State workers react to governor's budget plan - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State workers react to governor's budget plan

John Walters John Walters
Cynthia Goss Cynthia Goss

By Leland Kim - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - State employees reacted Monday, to Gov. Linda Lingle's (R-Hawaii) plan to close the $2billion shortfall. She's pledging no on raising taxes and no layoffs, but she's asking workers to make some financial sacrifices.

Employees we talked to at the Department of Human Services' Child Protective Services say they know how serious the state's financial crisis is. So, they're willing to help out so no jobs are in jeopardy.

To close the budget gap, the governor is proposing some form of pay reduction, and a change in health benefit contributions for state employees. She says this is a necessary step to prevent layoffs.

"No question at all we're going to have to make some sacrifices. Things are pretty bad," said John Walters, a Child Protective Services employee. "We've seen this cycle repeat '95-'96 during the Cayatano administration. Here we are again. I'm willing to make some sacrifices."

"I believe for myself I would to make that to keep people working," added Cynthia Goss, a Child Protective Services administrator. "I wouldn't want to see people laid off. One for all, all for one type of thing."

They say the last thing they want is to add more people to the unemployment line, especially since the percentage of people out of work is at 6.5 percent, the highest in more than three decades.

The specifics of the governor's plan have not be released yet. She still has to talk to labor union officials to iron out the details.

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