HONOLULU (KHON2) — Gov. David Ige detailed his Executive Supplemental Budget for 2021-23 on Monday, calling for increased funding for critical services in response to the ongoing pandemic.
“This budget request is very different from budget requests of the previous two years, when we had to cut more than $1 billion, and all state agencies were forced to slash spending,” Ige said in a statement. “This year, the economy has improved more quickly than anticipated.”
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Ige says the state has seen an increase in consumer spending, visitor arrivals and income tax collections, which have allowed initiatives to be launched in response to restore services that were previously limited. However, he says the pandemic still brings uncertainty and need to prepare for unforeseen events.
Below is a list of budget highlights provided by Ige’s office:
Both the Dept. of Education and the University of Hawaii (UH) were dealt with significant budget reductions at the beginning of the pandemic. The state had planned for furloughs last year but is now investing more than $689 million for public education, due to reductions that were made before.
- This budget adds $100.2 million for various DOE programs to restore funding.
- Adds $32.5 million for extra compensation for classroom teacher differentials.
- The administration is requesting $240 million additional funds in FY23 for public school facilities – everything from deferred maintenance to health and safety projects and compliance. This will give a much-needed boost to the current appropriation, which is $26 million in FY23.
- At the University level, the administration is requesting $86.5 million for modernization, maintenance, capital renewal/deferred maintenance, and technology renovations across the state. This will increase UH’s FY 23 appropriation to $189.1 million in FY23.
- In response to the state’s doctor shortage, Ige is requesting 20 permanent positions and $2.04 million to expand the John A. Burns School of Medicine’s residency program on the neighbor islands.
- To address the nursing shortage, Ige is requesting $1.75 million to support UH’s nursing programs.
- This budget increases Medicaid health care payments by $15.9 million in general funds and $10.2 million in federal funds to provide additional home- and community-based services, extended post-partum benefits and expanded adult dental benefits.
The pandemic has put technology at the forefront when it comes to developing a digital economy in the islands. The administration is putting out a broadband initiative to serve as the foundation.
- Ige is requesting $33.3 million in ARP funds for Hawaii’s state’s match, so the state can receive additional federal funds through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment federal grant. Ige says this would be the largest investment in Broadband in state history.
- In addition, his administration is lapsing ARP-funded CIP projects that were appropriated last year but do not meet federal guidance that was issued after the appropriations were made. The governor is re-appropriating $115.3 million in ARP CIP funding for statewide broadband projects pending approval from the U.S. Department of Treasury.
- Ige is requesting a $40 million cash infusion to the School Facility Agency for much-needed teacher housing in West Oahu and requesting a $40 million special funds authorization for the project.
- He is also requesting $5 million for statewide loan capitalization for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and asking for $10 million for DHHL lot development projects.
Click here to see his budget requests for public safety, transportation and his priorities for making Hawaii cleaner, safer and healthier.
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“Over the past seven years, we’ve worked to put the state on solid financial footing and set Hawaii on a better trajectory,” Ige said in a statement. “This budget continues to invest in Hawaii’s future.”