As economy weakens, state lawmaker says public worker raises could be in jeopardy

As economy weakens, state lawmaker says public worker raises could be in jeopardy
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -Pay increases for government workers, such as public school teachers and first responders, may be in limbo.

State House Finance Committee Chair Rep. Sylvia Luke says the pandemic has dramatically cut projected tax revenue by 25 to 30 percent.

"I think this is a time for the community to come together and make some sacrifices,” Luke said.

Most public workers were supposed to get a bump in their paychecks this year.

“I don’t know if at this point in time that any pay raise is justifiable," Luke said, adding the union leadership may feel the same way.

The top priority, she said, is making sure people get essential services first.

“We need to shore up those things right away. The basic needs that people have — that’s food, shelter, employment and then we need to rebuild the budget based on those things being essential to people first.”

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