A blame game at the state capitol over the budget - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

A blame game at the state capitol over the budget

Governor Linda Lingle Governor Linda Lingle
Marcus Oshiro Marcus Oshiro

By Holly Juscen – bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It was a war of words at the state capitol and Governor Linda Lingle took the first shot. The governor held a 15-minute press conference Friday afternoon and the legislature became the target. Governor Lingle says they have not been honest and transparent, "They have not been upfront in their budgeting -- they've used shibai tactics to hide the fact that they can't balance the budget with the approach they have taken."

House Finance Chair Marcus Oshiro fired back, "sounds like the governor is having a bad week. We have been very transparent --- we been broadcasting live on capital TV." The governor accuses lawmakers of restoring state positions -- without restoring money for salaries, cutting vacation payouts for her staff, and 100-thousand dollars to help the next governor transition.

The sparks continued over the new lower state revenue forecast. The governor has come under fire for delaying 275-million dollars in tax refund checks until the next fiscal year. This is just one year after she said the state can't meet responsibilities by 'kicking the can down the road,' "if the house chair wants to use my phrase of kicking the can down the road I think it is very misplaced," said Governor Lingle.

Oshiro said he is just calling a spade a spade, "the governor made that statement last June, saying she would not kick the can down the road and defer these playments to the next governor and she is doing just that."

Hawaii will begin the next fiscal year with a 65-million dollar shortfall. The governor wants lawmakers to focus on tax credits-- she says will allow local businesses to hire more people, "if they take some of these job creation measures that we are proposing --- instead of focusing on foie gras --- and pot bills -- if they come up with more job killing measures like taxes and fees then it's going to take a very long time for us to recover, I can promise you that."

In the end the governor's says hopes she can reach a compromise with the legislature --- so everyone can refocus on economic growth and creating job to get Hawaii back on track.

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