These are challenging times for the people of Hawaii. Families and businesses across the state have been making difficult decisions in tough economic conditions. And while our economy appears to be slowly recovering, we cannot be spectators as it occurs. We will act and act swiftly.
I am confident that we can and will do better, stimulating our economy and reinvesting in our core priorities. Our approach will be recognizing that as island people we work together and acknowledge the contribution each of us makes. We are going to face the realities of our challenges. We will not look to someone else to blame for the situation we confront. We will not just look out for our own interests but address the needs of our neighbors and friends across the islands as well.
On Monday, I forwarded the initial version of the budget to the state Legislature. Now we begin our conversation with all the people of Hawaii—legislators, businesses, nonprofits, labor and community groups—to address the fiscal demands facing our state. My administration will take the budget as it is—drafted by the previous administration—as a starting point from which we will move forward with resolve and purpose.
My submittal of this budget is not an indication of agreement with the policies of the previous administration. To the contrary, there is a broad call from all segments of the population for a change in direction. However, dramatic change in these times of severe budgetary constraints requires information-gathering, analysis, dialogue and communications among all affected parties, which cannot be completed in the two-week period between the inauguration of our new administration and the budget submittal. Over the next few months, we will put forward adjustments and amendments to the budget to make sure it best advances our state’s economic strategy with the resources we have.
Our first step toward a prosperous future is to focus all our energies and ideas on accelerating our economic recovery. State government has four key opportunities to make strides right now.
» First, we will reconfigure, retool and strengthen our fractured government services to become a better partner with the private economy and to better serve our people.
» Second, we will create jobs with a significant capital improvement program that simultaneously improves the infrastructure and economic landscape for sustained economic and social advancement.
» Third, we will pursue every federal funding and private partnership opportunity to supplement state efforts in all sectors.
» Fourth, we will consistently invest whatever means we have into factors that will sustain our long-term economic and social well-being—clean energy, food security, technology, education, good health and other aspects of our human capital.
With our four-part economic plan, we will support families and communities across Hawaii and secure a high quality of life for generations to come.
In the weeks and months ahead, we must be practical, diligent and fully committed to working together as we address the issues before us. We will forge understandings, develop creative solutions and make changes to the budget in ways that reflect our common values and best serve the people of Hawaii. It won’t be easy. There will be necessary sacrifices that all of us must share to move us all forward. The people of Hawaii are resourceful, talented and resilient. By working together and trusting each other we will overcome these challenges. Imua Hawaii.