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Senate and House Conferees Finalize Negotiations on State Budget Bill

Hawaiʻi State Capitol. PC: Hawaiʻi Senate Majority

Senate and House conferees approved a final version of HB200, the state budget bill, on Monday which includes operating and capital improvement monies for fiscal years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.

The committee unanimously approved the bill, which includes $14.926 billion in general funds, $1.352 billion in federal aid from the American Rescue Plan and $31.17 billion through all methods of funding for the fiscal biennium beginning July 1, 2021, and ending June 30, 2023.  

“I want to thank our committee members, subject matter chairs and our staff for their tireless effort and dedication in getting this budget passed,” said Senator Donovan Dela Cruz (Senate District 22 – Mililani Mauka, Waipi‘o Acres, Wheeler, Wahiawa, Whitmore Village and portion of Poamoho), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “Our ability to reach agreement on this budget reflects the legislature’s commitment to providing critical resources to our communities during these unprecedented times.”

Representative Sylvia Luke (House District 25 – Makiki, Punchbowl, Nuʻuanu, Dowsett Highlands, Pacific Heights and Pauoa), Chair of the House Committee on Finance said, “With the assistance of the federal government, we were able to restore devastating cuts to critical social service needs such as those addressing domestic violence and sex assault services, HIV, Hep-C, and TB support, and early intervention programs. We also retained funding for general assistance and homeless services while, at the same time, preserving our natural resources by funding rapid ʻōhiʻa death response and coral reef protection.”

At the hearing, the committee highlighted many budget items upon which the Senate and House reached agreement. Highlights include:

Department of Agriculture

  • $806,418 to transition the Agricultural Loan Division to general funds.
  • $3,619,378 to transition programs funded by the Agricultural Development and Food Security Special Fund to general funds.
  • $4,024,637 in general fund savings from converting (68) positions for the Plant Industry Division to special funds.
  • $491,278 to transition the Agribusiness Development Corporation personnel to general funds.
  • $96,979 in special funds to support the non-agricultural park program.
  • $25,000 for the Queen Bee program.
  • $100,000 in American Rescue Plan funds for fiscal year 2022 for floriculture and ornamental industries.

Department of Accounting and General Services

  • Consolidates the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission with the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.
  • $626,000 in American Rescue Plan funds for Bishop Museum.
  • Consolidates Office of Enterprise Technology Services programs for efficiency and resource alignment.
  • $836,550 in special funds and (5) positions for IT modernization efforts.
  • $4,400,000 in fiscal year 2022 and $1,000,000 in fiscal year 2023 in American Rescue Plan funds for Aloha Stadium operations and structural engineering assessment.
  • $548,412 to restore funding for (10) critical accounting division positions.
  • $153,967 to restore (1.5) positions and funding for the Office of Information Practices.
  • $500,000 for fiscal year 2022 in federal funds for a voting system contract.
  • $302,925 to restore funding for (8) Office of Elections positions.
  • $80,000 for fiscal year 2022 and $84,000 for fiscal year 2023 in American Rescue Plan funds for past performance database
  • $550,000 in American Rescue Plan funds to supplement the State Risk Management and Insurance program.
  • $720,000 in fiscal year 2022 and $240,000 in fiscal year 2023 in American Rescue Plan funds for ʻIolani Palace.

Department of the Attorney General

  • $2,380,000 to restore sex assault treatment purchase of service contracts to continue 24/7 stabilization information and referral services, case management, counseling services, and late-night services.
  • $870,000 and (9) positions to establish the complex litigation, fraud, and compliance unit which will focus on civil and criminal cases and fraud and ethics violations within government.
  • $531,325 to change the means of financing for the Medicaid fraud control unit to investigate and prosecute Medicaid fraud and patient abuse or neglect in health care facilities, or board and care facilities.
  • $400,000 reduction for the Automated Fingerprint Information System yearly loan payments.

Department of Budget and Finance

  • $313,680,042 for the repayment of a working capital loan.
  • $93,248,158 in fiscal year 2022 and $122,625,227 in fiscal year 2023 for debt service payments.

Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism

  • Consolidates the Land Use Commission, the Office of Environmental Quality Control, and the Office of Planning to create the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development.
  • Consolidates personnel from the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ Research and Statistics Office and the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s Tourism Research Office into the Research and Economic Analysis Division to centralize state research functions.
  • $750,000 for the Film and Creative Industries Special Fund.
  • $50,000 in American Rescue Plan funds for Creative Lab programs.
  • $187,908 to restore the executive director and executive secretary for the Hawaiʻi Technology Development Corporation.
  • $800,000 in revolving funds to restore funding for the executive director and (3) positions for the Hawaiʻi Community Development Authority.
  • $50,000 for GIS Enhancement programs.
  • $4,000,000 in American Rescue Plan funds for Economic Planning and Research.

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

  • $122,093 for a staff attorney to address increased consumer fraud cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $700,000 for fiscal year 2022 and $1,050,000 for fiscal year 2023 for repairs to the King Kalākaua building.
  • $3,500,000 for fiscal year 2022 and $500,000 for fiscal year 2023 for upgrades to critical business registration systems.
  • $700,000 for fiscal year 2022 and $1,050,000 for fiscal year 2023 to increase the ceiling for the compliance resolution fund.

Department of Defense

  • $130,500 and three general laborer positions for the veteran’s cemetery.
  • $612,797 in general funds to retain the Hilo Youth Challenge Academy.
  • $143,896 in general funds to restore salaries to three positions at the veteran’s cemetery including the Cemetery Operations Manager and Veterans Services Counselor.
  • $194,050 in general funds for the veteran’s cemetery for vault liners and travel funds for counseling services to veterans.
  • $250,000 in general funds for siren maintenance.
  • Creates new program ID’s for the Hawaiʻi Army and Air National Guard and the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency.

Department of Education

  • $2,594,198 for the Early College Program which offers over 400 classes for 43 High Schools statewide.
  • An additional $2,482,554 for the Hawaiʻi Keiki Program, promoting healthy keiki and reducing amount of absences statewide.
  • $1,026,797,623 in general funds for school-based budgeting funding for classrooms.
  • $401,006,367 in general funds for special education.
  • $7,073,037 in general funds for the Early Learning program.
  • $240,000 of general funds to be recurring for radio frequency technology equipment For Public Libraries.
  • Transfers 159 positions and $11,638,427 from the State Administration: Office of Information Technology Services to the School Support.
  • $325,241 for the Challenger Center.
  • $50,000 for the Career and Technical Education/Office Assistant Program.
  • $4,431,663 to restore defunded positions from Act 9 (2020) for Special Education.
  • $468,424 for Teacher Improvement Services.
  • $3,000,000 for fiscal year 2022 and $6,000,000 for fiscal year 2022 to expand Alternative Learning Programs.
  • $400,000 for Trauma-Informed Care Services.
  • $249,239 for seven permanent positions for Early Learning teachers.
  • Transfer the Office of Information Technology Services to program for School Support.
  • Transfer the Office of Strategy, Innovation and Performance from general funds to ESSER funds.

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands

  • $901,292 to restore 14 important Hawaiian Home Lands positions.

Department of Human Resources Development

  • $307,775 in American Rescue Plan funds for fiscal year 2022 and $635,350 for fiscal year 2023 for workers’ compensation claims.
  • $275,000 in American Rescue Plan funds for fiscal year 2022 for unemployment insurance payments.

Department of Human Services

  • $500,000 for fiscal year 2022 in American Rescue Plan funds for additional funding for the Rent Supplement Program for low income families.
  • $5,400,000 in American Rescue Plan funds for fiscal year 2022 for additional funding for General Assistance payments for temporarily disabled individuals to maintain the current level of benefits.
  • $14,300,000 in American Rescue Plan funds for continued homeless services including the Housing First Program, the Rapid Re-housing Program, the Homeless Outreach Services and Civil Legal Services, and the Stored Property and Debris Removal Service. 
  • $1,739,179 to restore 57 critical Child Protective Services positions.
  • $31,035,000 for fiscal years 2022 and 2023 in American Rescue Plan funds for cash support for childcare.

