Sen. Sam Slom

BY JIM DOOLEY – The state Senate’s sole Republican member said today he’s not convinced the new state budget passed by the Legislature yesterday is actually in balance.

Sam Slom, R-8th (Hawaii Kai, Aina Haina, Kahala, Diamond Head), was the only lawmaker to vote against the budget bill.

“I’m still not convinced that the budget is in balance right now. We’re still looking over the numbers and adding them manually because there is no total that’s been given,” Slom said in his final press conference of the 2011 legislative session.

Slom is a supporter of, and occasional columnist for, Hawaii Reporter.

Slom said that even if the budget’s revenue and spending totals are equal, an expected drop in tax revenues will unbalance it in the near future.

“We’re not looking for a major recovery soon,” he said.

“The budget is larger than it was before,” Slom continued.

“We have not cut back. We have into the increases that the governor had suggested in his executive budget,” said Slom.

“I think that we have major problems still ahead,” he said.

He said he was pleased the legislators did not pass major new tax increases this year.

“My single biggest disappointment was that there was not one bill introduced this session to improve our business and investment climate,” Slom said.

He praised Senate President Shan Tsutsui’s management of the senate this year. Tsustui, D-4th (Wailuku, Waihee, Kahului, Paia, Lower Paia), replaced Colleen Hanabusa, who was elected to Congress.

“I think he did a remarkable job,” Slom said.

“I think he went out of his way to be fair to everybody and that led to more interaction, more discussion,” Slom said.

 

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