BY HOUSE MINORITY CAUCUS – We heard many priorities today from Governor Abercrombie that we in the Republican caucus have shared and supported for years.  Fiscal prudence, tourism, infrastructure and high-tech industry are truly important factors in improving our economy and creating jobs in Hawaii.

The fiscal situation this year has improved from last year, but less bad is not a surplus. Today’s address highlighted short-term revenue raising solutions and some long range spending plans, but Abercrombie did not bring forth sustainable measures to put Hawaii on a better economic track. Without including the next set of projections from the Council on Revenues, Abercrombie’s plan still leads us into a deficit next year, and he made few comments to indicate that he would focus on economic growth and small businesses development.

Abercrombie identified some of our state’s major concerns like reducing our dependence on oil, improving education and encouraging healthy lifestyles, but we need to be sure our solutions are responsible and sustainable. Right now, Abercrombie’s plan puts our State in a continual deficit for the next 5 years; we need to be sure we are thinking more long-term.

Abercrombie’s call for unity and the absence of tax increases are a good beginning. However, we hope that as the session moves on the governor and the legislature can develop and promote solutions that will fix our problems today AND decrease the cost-of-living for our constituents in the long run.”

The House Republican Caucus is Minority Leader Gene Ward, Minority Floor Leader Kymberly Marcos Pine, Minority Policy Leader Barbara C. Marumoto, Assistant Minority Leader Cynthia Thielen, Assistant Floor Leader Corinne W.L. Ching and Minority Whips, Representatives George Fontaine, Aaron Ling Johanson, and Gil Riviere.

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