Department of Health

  • $681,202 in American Rescue Plan funds for perinatal support services.
  • $1,702,729 for fiscal year 2022 and $702,729 in fiscal year 2023 in American Rescue Plan funds for perinatal support and family planning services.
  • $4,684,584 in general funds and $10,286,655 in federal funds for HIV prevention and care services.
  • $3,924,691 in general funds for the tuberculosis branch to maintain prevention services.
  • $4,305,833 million in general funds for staffing and $6,180,433 in American Rescue Plan funds for operating expenses for the new Forensic Building at the Hawaiʻi State Hospital.
  • $19,774,284 in general funds and $2,643,378 in federal funds for Early intervention services.
  • $469,262 in general funds for the Office of Language Access retaining the office as a stand-alone program within the Department of Health.
  • $475,769 in general funds for the State Health Planning & Development Agency retaining office as a stand-alone program within the Department of Health.
  • $4,305,833 for fiscal years 2022 and 2023 for Hawaiʻi State Hospitals Personal Services.
  • $3,200,000 for fiscal years 2022 and 2023 for Developmental Disabilities.
  • $1,500,000 in American Rescue Plan funds for fiscal year 2022 for the Office on Aging for purchase of services for Senior Centers.

Department of Labor and Industrial Relations

  • $700,252,391 in fiscal year 2022 and $5,091,175 in fiscal year 2023 in American Rescue Plan funds to repay the loan principal and interest of the unemployment insurance program.
  • $2,082,490 in fiscal years 2022 and 2023 to restore the Office of Community Services.
  • $3,110,000 in American Rescue Plan funds for the Disability Compensation Division modernization.

Department of Land and Natural Resources

  • $2,000,000 in boating special funds for harbor facilities repair and maintenance.
  • $1,459,440 for (30) new conservation and resource enforcement officers statewide.
  • $1,646,475 to restore the Youth Conservation Corps Program to provide youth with environmental stewardship opportunities.
  • $750,000 for the Bureau of Conveyances to digitize and preserve recorded land documents and maps.
  • $875,000 for fiscal year 2022 in American Rescue Plan funds for rapid ohia death research, outreach, and response.
  • $1,000,000 for fiscal year 2022 in American Rescue Plan funds for repairs to the sea urchin hatchery used to raise sea urchins to control invasive algae.
  • $866,315 for fiscal year 2022 and $2,866,315 for fiscal year 2023 ceiling increase for the Land Conservation Fund.
  • (8.5) permanent positions for engineers for the Water and Land Development.
  • $3,110,946 in general funds for FY22 for the Native Resources and Fire Protection Program.
  • $2,548,290 in in American Rescue Plan funds to Conservation and Resources Enforcement.
  • $2,000,000 ceiling increase for the Boating Special Fund for Ocean Based Recreation.

Department of Public Safety

  • $500,000 retained for re-entry contract services, which supports individuals who are re-joining the community.
  • $1,376,000 for hepatitis C treatments.
  • $27,468,151 of general funds in the Healthcare Division.
  • $9,095,579 to restore funding for defunded positions.
  • $676,222 of general funds for the CVCC (Crime Victim Compensation Commission) The first time the state has assisted funds since 2003.

Department of Taxation

  • $99,756 for the establishment of the new Quality Control Office for Supporting Services.
  • $3,033,832 in American Rescue Plan funds for the tax system modernization post warranty maintenance, professional services and document imaging.
  • $30,000 for Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Federal Grant.

University of Hawaiʻi

  • $27,326,848 for fiscal year 2022 and $32,926,848 for fiscal year 2023 in general funds to restore reductions to the University of Hawaiʻi budget.
  • $1,000,000 in American Rescue Plan funds to offset lost revenue at the Waikīkī Aquarium.
  • $3,129,000 in American Rescue Plan funds and general funds in each fiscal year for the Hawaiʻi Promise Program.
  • $1,200,000 in American Rescue Plan funds for UHERO for economic analysis.
  • Create new program ID for the UH Cancer Center.
  • $3,098,055 for the UH Cancer Center.
  • $485,376 and seven permanent positions for UH Systemwide Support to consolidate Human Resources offices.
  • $2,200,000 for UH Systemwide Support.
  • $164,394 and two permanent positions for computer science pathways at UH West Oʻahu.

HB200, HD1 SD1 CD1 will head to the Senate and House floors for a final vote before being transmitted to the Governor for consideration.

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2021/04/21/senate-and-house-conferees-finalize-negotiations-on-state-budget-bill/

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