So, we’ve got a deficit.

But as important as the topic is, it can get dense pretty quickly. General Funds, Special Funds, Component Units. Capital Improvement Liabilities over the biennium. Adjusted economic projections of negative 2.5 percent.

Even for the learned, the verbiage can sometimes obscure the issues. How did we get here? Could we have done anything differently? What should we do about it? And, most important, how will those decisions affect me?

For crucial issues, such as the deficit, we’ve cooked up something we call topic pages – a way for you to get up to speed on important issues, so that you can drop right in on the conversation.

I’m happy to introduce you to three of these topic pages: one on – surprise! – the deficit, one on Hawaii’s economy and a third on the GET.

Our topic pages will be regularly updated to bring you the latest, so please check out how our work has progressed so far and share your thoughts. I hope you’ll join the conversation.

I’ll be your reporter-host for all things related to state finances. My goal is to make sense of the mumbo jumbo, to distill the significance from the noise, to satisfy your curiosity and explain in everyday language how state finances affect our lives.

If there are any stories you’d like to see me cover, please let me know. Together, we can make our island home a better place.