The Hawaii House of Representatives unanimously voted Wednesday to pass House Bill 1600 HD1, the Executive Branch Budget. This supplemental budget includes approximately $8.5 million in General Funds and $16.6 billion in All Means of Financing.
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Chair of the House Committee on Finance Rep. Sylvia Luke (D – Makiki) commended the budget, especially as the state faced a nearly $3 billion deficit over the last two years.
“This year, we are seeing a completely different budget scenario,” she said in a statement. “After the Governor submitted his budget to the Legislature, the Council on Revenues upgraded its revenue projections twice. What we have today is an unprecedented opportunity to address many unmet needs within the state with a strategic and forward thinking approach.”
Specific health and human services provisions included in the budget proposal are:
- “$3,601,533 for additional funds for federally mandated delivery of Early Intervention Services
- $3,487,633 for additional operating funds for a new Hawaii State Hospital forensic building.
- $1,500,000 for Kupuna Care [which provides home care for seniors and their families].
- Creates a new program ID (HTH 215/OR) for the Oʻahu Region of the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation and adds $16,320,700 for an operating subsidy.
- Adds $2,236,853 in general funds and $8,249,095 in federal funds for General Support for Self-Sufficiency Services to reimplement exit and retention bonus payments; establish new afterschool and summer program sites for eligible youth; and replace the Benefits, Employment and Support Services Division’s IT equipment.
- Increases the Spouse and Child Abuse Special Fund ceiling by $5,000,000 in special funds for Child Protective Services to provide prevention services and programs to minimize the number of children entering foster care.”
Additional funding has been allocated for services that support child welfare, long-term care, and incarcerated women.
- $2,950,036 to establish 48 new positions in the Child Welfare Services Program
- $5,000,000 to the Women’s Community Correctional Center’s Intake Center to assist with re-entry programs and services.
- $276,000 for five new program specialists across all islands at the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman, which currently relies mainly on volunteers.
The budget bill has now been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. A public hearing is scheduled for March 22.
This story was edited 4/5 to reflect the correct budget total in the title.