Governor Neil Abercrombie – “A Mission To Change Direction”

Media Release:

Aloha everyone,

The new fiscal year begins on July 1st with a mission to change the direction of Hawai’i.

The budget passed by the legislature—which I have now signed into law—requires our Administration to operate with hundreds of millions less than we believed necessary to restore core government functions. Despite tax increases passed by the legislature, services and programs will still have to be significantly cut.

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I have asked all departments to work together in a deliberate and thoughtful process that will identify programs that may be affected. In recent weeks, our administration began discontinuing financial support of programs that are valuable but can no longer be sustained, such as Vanpool Hawai’i and the State Pharmacy Assistance Program. These cuts and others that follow will be difficult—but the financial constraints we face allow for no other course of action.

While we address the challenges facing our state budget, we continue to move forward on our three-part New Day Plan.

First, we are strengthening our economy and creating good jobs for people so they can do more than just make ends meet. We are pressing ahead with our $1.4 billion dollar investment in public works projects that will immediately put money into the economy, and we are building a solid foundation for local businesses by developing our own renewable energy and ultra-high speed Internet capabilities that will give Hawaii the competitive edge that we need.

Second, we will continue transforming government and providing taxpayers with the best value for their dollar. We are constantly uncovering old problems and addressing them immediately with fresh ideas and a determination to do what is right.  For example, at Mayor Wright public housing residents went without hot water for years until our administration took over and fixed the situation.

And third, no matter how tight our resources, we are securing Hawaii’s future by investing in key areas like early childhood, healthcare technology, food production, natural resources, housing, and other long term priorities. Just as a family will set aside whatever it can for the future, so too will we take actions now that will make a big difference later.

Our state is facing significant challenges, yes. But together we are charting a new course and forging ahead to a more positive future.

Imua Hawaii!

Neil Abercrombie

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