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Governor Abercrombie’s Statement on Council on Revenues Revised Forecast

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today commented on the state Council on Revenues’ revised forecast, which includes an amended growth rate projection for fiscal year 2014 from 4.1 to 3.3 percent while leaving growth rates for fiscal year 2015 and beyond unchanged.

Governor Neil Abercrombie

The Governor stated:

“My administration has submitted a supplemental budget that is able to accommodate revenue fluctuations – even slight declines – while furthering our initiatives to provide enhanced public services, recapitalize state reserves, address long-term liabilities, invest in public infrastructure, and support preservation efforts.

“The Council on Revenues’ forecast supports my belief that Hawaii’s economy is already running at peak conditions. Although the adjusted forecast suggests slightly reduced potential revenues in the current fiscal year, the amount is very modest and manageable in the state’s financial plan. The revision in the forecast is more reflective of what has been substantial revenue growth over the last two fiscal years.

“Additionally, our success in reaching collective bargaining agreements for most units allows us to focus on our initiatives within a sound six-year financial plan that embodies a degree of predictability necessary to navigate future fluctuations.

“Because of our prudent fiscal management, we have a healthy positive balance from the end of fiscal year 2013 as we move forward on our long-term financial plan.”

State Finance Director Kalbert Young added:

“A forecast of 3.3 percent growth is still a good optimistic rate of growth for the state. It does recognize the substantial rate of growth in the last two years and, at 3.3 percent, is more than sufficient to deliver all the components and expectations afforded in the state budget and six-year financial plan.”

Hawaii Department of the Attorney General Files Answers to Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit

Attorney General David M. Louie announced today that Governor Neil Abercrombie and Director of the State Department of Health Loretta Fuddy, have filed separate answers, as the two defendants named in their official capacities, in the First Amended Complaint in Jackson v. Abercrombie, the United States District Court lawsuit which challenges Hawaii’s ban on same sex marriage.

Click to read

Governor Abercrombie has acknowledged many of the complaint’s allegations, including the denial of federal constitutional rights caused by the state’s existing marriage law.  Director Fuddy, however, as the director of the department charged with administering the law, has denied many of the complaint’s allegations.  As such, the Department of Health will continue to enforce the law, and will vigorously defend it.  Both defendants’ answers are attached to this press release.

The Complaint

The complaint alleges that on November 18, 2011, plaintiffs Natasha Jackson and Janin Kleid were denied a marriage license by the Department of Health because they are both women.  The complaint also alleges that plaintiff Gary Bradley and his partner were the first male couple to obtain a civil union in Hawaii, but chose not to apply for a marriage license because it would be “futile” to do so under state law.

All three plaintiffs allege that the denial of a marriage license to them by the State, pursuant to section 572-1 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes and article I, section 23 of the Hawaii Constitution, violates their rights to Due Process and Equal Protection under state law, guaranteed them by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Governor Abercrombie’s Position

Governor Abercrombie, in choosing not to defend those portions of the complaint alleging equal protection and due process violations under the United States Constitution, issued the following statement: “Under current law, a heterosexual couple can choose to enter into a marriage or a civil union.  A same-sex couple, however, may only elect a civil union.  My obligation as Governor is to support equality under law.  This is inequality, and I will not defend it.”

In his answer to the complaint, Governor Abercrombie has specifically admitted several of the plaintiffs’ allegations:

· To the extent that state law allows opposite sex couples, but not same sex couples, to get married, it violates the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.

· State law, in denying all opposite sex couples the ability to get married, violates the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution because the right to marry is a fundamental right, and there is no legitimate reason to deny otherwise qualified couples the ability to marry simply because they are of the same sex.

· Allowing opposite sex couples but not same sex couples to get married violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.  By denying all same sex couples the ability to marry, state law discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, and there are no compelling, substantial, or even rational bases for such discrimination.
Governor Abercrombie is defending against all of the allegations in the complaint that he has not admitted in his answer.  This means he is defending against certain allegations, including defending the state against any civil rights liability under chapter 42, section 1983 of the United States Code.  The Governor is also defending the state against any money damages claims.

Director Fuddy’s Position

Director Fuddy, after consulting with the Governor, has chosen to defend against the complaint.  She issued the following statement: “The Department of Health is charged with implementing the law as passed by the Legislature. Absent any ruling to the contrary by competent judicial authority regarding constitutionality, the law will be enforced.  Because I am being sued for administering the law, I will also defend it.”

In her answer to the complaint, Director Fuddy specifically:

· Admits that she has been sued in her capacity as the Director of the Department of Health.  The authority, responsibilities, and duties of that office are as stated in Hawaii law.

· Admits that Bradley and his male partner cannot be issued a marriage license under existing Hawai‘i law.

· Denies that plaintiffs may have their relationship recognized as a marriage by the state.
The Attorney General’s Legal Ability To Represent Multiple Parties

The Attorney General has assigned separate teams of attorneys to represent the Governor and the Director of Health, under well-established Hawaii Supreme Court precedent.

In State v. Klattenhoff (1990) and Chun v. Board of Trustees of Employees’ Retirement System of State of Hawaii (1998), the Hawaii Supreme Court held that the Department of the Attorney General may undertake concurrent representation of multiple parties, which might otherwise constitute a conflict of interest under Rule 1.7 of the Hawaii Code of Professional Conduct, the rules governing lawyers.  In so doing, however, the Department must erect appropriate firewalls between the competing attorneys, and take steps to ensure that no prejudice is suffered by the clients.

In this case, both the Governor and the Director are being represented by separate teams of attorneys general, and appropriate protections have been put in place to ensure that both clients are being vigorously, and separately, represented.

Leaders Week TV – Aloha APEC Delegates

The 2011 APEC Conference in Hawaii is posting videos on its website they have titled “Leaders Week TV“.

Click here to watch APEC Related Videos

Hawaii leaders say “Aloha” to the APEC members arriving in Hawaii this week:

Aloha from Governor Neil Abercrombie:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/goA5IWH3zVc]

Aloha from Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/9yPfKzEQ0Mo]

Aloha from US Senator Dan Inouye

[youtube=http://youtu.be/hZbNRQ0XRe0]

Neil Abercrombie Video… Internet, Social Media and Other Random Thoughts

More video from tonights meeting at Waiakea High School.

“Get Involved Share Your Thoughts…Internet Community … Grassroots Campaigning… Twitterland… I’m Reaching Out Person by Person… $40 Million on Transportation to Oahu… Only $3 Million to Neighbor Islands for Transportation… etc.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPyga2vKc1w&hl=en&fs=1]

More Pictures from tonights meeting:

Charles Djou Response to Abercrombie Announcement: The Video

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C6IF8wDEdg&hl=en&fs=1]