HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE APPROVES STATE BUDGET
$18.9 Billion Budget Prioritizes Deferred Maintenance and Natural Resources
After holding numerous hearings throughout the legislative session to examine the critical needs of the state, the House Finance Committee today approved the FY 2023-2024 and FY 2024-2025 operating and capital improvement budget. The committee's focus was to take a judicious, cautious, and targeted approach in crafting a sustainable future for Hawaiʻi.
Finance Chair Kyle Yamashita (D-12, Upcountry Maui) acknowledged that the committee’s methodical approach included restoring funding to critical programs that were cut during the pandemic, tackling long standing large one-time funding priorities, and enhancing the state's ability to withstand an economic downturn by shoring up its reserve funds.
“The legislature entered FY2023 with a fiscal surplus, which pushed us to be very careful in developing the budget. This budget proposes to spend $1.3 billion on deferred maintenance which not only includes a backlog in facilities repair, but our most valuable resource, our natural environment – our parks, forests, and ocean resources. The intention is not to immediately spend the money, but to strategically tackle these projects to ensure that the state receives the best value while keeping the projects' timetables in mind,” said Chair Yamashita. “Additionally, Medicaid, health care, kūpuna care, homeless services, climate change, and affordable housing remain priority issues for the residents of Hawaiʻi.”
The Committee and its members have emphasized that the approved budget highlights are just one step in the process to finalizing the state's budget. "We have much more work to do in analyzing budget proposals until we get to a final version in May," echoed Chair Yamashita.
The budget - HB300 now goes to the House floor and is anticipated to crossover to the Senate on Wednesday, March 15.
House Communications: Cathy Lee | firstname.lastname@example.org