Ige signs budget but spending questions remain | Hawaii
(The Center Square) – Hawaii Governor David Ige signed the Supplementary Appropriations Act of 2022 into law after several line item vetoes, but questions remain about where the funds will go. object of a veto.
Ige vetoed all appropriations for coronavirus state fiscal stimulus funds from the U.S. federal bailout, saying lawmakers had spent $104 million more than allocated.
The governor also said in a statement that “the Legislature has failed to comply with the Effort Sustainment (MOE) commensurate funding requirement of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) mandated by the federal government by allocating funds to the Department of Education and the University of Hawaii.
Ige said in a press release that he wanted to “redirect funds to the essential work of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.” What he didn’t say was how much he would give to the HTA.
Repeated messages to Ige’s communications staff went unanswered.
The Governor cut funding for the Wilson Lake Spillway and Reservoir.
“Neither the Department of Agriculture nor the Department of Lands and Natural Resources has performed the due diligence work that would be a prerequisite to undertaking a project of this magnitude,” Ige said in the statement. Press. “Therefore, it is unclear whether sufficient funding is provided to acquire the designated plots; repair and expand the spillway to bring it into line with dam safety requirements; operate the dam and irrigation system; and to operate and maintain the Lake Wilson Reservoir area.”
Ige also cut funding for a tech campus for first responders from $51.6 million to $16.6 million.
“Planning and permitting for the campus is still in its early stages,” Ige said. “A master plan must be prepared to subdivide the campus to allow for participation and development of facilities by non-state agencies. It is highly unlikely that these steps can be completed before project funding expires in June 2024. “
A $177.8 million bond project for a cybersecurity data center was also cut. The money was reportedly allocated to the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation.
“Acquiring additional land for the campus is premature,” Ige said. “According to the draft environmental impact statement prepared for the campus, the development is expected to take place in six phases over the next 15 years.”
Lawmakers have the option to override Ige’s vetoes but have not indicated whether they will. An email to House Speaker Scott Saiki was not immediately returned.