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Governor says Hawaii budget is imbalanced

June 10, 2014
The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii's budget isn't balanced, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Monday that he will have to veto some of the Legislature's spending requests to solve the problem.

"A major legal challenge has emerged that must be addressed," Abercrombie said. "The budget bill and the bond authorization bill must balance. They do not."

To solve the problem, Abercrombie said he will veto about $45 million in proposed spending by the Department of Education for its facilities improvement projects.

State Budget Director Kalbert Young said that the Department of Education has agreed to the change and has said the reduced funding will not delay current projects.

"They have enough funding that they can execute as planned, but for the second year, they will need to get that additional $45 million," Young said.

House Speaker Joe Souki of Maui concurred. He said the funding Abercrombie was vetoing was not going to be used by the DOE this year, and that there will be time to add the funding back into the state budget next legislative session.

"It's not easy," Young said, but because the department has a large budget and multiple projects, it can adjust.

The solution, which has been cleared with legislative leaders, avoids the need to call a special session to balance the budget, Abercrombie said.

* The Maui News contributed to this report.



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