HONOLULU (KHON2) — Among Governor David Ige’s plans is a $100 refund for every taxpayer and for each dependent. The governor said he will work with the legislature to get that money into people’s wallets.
Ige said the state has seen a better economic recovery from the pandemic than expected.
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
Ige said, “The economic recovery has gone better than most forecasted, so we do believe at this point and time that we can afford to return dollars to the taxpayer.”
The governor’s initiative would cost the state $110 million from the general fund. It requires approval from the legislature.
House Speaker Scott Saiki said it aligns with their plans to provide relief for working families.
Saiki said, “It is something that we will definitely put on our radar screen and will consider it and see if we can factor that into the state budget this year.”
Governor Ige also spoke about plans to expand broadband connectivity to remote areas of the state.
Ige said, “Proposing the largest investment in technology in our state’s history a total of more than $400 million.”
Senate President Ronald Kouchi in his response to the governor said he wants to see more details.
Kouchi said, “The broadband plan, where are we deploying it? Are good on the middle mile, is it the last mile, is it towers? As opposed to fiber?”
Ige said he is considering a public-private partnership. The state would cover the broadband infrastructure that is needed while partnering with an internet provider.
Stolen jewels, boa constrictors killing owners, check out Weird News here
“The whole notion is how do we create a framework baseline infrastructure that we can make available to all of the private providers,” Ige said. “So that they would be able to deliver broadband services to each and every community including Molokai and Lanai.”