House Minority Leader Gene Ward
Rep. Gene Ward, R-Hawaii Kai

HONOLULU – Rep. Gene Ward (R – Hawai‘i Kai-Kalama Valley) expressed doubts about the State Budget during the House floor session today.

“I have three doubts or problems with the State Budget:

1.       It increases spending at a time we are standing on the edge of the Inouye and sequester cliffs, and a steadying, but still wobbling economy, and public employee unions poised for pay increases;

2.       This budget closes DBEDT’s Taiwan office when Chinese tourism is blossoming and when visa waivers were just granted, and Chinese visitor spending is the highest at $407 per day; and

3.       This budget puts no check on the rising cost of living for Hawaii’s working families, and is too dependent on fee increases and some hefty tax hikes if legislation now moving is passed,” Ward said.

The House voted unanimously to pass the budget with only Reps. Ward and Richard Fale (R – Waialua-Ka‘a‘awa) voting aye with reservations.  It now moves to the Senate for further deliberation.