No Pay Increases for Lawmakers, Judges, Governor; City is in Negotiations With Public Unions; Brookings: Honolulu Best for Public Transit

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No Pay Increase for Hawaii Lawmakers, Judges, Governor

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie opted to extend the 5 percent pay cut for himself and his department heads as well as Hawaii lawmakers and judges for two more years.


Despite opposition from the judiciary branch, the Hawaii State Legislature passed the bill in May just before the 60-working day legislative session ended.

Hawaii Government Employees Association members also had their pay reduced 5 percent this year, (but they also received other compensation in their negotiations.)

Without the bill, lawmakers would have had their pay increased substantially after June 30, 2011. The 5 percent reduction expires December 31, 2013.

According to, the Hawaii governor earns $117,312, the Lieutenant Governor earns $114,420 and the Chief Justice earns $181,000.

With the pay cuts, lawmakers earn about $46,000 per year. Legislators receive a per diem of $150 per day for members living on neighbor islands so they can travel during the session and $120 per day during interim while conducting legislative business, said.

City is in Negotiations With Public Unions

Negotiations are under way between the City & County of Honolulu and its public unions, but city press secretary Louise Kim McCoy said the city will not comment on the status of the negotiations while they are ongoing saying it is “inappropriate.”

She did provide information on the three contracts expire on June 30, 2011.

As of March 3, 2011, the number of employees in the affected unions are:

  • Bargaining Unit 11 (firefighters)              970
  • Bargaining Unit 12 (police officers)         1,919
  • Bargaining Unit  1 (UPW/blue-collar)         1,780
  • Bargaining Unit 10 (UPW/emergency responders)  191

Brookings: Honolulu Best for Public Transit

In a report entitled The 20 Best and Worst Cities for Public Transit , Time magazine reports that Honolulu was rated number 1 best by the Brookings Institution.

The Brookings poses the question: “With gas prices rising and family budgets strained, more commuters are looking for efficient ways to get to work without a car. But are America’s transit networks up to the task?”

Honolulu is with the following rankings:

  • Percent of working-age residents near a transit stop: 97%
  • Median wait (minutes) for any rush hour transit vehicle: 9.0
  • Percent of jobs reachable via transit in 90 minutes: 60%
  • For more about jobs and transit in this city, see the full Brookings profile.

Despite rave reviews from Brookings and other rating groups for Honolulu’s bus transit, the mayor and his supporters continue to push the construction of a 20 mile, $5.5 billion steel on steel rail project from Kapolei to Honolulu, something opponents say is not needed and is not affordable.