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Ige’s budget proposal includes plans to restore funding to services cut due to COVID

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 5:34 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2021 at 5:53 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. David Ige on Monday unveiled his budget proposal, saying it will help restore funding for some services and programs that were cut because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This budget request is very different from budget requests of the previous two years, when we had to cut more than $1 billion, and all state agencies were forced to slash spending. This year, the economy has improved more quickly than anticipated,” Ige said.

Ige said Hawaii’s economy has improved quicker than anticipated because of more consumer spending, recovery of visitor arrivals and tax collections.

The biggest adjustments come in fiscal year 2023 — the state’s operating budget would be around $16.9 billion. That includes a more than 12% increase to general fund spending.

Both public schools and the University of Hawaii suffered significant budget reductions at the beginning of COVID, Ige said.

The budget restores and invests $689 million for public education — including $78.3 million for repairs and maintenance projects at state Department of Education schools and more than $32 million in extra pay to help address the teacher shortage.

For UH, the administration is requesting $86.5 million for modernization, tech renovation, equipment and more. The budget also addresses the state’s doctor and nursing shortages.

And over $96 million will go to COVID response, including the Safe Travels program and National Guard costs.

The Department of Public Safety will also receive over $17 million to help restore staffing to pre-pandemic levels.

Gov. Ige's budget by HNN on Scribd

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