Speaker Scott K. Saiki released the following statements on Governor David Ige’s intent to veto portions of Senate Bill 126 relating to the State Budget and CARES Act funding for coronavirus relief.
"I am disappointed with the Governor's decision to veto and reduce so many important items. The Legislature worked hard to direct funding to the most pressing needs. The House will work with the Governor to reallocate the vetoed funds to ensure that they are spent on our most pressing needs prior to December 31."
Elimination of the $100 Weekly Unemployment Insurance "Plus Up":
"I am disappointed that the Governor has decided to veto additional UI benefits for our unemployed residents. The current federal plus up of $600 per week will expire on July 31. Unemployed residents cannot wait for Congress to act, if it acts at all."
$39 Million Reduction for Personal Protective Equipment:
"PPE ensures the health and safety of our residents and workers. This is not the time to reduce spending on PPE. With the significant rise of COVID-19 positive cases, we need to spend more, not less."
Reduction by 50% ($100 million to $50 million) Funding Available for Rent Assistance Program:
"Unpaid rent will be the most pressing problem facing our residents. Our proposal specifically targeted assistance for the most vulnerable families to prevent evictions and homelessness. Even with this veto, we will work with the Governor to reallocate funds to maximize rental assistance for our residents."
In SB 126, the Legislature created a comprehensive plan to use $635 million in federal CARES Act funds to provide ongoing, immediate relief to residents and small businesses who are suffering from the devastating economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.