Beginning Real Late - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

August 19, 2009

Beginning Real Late

John Fink John Fink

Last week, a state House representative suggested that the legislature was beginning to look at options where cutbacks could be made in programs and services to possibly pre-empt the state's position that layoffs or furloughs appear to be the only way to go.

The key word is the concept is "beginning".  Really, elected officials are just starting to look at alternative ways to hack our way out of this growing deficit?  Isn't that something that could have reasonably been expected about nine-months ago when this hole began to get deeper, with no end in sight?  While various negotiating unions might have been in no rush to respond at the bargaining table of late, knowing that neutral party arbitration looms in September, does it seem to you that this past 60-days debate has been marked by a lack of urgency in many areas?

To have it suggested that legislators are just now "beginning" to look at options to help reduce a guaranteed budget shortfall for the next two fiscal years might lead some to question just what has been done or even seriously considered over the past 60-days or 90-days by a part-time legislature.  And yet, it is moments and comments such as this which might explain the general apathy and lack of passion a majority of the voting public here displays toward local politics.  Think about it...

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