Hawaii House Leader Criticizing Governor on Budget Plans, But Doesn’t Offer His Own Solutions

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House Finance Chair Marcus Oshiro’s criticism of Governor Linda Lingle’s proposed supplemental budget is unfortunate, given that he has not offered solutions to deal with the current financial crisis.

Last January, after the Council on Revenues lowered its revenue forecast by approximately $125 million, Oshiro told the media:

“We’re all in this boat together, we’re all in this canoe together, we all need to pull together and keep together, because we will get through this.”

At the time, we were encouraged by his willingness to collaborate to find meaningful solutions to balance the budget and ensure state government lives within its means.

Unfortunately, throughout this past year, as the Council on Revenues continued to lower its revenue forecast to the point where the state now faces a projected $1.23 billion revenue shortfall, Rep. Oshiro has failed to make any hard decision or offer any viable solution to the financial crisis. He has not said what programs or services he would cut or proposed what fees or taxes he would raise to generate more revenue.

Governor Lingle, on the other hand, has taken decisive action, which she started back in June 2008, to balance the budget, while ensuring core government services continue. She has made tough decisions to reduce spending, cut programs, furlough state employees and eliminate positions, including more than 700 workers.

These were not easy decisions for the Governor to make, but they reflect the kind of decisive leadership Hawai

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