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No tuition increase: Yay! Tap general fund: Boo!

It’s a good news/bad news situation: University of Hawaii President David Lassner probably made many students and parents happy on Thursday when he told regents he had come up with a draft operating budget that assumes zero tuition increases over the next two years.

For Hawaii taxpayers, however, the proposal was more problematic, since deferring the tuition increases means the UH would have to hit up the state Legislature for $24 million to help cover its energy costs.

Storms and lava aside, Hawaii island doing well

And here’s welcome good news after some bad news: Despite much damage in August due to Tropical Storm Iselle, and the current drama of lava approaching Pahoa, Hawaii island’s economy continues to be positive and healthy overall. Both Kona and Hilo sides are experiencing economic expansion, a new analysis shows — and while Iselle did cause serious damage to Puna residents, businesses and papaya farms, rebuilding is expected to add to construction activity.

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