Managing state spending during hard times is, well, hard; but the Great Recession has clear lessons about what services are just too critical to cut.
The new budget totals $20.8 billion compared with $17.5 billion for 2019. The 19 percent budget increase represents an additional $3.3 billion, most of which will be spent on capital improvement projects.
The first of a two-part analysis of the results of the increasingly opaque state budget process this past legislative session, and what we can expect in terms of revenues, funding and expenditures for the upcoming 2020 fiscal year that begins July 1, 2019.
The state of Hawai‘i is not the only governmental entity collecting and spending money for the public good. Each of the four counties has taxing authority and responsibilities that complement state budgets and services. State and county revenue sources overlap very little. Counties collect property taxes, which, according to the state constitution, may not be assessed by the state. Other county revenues include: service and use fees for water, sewer and waste disposal, licenses, and permits, including building permits.
State budgets, particularly for the executive branch, showcase our government’s priorities when it comes to spending money on social programs, capital improvement projects, and operations for its various departments.
The proposed budget for the executive branch for the next two years is larger than during the previous fiscal biennium. Despite this, the governor says he is being conservative with the state's spending reflecting inconsistencies in revenues collected compared to projections. Here's what he wants to spend the money on.