HONOLULU (AP) - When the Hawaii Legislature reconvenes for its 2012 session Wednesday, soft opening day ceremonies will pave the way for discussion on serious matters, such as economic recovery, funding for health care services and substantial capital improvement financing.
Though entering session with a budget surplus, a revised Council on Revenues forecast predicts escalating deficits beginning at $19.3 million in fiscal year 2013 and peaking at $312.4 million in fiscal year 2016. State administrators say the immediate shortfall can be absorbed through budget restrictions. Meanwhile, lawmakers will consider bond-financed construction projects to create jobs and stimulate the economy.
Some lawmakers will also push to infuse new funding into Hawaii's health care system to support critical medical providers following Hawaii Medical Center's bankruptcy and closures of its Liliha and Ewa hospitals.
Ramsay Wharton was LIVE this morning from the State Capitol with House and Senate leaders and has more on their take of the work at hand along with more information on a new Hawaii State Legislature website that hopes to make it easier for the public to stay informed.