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Governor considers layoffs, program cuts to address budget crisis

Gov. David Ige said his mom is at a nursing home that's seen COVID-19 cases.
Gov. David Ige said his mom is at a nursing home that's seen COVID-19 cases.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Aug. 22, 2020 at 8:02 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. David Ige is asking department heads to plan for budget cuts of up to 20% by identifying programs and employees that can be eliminated.

Liz Ho, the head of the United Public Workers union says unlike earlier this year the governor has not proposed a round of furloughs and seems focused on permanent layoffs.

She says union workers would have to take a vote on any cutbacks.

“This changes the terms and conditions of employment and we have a contract in place right now and if there are any changes to that contract it needs to be taken out to the membership,” she said.

The governor says cuts may not be needed if federal aid comes in or if the economy and tax revenue rebounds faster than expected.

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