Senate Chambers

Senate Passes $11 Billion Supplemental Budget

Hawaii Senators passed an $11.1 billion supplemental state budget proposal on Tuesday, which they maintain will boost jobs, help Hawaii’s poor and upgrade Hawaii’s technology services.

Sen. Sam Slom, the lone Republican, was the only one to vote against the budget. He said the increase in spending and government jobs included in the bill is a reflection of the denial of many people that we still have very serious economic problems in our state.

These bills are two of hundreds of bills passed yesterday in the House and Senate during crossover. Several will go into conference committee where differences between the House and Senate will be ironed out.

In the House, Republicans fought to amend SB 2588, which extends the statute of limitations for child victims of sexual abuse. Republicans wanted state and county entities to be subject to the same liability as private organizations, but the bill was defeated by Democrats.

House Republicans also fought against the passage of SB 2858, which would allow state agencies to delay the release of publically requested records under the Uniform Information Practices Act and make it more difficult for the public to ensure agencies meet the sunshine law requirements.

Report: Hawaii Loses 130,000 Residents In Part Because of High Taxes

The American Legislative Exchange Council released its “Rich States, Poor States” report this week, which details the fiscal health in all states.

Hawaii has dropped in the rankings to number 46, but was rated in other categories at at 49 for having the highest income tax in the nation and 50 for the worst estate taxes.

The report notes census data shows 130,000 more Americans have moved from Hawaii than to it in the last 20 years, and California is losing residents as well.

The authors pose the question – “So how is it that two of the most physically attractive states in the nation could possibly be losing taxpayers while Florida and Texas are steadily gaining them?”

The analysis: “The argument that weather matters more than taxes falls flat on its face when you look to Alaska, which has one of the most undesirable climates in the country. The Last Frontier suffered only half the population loss of Hawaii, one of the world’s most desirable places to live. If weather matters more than taxes, then why is Alaska performing so well compared to California and Hawaii?

“We suggest that policy differences are part of the answer. Hawaii now has the highest state income tax in the nation at 11 percent, while Alaska is one of the nine states without personal income taxes on wages.”

Hawaii Reporter Television Features Special Reports on Hawaii Politics

We have two television shows you may want to watch on Hawaii Reporter television.

Former Congressman Charles Djou (R-2010) talks about his time in Afghanistan and his plans to run for congress.

And in another show, two members of former Gov. Ben Cayetano’s “truth squad” review the city budget and their views on why the current mayor, Peter Carlisle, is a poor fiscal manager. Cayetano is running for mayor.

The shows also are running on Olelo Television on channel 54 on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. or you can watch them on Hawaii Reporter TV at HawaiiReporter.com

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Hawaii Reporter is an award-winning, independent Hawaii-based news and opinion journal founded in 2001 and launched in February 2002. The journal's staff have won a number of top awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including the top investigative news reporting awards, business reporting awards, government reporting awards, and online news reporting awards. Hawaii Reporter has a weekly television news show, News Behind the News, which airs on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.