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Hawaii Governor’s Budget Proposal Highlights Education, Housing/Homelessness, Sustainability

Gov. David Ige today submitted his executive biennium budget to the State Legislature. The package highlights his top budget priorities for the next two years, including education, homelessness and affordable housing, and Sustainable Hawai‘i initiatives.

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OPERATING BUDGET:

The operating budget proposal includes $14.2 billion (all revenue sources) for FY 2018, an increase of four percent and $14.3 billion (all revenue sources), an increase of 5 percent for FY 2019.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS BUDGET:

The capital improvements proposal includes $2.3 billion for FY 18 and $781.8 million for FY 19.

“This budget proposal aims to balance our state’s current needs with our investments for the future – providing basic needs for our residents such as affordable housing, quality public schools, primary healthcare and essential social services,” said Gov. Ige.

PRIORITIES:

Education:

The governor’s proposal includes the highest instructional budget allocation ever — $28 million each year to the Weighted Student Formula, $10 million annually for the new Innovation Grant Program and $9 million ($3M in FY 18 and $6M in FY 19) for Early College programs.

Gov. Ige is also proposing $800 million for new schools and classrooms, as well as repair and maintenance of Department of Education campuses, UH campuses and libraries. This includes $61.7 million in FY 18 for heat abatement statewide and $373.6 million in FY 18 to address classroom capacity issues (including $264.7M for new schools).

“Our future begins with our investment in education which is tied to economic growth. It is a top priority. We continue to focus on the classrooms and schools. We continue our push for cooler classrooms. No one is more disappointed than I that we haven’t met our goals due to initial high costs,” Ige said.

Housing and Homelessness:

Gov. Ige is proposing an investment of more than $123.4 million in new housing projects and $59 million for public housing improvements.

For the homelessness effort, the governor is asking for $20.9 million annually for rent subsidies, supportive and outreach services. The legislature appropriated $12 million for homelessness programs in the current fiscal year.

“We have made great strides in collaboration, where all parts of the system are working together toward the same objective of moving people from homelessness to permanent supportive housing,” Gov. Ige said.

Sustainable Hawai‘i:

The budget proposal dedicates more than $30 million in operating funds to agricultural and natural resources and $31 million in CIP funds for sustainability initiatives, including $7.5 million for the Watershed Initiative.

“Our goal is to protect our forests, water and other natural resources while working to double our local food production and grow our economy,” Ige said.

“We hope to work collaboratively with state lawmakers on our budget proposal as we shape the future of our state.”

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