Funds for new Maui school in budget plan

The Maui News – The powerful state House Finance Committee sent to the full House on Wednesday a proposed budget for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 that calls for spending $10 million on design and construction of a new intermediate school in Central Maui and $34.6 million on improvements at Kahului Harbor.

All funding bills in the House have to pass through the Finance Committee, which OK’d a $21.34 billion proposed operational budget for fiscal 2018 and a $21.7 billion budget for fiscal year 2019. The proposed budget includes $2.2 billion in capital improvement spending for 2018 that runs through June 30 and $2.1 billion for 2019.

House Bill 1900 is scheduled for a vote next week by the full House. If approved, the budget measure would head to the state Senate and a likely conference committee of the two houses to reconcile differences.

The news release from the House on Wednesday cited the following Maui County appropriations:

• $22.3 million for runway reconstruction at Lanai Airport.

• $17 million for a modernization program for Kahului Harbor.

• $17.6 million for design and construction of improvements to provide safer and more efficient use of operational areas at Kahului Harbor.

• $2 million for the design of a new classroom building at Paia Elementary School.

• $700,000 for the repair and renovation of the Kahului Public Library.

• $400,000 for the expansion of the culinary arts program at the UH-Maui College

• $38,440 for a deputy public defender for the Maui Public Defender’s Office.

Maui County House members on the committee, Kyle Yamashita and Lynn DeCoite, voted for the measure.

Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke of Oahu said homeless and housing initiatives were top priorities for the House. The Homeless Programs Office currently has 88 existing homeless contracts totaling $39 million. This budget includes $91.5 million for additional homeless and housing projects, she said.