Hawaii senators propose cuts equal to furloughs

HONOLULU (AP) - A panel of Hawaii senators is proposing an updated budget that cuts government costs through public worker pay.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee voted 13-1 Tuesday on its version of the state's $11 billion annual budget, which seeks labor savings equivalent to the continuation of two monthly furlough days.

Most government employees have taken two monthly furlough days over the last two years, amounting to about a 10 percent pay cut.

The furloughs expire in June, and labor unions are negotiating with the government on new labor contract.

Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie has said he wants 5 percent labor savings without furloughs starting in July.

Committee Chairman David Ige said greater labor savings would reduce the need for new taxes to balance a projected $1.3 billion two-year budget shortfall.

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