Final Reading Written Remarks for House Bill 2500, H.D.1, S.D.1, C.D.1 Relating to the State Budget


 

Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu

Final Reading Written Remarks

House Bill 2500, House Draft 1, Senate Draft 1, Conference Draft 1

Relating to the State Budget

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

 

            I rise in support.

 

            House Bill 2500 appropriates supplemental funds for the operating and capital costs of the Executive Branch for the fiscal year July 1, 2008, through June 20, 2009.  After strong economic growth in the mid-2000s, peaking with double-digit growth rates in fiscal year 2005 (16 percent) and 2006 (10.9 percent), Hawai’i’s economy slowed sharply in 2006 and 2007.

 

            With considerably lower than projected general fund revenues available, this bill preserves essential health and safety funding in this supplemental budget.  Unfortunately, reductions were made to the Governor’s supplemental budget through a combination of denying requests, making vacancy adjustments, and reducing the departments’ general fund non-fixed cost “discretionary” budget appropriations.

 

            I would like to highlight some of the appropriations and investments that were included.  Investing in the aging infrastructure of our public schools was the primary focus.  For fiscal year 2008-2009, $310,193,000 was provided by the legislature to the Department of Education in General Obligation and General Obligation Reimbursable bond funds, including: $100,000 for whole school classroom renovations statewide; and $66,461,000 for school building repair and maintenance statewide.  The following are some of the capital improvement projects I supported for schools in or near my state representative district and non-profit educational institutions in the State of Hawai’i:

 

1.         Honowai Elementary School: The legislature appropriated $2,000,000 for fiscal             year 2007-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 for design, construction, and equipment for electrical system improvements; ground and site improvements; and equipment and appurtenances.

 

2.         Kaleiopu’u Elementary School: The legislature appropriated $85,000 for fiscal   year 2007-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 for design and construction for a covered walkway to the cafeteria and office area; ground and site improvements; and equipment and appurtenances.  In addition, the legislature appropriated $550,000 for fiscal year 2007-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 for design, construction, and equipment for electrical upgrades; ground and site improvements; and equipment and appurtenances.

 

3.         Waikele Elementary School: The legislature appropriated $100,000 for fiscal year 2007-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 for design and construction to expand the faculty parking lot; ground and site improvements; and equipment and appurtenances.

 

4.         Waipahu High School: The legislature appropriated $75,000 for fiscal year 2007-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 for design and construction for fencing; ground and site improvements; equipment and appurtenances.

 

5.         Children’s Discovery Center: The legislature appropriated $125,000 for fiscal year 2007-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 and $300,000 for fiscal year 2008-2009 for construction for facility improvements at the Children’s Discovery Center.  This project qualified as a grant, pursuant to Chapter 42F of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.

 

6.         KCAA Preschools of Hawaii: The legislature appropriated $250,000 for fiscal year 2008-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 for plans, design, and construction for the development of a new training center.  This project qualified as a grant, pursuant to Chapter 42F of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.

 

            The legislature has taken note of the alarming state of some facilities within the University of Hawai’i system and provided $161,446,000 for fiscal year 2008-2009 by all means of financing for capital improvements in the university system.  The following are some of the capital improvement projects I supported for the University of Hawai’i system:

 

1.         University of Hawai’i system: The legislature appropriated $60,000,000 for fiscal year 2008-2009 for system wide capital renewal, deferred maintenance, and health and safety measures.

 

2.         University of Hawai’i at Manoa: The legislature appropriated $8,500,000 for fiscal year 2007-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 and $35,883,000 for fiscal year 2008-2009 for plans, design, construction, and equipment for renovation and addition to the campus center complex.

 

3.         University of Hawai’i – West Oahu: The legislature appropriated $135,000,000 in fiscal year 2007-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 for design, construction, and equipment for the development of the University of Hawai’i – West Oahu.  The project is to include ground and site improvements, construction of infrastructure and new facilities, and all project related costs.

 

            An efficient system of harbors and airports is vital to the flow of people and goods to, from, and within Hawaii.  The legislature provided an investment of $124,375,000 in revenue bond funds for harbor modernization projects and an additional $130,236,000 for airport modernization.  In order to maintain and improve our highway system, the legislature appropriated $183,066,000 by all means of financing for fiscal year 2008-2009.  The following are some of the transportation capital improvement projects I supported:

 

1.         Kamehameha Highway Improvements, Waipahu Street to Ka Uka Boulevard: The legislature appropriated $150,000 for fiscal year 2007-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 and $5,000,000 for fiscal year 2008-2009 for land acquisition and construction for traffic operational and other improvement, including sidewalk, bikeway, highway lighting, drainage, and other improvements.  This project is deemed necessary to qualify for federal aid financing and/or reimbursement.

