Furlough Friday funding in front of lawmakers - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Furlough Friday funding in front of lawmakers

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Monday, lawmakers will begin tackling the challenge of finding the money to restore Furlough Fridays in schools. The Senate Committee on Education will meet at 1:15 PM, to talk about the first two bills addressing the issue.

The governor wants to take $50,000,000 from the rainy day fund, to restore all but two Furlough Fridays for the next few years. The Hawaii State Teachers' Association's last agreement with the Department and Board of Educations included $35,000,000 from the rainy day fund to bring back five furlough days.

Lawmakers have proposed everything from raising the surcharge on beverage containers, to increasing the General Excise Tax to find the money.

Here are the two bills senators will discuss today:

SB 2436- RELATING TO EDUCATION - Makes an emergency appropriation from the Hawaii hurricane relief fund and the emergency and budget reserve fund to restore as many instructional days during the 2009-2010 school year as possible.

SB 2437 - RELATING TO THE FUNDING OF THE STATE PROGRAMS - Makes an appropriation from the Hawaii hurricane relief, emergency and budget reserve, and federal troubled asset relief program funds to restore as many instructional days until January 1, 2011, of the 2010-11 school year as possible. Increases the general excise tax by one per cent to restore as many instructional days beginning on January 1, 2011, of the 2010-11 school year as possible. Increases all state standard income tax deductions and provides tax credits for the purchase of food items. Appropriates additional general excise tax revenues.

Again, testimony at the first hearing of the bill in committee will begin this afternoon. Hawaii News Now will be there, and will bring the updates to HawaiiNewsNow.com.

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