Hawaii’s Department of Education paid $17,100 to a restroom cleaning consultant and $1.7 million for substitute clericals, according to a new report from The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii (GRIH) and premiere taxpayer watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW).
While Hawaii’s school children are subjected to Furlough Fridays and the state faces a record shortfall, the 2010 Hawaii Pork Report reveals that bureaucrats continue to spend taxpayer dollars in questionable ways. Co-authored by Hideo Hikida, Frances Nuar, and Jamie Story, the second annual report reveals more than $300 million in waste, abuse, and mismanagement of taxpayer dollars.
Examples of frivolous spending highlighted in the report include:
- $22,180 to move a sculpture from the Ala Moana Hotel to the Foreign Trade Zone, where it will sit until the state government decides where to put it;
- $39,300 to relocate a fire hydrant;
- $104.5 million for a mere 25 positions in the Honolulu Department of Transportation
- More than $687,000 for a skateboard park that is 12 years in the making and 17 percent over budget
Jamie Story, GRIH president and co-author of the report, remarked, “In these tough economic times, lawmakers should be looking line-by-line through the budget to delete unnecessary spending. Our report serves as a helpful tool for elected officials looking to trim fat, and provides the intellectual ammunition taxpayers need to challenge the status quo.”
“The 2010 Hawaii Pork Report just scratches the surface of the amount of taxpayer dollars wasted by Hawaii’s state and local government bureaucracies,” said David Williams, Vice President for Policy at CAGW in Washington, D.C. “Now that these wasteful expenditures are exposed, elected officials should take action to put a stop to their free-spending practices.”
Key recommendations in the report include: Requiring a full audit of the Department of Education; incorporating fiscal notes into the legislative process to inform spending decisions; streamlining the process for requesting public information; and creating a state Grace Commission to go through every nook and cranny in the budget.
The 2010 Hawaii Pork Report can be found at the GRIH website: http://www.grassrootinstitute.org
The mission of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is to promote individual liberty, free market economic principles and limited, more accountable government.