 

2.         Interstate Route H-1, Westbound Afternoon (P.M.) Contraflow: The legislature appropriated $5,000,000 for fiscal year 2007-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 for design for a P.M. contraflow lane on interstate route H-1 from the vicinity of Radford Drive to the vicinity of Waikele.

 

3.         Ke’ehi Small Boat Harbor: The legislature appropriated $4,000,000 for fiscal year 2008-2009 for plans, design, and construction of a bulkhead, pier, pad, and storm water management system and utilities installation at Ke’ehi Small Boat Harbor to relocate Honolulu Marine, LLC from Hawai’i Community Development Authority property.

 

            The following are other capital improvement projects I supported that are located in or near my state representative district:

 

1.         Kunia Agricultural Park: The legislature appropriated $250,000 for fiscal year 2007-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 for plans to develop Kunia Agricultural Park.

 

2.         Waipahu United Church of Christ: The legislature appropriated $250,000 for fiscal year 2007-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 for design and construction for improvements for a community center.  This project qualified as a grant, pursuant to Chapter 42F of the Hawai’i Revised Statutes.

 

3.         American Box Car Racing International: The legislature appropriated $75,000 for fiscal year 2007-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 for plans, design, and construction for a youth facility.  This project qualified as a grant, pursuant to Chapter 42F of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.

 

4.         Friends of Waipahu Cultural Garden Park: The legislature appropriated $250,000 for fiscal year 2007-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 for construction for improvements at Hawai’i’s Plantation Village.  This project qualified as a grant, pursuant to Chapter 42F of the Hawai’i Revised Statutes.

 

            The following are other capital improvement projects I supported that are located in the State of Hawai’i:

 

1.         Iolani Palace State Monument: The legislature appropriated $4,500,000 for fiscal year 2007-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 for construction for air conditioning, climate control, and related improvements to preserve historic and cultural artifacts.

 

2.         Lanakila Rehabilitation Center: The legislature appropriated $300,000 for fiscal year 2007-2008 and reauthorized for fiscal year 2008-2009 for design and construction for renovation of the Lanakila Wahiawa center.  This project qualified as a grant, pursuant to Chapter 42F of the Hawai’i Revised Statutes.

 

3.         Bishop Museum: The legislature appropriated 1,000,000 for fiscal year 2008-2009 for plans, design, and construction for repairs and maintenance and other related improvements at the Bishop Museum.

 

4.         Hawai’i Theatre Center: The legislature appropriated $250,000 for fiscal year 2007-2008 and reauthorized it for fiscal year 2008-2009 for construction for improvements to facilities owned by the Hawai’i Theatre Center.  This project qualified as a grant, pursuant to Chapter 42F of the Hawai’i Revised Statutes.

 

5.         Japanese Cultural Center: The legislature appropriated $250,000 for construction for repairs and improvements to the Japanese Cultural Center.  This project qualified as a grant, pursuant to Chapter 42F of the Hawai’i Revised Statutes.

 

            For the 2008 Legislative Session, I introduced House Bill 2323, which would establish within the beach restoration special fund a sub-account to be known as the resort beach restoration fund to be administered by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, into which shall be deposited general funds appropriated by the legislature and revenues from the tourism special fund, which receives moneys from the transient accommodations tax.  No funds would be released for expenditure from the resort beach restoration fund unless matched by non-state funds on at least a one-to-one basis.  Moneys in the resort beach restoration fund would be used to provide for the development and restoration of visitor area resort beaches, including maintenance of any improvements placed on the visitor area resort beach or in the nearshore waters, as determined by the department, including debt service on any capital expenditures projects and the contracting for services for those purposes.  Fortunately, the legislative money committees created a proviso in this state budget bill, appropriating $1,000,000 from the special fund for tourism (BED 113) for fiscal year 2008-2009 for beach restoration, provided that restoration projects on resort beaches shall be matched dollar-for-dollar from private sources and shall be on beaches with public access.  This beach restoration fund for resort beaches is to be administered by the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

 

            The legislature recognized that energy efficiency is an investment that pays off for itself and, provided $17,460,000 for energy conservation and efficiency projects throughout the State for fiscal year 2008-2009.

 

            The lack of affordable housing is a major concern of the legislature.  Appropriations to address this issue include a total infusion of $25,000,000 in general obligation bond funds into the Rental Housing Trust Fund and the Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund in order to finance additional affordable housing.

 

            Given substantially lower than projected general fund growth for fiscal year 2007-2008, the legislature has crafted an honest, responsible, and sustainable supplemental budget.  In total, this supplemental budget appropriates $10,789,367,663 in fiscal year 2008-2009.  Specifically in regarding general fund appropriations, this budget appropriates $5,318,212,5547 in fiscal year 2008-2009.

 

            Thank you.

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