State leaders approve final state budget bill with emphasis on health, human services

State leaders approve final state budget bill with emphasis on health, human services
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new state budget is on track to being approved after House and Senate committees finalized House Bill 1900 Friday.

The budget bill emphasizes spending on homeless services and improvements to medical care.

"Instead of dividing various amounts for separate programs, the state Homeless Programs Office needs the flexibility to decide where best to use the money," State Rep. Sylvia Luke said. "The state cannot be rigid, especially with our homeless population. It must be able to move funds around to take care of circumstances as they come up."

After negotiations, the committee agreed on funding $4.5 million for three new ambulances and staff for Kauai, Hawaii Island and Honolulu; a $28 million operating subsidy for the Maui Health System; and $3.8 million in additional funds for the Kupuna Care program and $1.2 million more for the Kupuna Caregiver Fund.

Under the full budget, here's how state money would be divided:

Department of Accounting and General Services

  • $163,425 for 3 positions and supplies to Central Services for maintenance and servicing of state cemeteries.
  • $150,000 to establish a motor vehicle replacement schedule for neighbor island school repair and maintenance.

Department of the Attorney General

  • $50,000 for Community Protection and Outreach.
  • Additional 2 positions and $500,000 for the Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism

  • $1,500,000 for the Excelerator Program to aid development of local businesses.
  • $500,000 for an Aquaculture accelerator initiative to help local startups in the aquaculture industry.

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

  • $1,210,906 federal grant spending ceiling and 2 positions to implement insurance market reforms and consumer protections for Insurance Regulatory Services.
  • Establishment of Deputy Securities Commissioner for Business Registration and Securities Regulation.

Department of Defense

  • $1,646,200 in general funds for renovation, repair, and maintenance projects at facilities statewide.
  • $95,000 for a director for the Hawaii State Fusion Center.

Department of Education

  • Additional $500,000 for the Early College program.
  • $500,000 to provide additional support to English Language Learners.
  • $4,500,000 and one position for Alternative Learning Centers.
  • $400,000 for the Teacher Certification Stipend Program to help increase the number of qualified public-school teachers.
  • $1,100,000 for the Alternative Teacher Route Program to help with recruitment and certification of potential public-school teachers.
  • $850,000 in general funds for athletic travel to provide students with the opportunity to compete in interscholastic athletic competitions.

Department of Human Services

  • $450,000 for the State Rent Supplement Program to provide housing support for vulnerable families.
  • $15,000,000 lump sum to fund homeless programs and services across the state.
  • $5,250,000 to Medquest to support online enrollment for Medicaid.

Department of Health

  • $28,000,000 in operating subsidy for Maui Health System.
  • $4,500,000 for (3) new ambulances, (1) each for County of Kaua‘i, County of Hawai‘i, and the City and County of Honolulu.
  • $3,877,063 in additional funds for the Kupuna Care program.
  • $1,200,000 in additional funds for the Kupuna Caregiver fund.

Department of Land and Natural Resources

  • $450,000 for the Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts to support environmental protection efforts.
  • $500,000 to support fire response activities for DOFAW across the state.
  • $800,000 to combat the spread of Rapid ‘Ohi‘a Death on the island of Hawai‘i.
  • $500,928 to establish a DOCARE training academy.

Department of Taxation

  • Funds for 6 additional investigator positions for the Special Enforcement Section.

Department of Transportation

  • $11,000,000 for replacement of the Wiki Wiki Shuttle bus fleet with electric vehicles.
  • $39,000,000 for Consolidated Rental Car Facilities at Daniel K. Inouye Honolulu International Airport and Kahului International Airport.
  • $11,000,000 for Special Maintenance Highway Projects, Statewide.
  • $500,000 for Safety Oversight on the Rail Project.

University of Hawaii

  • $300,000 for the Student Success Initiative to help support the wide variety of students and their individual needs at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.
  • $300,000 for Rat Lungworm Research at Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy.
  • $130,000 for 6.2 positions for the Health Sciences Academy at the University of Hawai‘i at West O‘ahu.
  • $260,000 to support the Apprentice Program at the University of Hawai‘i, Community Colleges.
  • $750,000 and 8 positions for student success initiative at University of Hawai‘i, Community Colleges.

The Capital Improvement Project portion of the budget includes about $800 million for Department of Education projects and an additional $40 million to finish construction of the new women's prison which will free up space at the overcrowded O?ahu Community Correctional Center.

Capital Improvement Project Totals:

  • FY2018: $1.027 Billion General Obligation Bond Funds
  • FY2019: $734.4 Million General Obligation Bond Funds
  • FY2018: $2.289 Billion All Means of Financing Funds
  • FY2019: $2.369 Billion All Means of Financing Funds

The legislature will vote on the bill next week. If approved, it will be sent to the governor's desk.

This story may be updated.

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