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  • Writer's pictureHawai'i House Democrats

HOUSE INCLUDES FUNDING FOR JIMMY CORREA BALLFIELD IN STATE BUDGET

Hilo, Hawaiʻi – The House of Representatives today passed the House draft of the state budget bill, House Bill 1800 HD1, for third reading on the House Floor, and Representative Chris Todd is happy to share that capital improvement project (CIP) funding was included for site improvements of James "Jimmy" Correa ballfield in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. Upon passage of third reading, the budget bill will now crossover to the Hawaiʻi Senate for further deliberation.

 

The proposed appropriation includes $1 million in general obligation bond funds, in which the County of Hawaiʻi will contribute a matching $1 million in county funds for construction of an artificial playing surface and site improvements of James "Jimmy" Correa ballfield in Hilo. This joint effort aims to honor the legacy of Jimmy Correa, who has frequently been called the "Father of Hilo Baseball." The planned improvements to the field will serve Department of Education schools and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, both of which rely on the facility for various uses.

 

"The State and County have come together to garner support for our local schools and for the Hawaiʻi Island community. I am thrilled to see how our athletes will be stepping up to the plate to honor Jimmy's legacy," said Representative Chris Todd (D-3, Portion of Hilo, Keaukaha, Orchidlands Estate, ʻĀinaloa, Hawaiian Acres, Fern Acres, portions of Kurtistown and Kea‘au).

 

"This partnership between the State and Hawaii County to improve the James "Jimmy" Correa Ballfield in Hilo sets the template that can be used for other needed improvements to the facilities that support the athletic and recreational needs of Hawaii Island's children.  These improvements will also have a huge impact in upgrading the facilities for our UH Vulcan Baseball team," said Representative Richard H.K. Onishi (D-2, Hilo).


Councilmember Sue Lee Loy (D-3, Portion of South Hilo and Portion of Kea‘au), who has been involved in County efforts to recognize Correa stated, "I’m sure Jimmy’s smiling; these funds are a homerun for Hawaiʻi Island’s keiki. Creating a top-notch facility means we care about athletes and their families; especially their safety, their success and the important life lessons they will learn as they play the game."

 

The timing of the proposed funding for Jimmy Correa Ballfield aligns with the County of Hawaiʻi's initiative to recognize Correa, as on February 1, Mayor Mitch Roth signed Bill 103, which designates the ballfield within the Dr. Francis F.C. Wong Stadium in the Ho‘olulu Complex as the James “Jimmy” Correa Ballfield. Co-introduced by Councilmembers Ashley Kierkiewicz and Sue Lee Loy, Bill 103 pays tribute to Correa's significant contributions to baseball and the positive impact he made throughout his career.

 

Representative Todd expressed optimism in the CIP allocation to improve Jimmy Correa Ballfield, stating, "This project is very important to our local community to honor Jimmy Correa and support our athletes. We are hopeful that the proposed funding will successfully pass the state budget and look forward to seeing it come to fruition."

 

The House draft of the state budget is now set to crossover to the Hawaiʻi Senate. The finalization of the state budget is scheduled for the week of April 22, with a final vote in both the House and Senate chambers slated for the last week of the legislative session before the Legislature adjourns sine die on May 3, 2024.

 

To review the House draft of the state budget, click here.

 

 

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