million to a hurricane relief fund during the fiscal year beginning next July.

This would raise Hawaii's total reserves to more than $370 million. That's more than 5 percent of the state's general fund revenue next fiscal year.

Doing this will build Hawaii's financial strength, the administration said. Abercrombie noted credit ratings judge states on their ability to sustain reserves.

"The philosophy of this budget and the budgets to come reflects my desire to see that our fiscal turnaround is sustained," Abercrombie said.

The governor said he doesn't want to fund programs only to have to cut them in the future because of fiscal problems.

Abercrombie's proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning in July also includes $117.4 million for state employee pension and retiree health care funds.

A change to accounting rules in 2008 exposed an enormous shortfall in state payments to these funds.

Abercrombie's budget also include $4.5 million to support the establishment of preschool education and $4.2 million to help pay for home and community-based services for seniors.

The University of Hawaii would receive $14 million to restore faculty salaries and $19.5 million for faculty salary increases.

In all, the governor is proposing $6.12 billion in general fund spending. That is $183 million, or 3 percent, more than what the Legislature has already allocated as part of the state's two-year budgetary process.

State Sen. David Ige, the chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said the governor's proposed budget increases general fund expenditures but stressed it's important to be aware of and monitor tax revenue.

"We look forward to reviewing the governor's supplemental budget request," said Ige, who is challenging the governor in the upcoming Democratic primary election.

Ige said his first priority is to maintain the state's fiscal health and budget reserves.

State Rep. Sylvia Luke, chairwoman of the House Finance Committee, said she agreed with the administration's goal of building reserves.

"I think that's a huge step forward," she said. "It will continue our investment in the future, in lowering the debt, and making sure we have money in the future just in case we go into a deficit."

People need to remember the state had a $700 million surplus in 2007, but that turned into a $2 billion deficit in 2009 when the economy soured, she said. This forced the state to furlough workers and raise fees and taxes, she recalled.

"What we need to do is learn from that," she said.







 Print   Email   Comment | View 25 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(25)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
allie wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 16,2013 | 02:32PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Allie, you know not what you speak. As expected, the following comment was sent for approval: “When will the lies stop? The only reason the state had an alleged $644 million surplus was because Abercrombie borrowed $680 million to fund maintenance, repair and construction projects. That is $680 in expenses that did not show up in the budget and which added $680 million to the state’s ballooning debt. To say the state had a surplus is nonsense, BS piled sky high, and completely false if you do not care to use the word “lie.” Unfortunately, most Hawaii voters don’t have the brains to understand it and will vote for Abercrombie in the mistaken believe he has saved the state from financial ruin when he has done the exact opposite.”
on December 16,2013 | 06:11PM
aomohoa wrote:
I thought you left the state already. Why aren't you back in ND yet?
on December 16,2013 | 07:40PM
false wrote:
She iss back in ND, except her subscription continues. I would ignore ALL requests from HSA's marketing department to continue with your subscription. Any company that supports a continuation versus stoppage, does not deserve support.s
on December 16,2013 | 08:46PM
localguy wrote:
Minnie me is trying to take credit for what has already been done before, the Rainy Day and Hurricane funds. Always a good idea to put money aside before greedy unions and bureaucrats get their sticky fingers on it. Ensure the funds are free from bureaucratic "Raiding." Raiding in the Nei is defined as when elected bureaucrats fail to do the job they were elected for, as in balance the budget, make the tough decisions to not waste tax payer's money. They see all those millions sitting there and they just can't quit thinking they should be spent.
on December 16,2013 | 02:44PM
Kuokoa wrote:
Hey Mr Troll, how about repaving most of the highways out there? They look no feel like s..t!
on December 16,2013 | 02:55PM
Jmhata wrote:
Because he has No Idea! how Bad the roads are Not to far to travel from Capitol to Gov's Mansion Plus wen U Da Gov. U don't drive anyway!-0
on December 16,2013 | 04:54PM
niimi wrote:
This is just like what Govs. Burns and Ariyoshi did. I would take a different approach, choosing to ensure the state ERS (pension fund) is fully funded sooner, and also focus on paying down the state's long term debt to improve the state's bond ratings.
on December 16,2013 | 03:49PM
iwanaknow wrote:
Like
on December 16,2013 | 03:51PM
eoe wrote:
Like like. I'm not a state worker but we need to deal with the unfunded pension problem.
on December 16,2013 | 03:52PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Wake up. When will the lies stop? The only reason the state had an alleged $644 million surplus was because Abercrombie borrowed $680 million to fund maintenance, repair and construction projects. That is $680 in expenses that did not show up in the budget and which added $680 million to the state’s ballooning debt. To say the state had a surplus is nonsense, BS piled sky high, and completely false if you do not care to use the word “lie.” Unfortunately, most Hawaii voters don’t have the brains to understand it and will vote for Abercrombie in the mistaken believe he has saved the state from financial ruin when he has done the exact opposite.
on December 16,2013 | 06:12PM
Oahuan wrote:
So can we throw some of the surplus over to UH so they can buyout Chow's contract?
on December 16,2013 | 04:08PM
Ronin006 wrote:
There is no surplus. The only reason the state had an alleged $644 million surplus was because Abercrombie borrowed $680 million to fund maintenance, repair and construction projects. That is $680 in expenses that did not show up in the budget and which added $680 million to the state’s ballooning debt. To say the state had a surplus is nonsense, BS piled sky high, and completely false if you do not care to use the word “lie.” Unfortunately, most Hawaii voters don’t have the brains to understand it and will vote for Abercrombie in the mistaken believe he has saved the state from financial ruin when he has done the exact opposite.
on December 16,2013 | 06:13PM
false wrote:
Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like.
on December 16,2013 | 09:12PM
false wrote:
Interesting that u use my favorite word: false.
on December 16,2013 | 09:13PM
false wrote:
I am looking for the very first comment from true and neutral.
on December 16,2013 | 09:14PM
Jmhata wrote:
Maybe with the surplus we can Fix up all the road too? Instead of sinking all the Money to rail!-(
on December 16,2013 | 04:51PM
false wrote:
This is a City Jurisdiction issue, although it would seem that Honolulu and Hawaii could work together.
on December 16,2013 | 09:20PM
Ronin006 wrote:
When will the lies stop? The only reason the state had an alleged $644 million surplus was because Abercrombie borrowed $680 million to fund maintenance, repair and construction projects. That is $680 in expenses that did not show up in the budget and which added $680 million to the state’s ballooning debt. To say the state had a surplus is nonsense, BS piled sky high, and completely false if you do not care to use the word “lie.” Unfortunately, most Hawaii voters don’t have the brains to understand it and will vote for Abercrombie in the mistaken believe he has saved the state from financial ruin when he has done the exact opposite.
on December 16,2013 | 06:09PM
Skyler wrote:
Somebody wants to get re-elected...
on December 16,2013 | 06:51PM
false wrote:
Neilbody?
on December 17,2013 | 01:39AM
false wrote:
Like.
on December 16,2013 | 08:49PM
false wrote:
Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like.
on December 16,2013 | 09:09PM
false wrote:
Talk about population control. Homeless people at least do their part. They do not give gifts that continue to give.
on December 16,2013 | 09:11PM
keys4me wrote:
how about paying off our debt. http://www.usdebtclock.org/state-debt-clocks/state-of-hawaii-debt-clock.html
on December 16,2013 | 09:19PM
false wrote:
Interesting that private citizenry are saddled with bad credit, yet governments can sugar-coat their financial picture, such that rising debt is not paid off.
on December 17,2013 | 01:42AM
IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News