HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle accused lawmakers Friday of making life harder on residents by raising taxes and failing to approve her job-creation ideas.
The Republican governor attacked proposals in the Democratic-run Legislature that would increase taxes on oil, time-share units and health insurers.
''The Legislature is raising the cost of living,'' Lingle said from her executive chambers, speaking about the health insurer tax. ''Every time we've come in with a proposal to reduce the expenses of government, their reaction is to hold public hearings, to bring in special interests who then say why we shouldn't do that.''
House Finance Committee Chairman Marcus Oshiro said the state has to raise taxes and fees to provide government services, including health care, welfare, environmental protection and education.
''We're going to be raising some funds, but we're going to be funding the essential services that people want,'' said Oshiro, D-Wahiawa-Poamoho.
The Legislature is considering about a dozen tax measures to help close the state's more than $1.2 billion projected budget deficit, but lawmakers have backed off broad-based general excise tax or income tax hikes.
Lingle also called on lawmakers to focus on improving the economy instead of on bills that would allow medical marijuana dispensaries, legalize gambling and ban foie gras. Of those proposals, only the medical marijuana bill is still alive.
She called the House's budget proposal ''shibai,'' a favorite Hawaii political term for deception.
Oshiro defended the budget bill, which the House unanimously approved this week and will now be considered by the Senate.
''The truth is, we did pass out a balanced budget,'' Oshiro said. ''It sounds like the governor is having a bad week.''
Lingle urged lawmakers to advance her bills granting business tax credits for hotel renovations and new jobs and to approve a loan program to help residents install solar power.
Oshiro said he wasn't convinced the tax credits would create jobs, but the solar power bond financing bill has already passed the House and a Senate committee.