Hawaii House passes state budget

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - The Hawaii House has passed its version of the state budget for fiscal years 2013-2015.

Lawmakers voted unanimously Wednesday for the $23.25 billion budget that secures funding for state departments and capital improvement projects.

The proposal falls about $600 million short of Gov. Neil Abercrombie's request but increases the 2011 biennial budget by more than $1 billion.

House finance committee Chairwoman Sylvia Luke said the proposal is cautious while restoring resources to departments that suffered cuts in recent years.

Republican Reps. Gene Ward and Richard Fale voted with reservations for the bill.

Ward told lawmakers that the budget proposal is too dependent on fee increases.

The House also unanimously passed budget proposals for the judiciary and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

The bills now go to the Senate for consideration.

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