The Hawaii Senate Minority budget proposal, released Monday, calls for $1.59 billion in cuts to Gov. David Ige’s initial submittal.
Sen. Sam Slom, the chamber’s sole Republican, said the alternative budget brings relief to “beleaguered taxpayers and small businesses” while balancing the state’s finances over the long haul.
“These are two things the Senate Minority believes will stop the cyclical increasing of taxes and fees to sustain irresponsible spending, and will really help the working families in Hawaii who are struggling,” he said. “With this plan, the cost of living will be reduced by about $600 annually for the average family.”
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The bulk of the savings come from simply mirroring the $665 in spending cuts that House Democrats made last month before they sent their $25.7 billion two-year state budget proposal over to the Senate, which restored almost all of that funding. A joint conference committee will work out the final version later this month.
Senate Minority Budget Director Paul Harleman, who prepared the alternative budget, said the additional savings come from $556 million in cuts by refusing increases in collective bargaining contracts; $315 million by maintaining executive spending restrictions that Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s administration had put in place and imposing a hiring freeze on all vacant positions; $35.7 million from consolidating programs within the departments of Health and Human Services; and $8.2 million by cutting several low-priority government programs.
Read the Minority budget proposal in its entirety below.
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