State sits on record $1 billion surplus

State sits on record $1 billion surplus

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii has ended last fiscal year with a record-setting $1 billion general treasury cash surplus, which could impact contract negotiations as the state begins bargaining with public worker unions.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports Hilo lawyer Ted Hong says public workers could be in for significant pay increases because of the large cash balance for the fiscal year ending June 30. The state recently opened a new round of contract negotiations with unions and spoke with representatives of the Hawaii State Teachers Association last week.

While the billion-dollar surplus may alter the course of negotiations, state budget officials say some of the funds have already been earmarked for other commitments.

The previous record surplus of $844 million was counted during Gov. Neil Abercrombie's administration at the end of fiscal year 2013.

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