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Maui benefits from completion of House-Senate budget dealings

The Maui News

Finalized state House and Senate budget negotiations are yielding $12 million for a science, technology, engineering and mathematics building at Maui High School, according to Central Maui Rep. Justin Woodson.

“A new STEM building will be a tremendous benefit and offer many educational opportunities to our students,” he said.

Also in the budget is $28 million operating subsidy for Maui Health Systems, the Kaiser Permanente affiliate that operates Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital.

“It was a challenging task to secure these funds, but we were able to get it done,” said Woodson, whose district includes Kahului, Puunene, Old Sand Hills and Maui Lani.

He thanked House Finance Committee Chairwoman Sylvia Luke for agreeing to include the hospital money in the budget. Earlier, she had removed it from the request submitted by the administration of Gov. David Ige.

Other highlights of approved funding included:

• $17.6 million for improvements for safer and more efficient operational areas at Kahului Harbor.

• $16.2 million for design and construction of a baggage-handling system, hold room and gate improvements at Kahului Airport.

• $2.8 million for construction of weight training and wrestling facilities at Maui High School.

• $2.5 million for a mixed-use Kahului civic center project, including a new Maui Bus hub.

• $1 million for Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center.

• $750,000 for the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

• $700,000 for roof, ceiling and lighting projects at Kahului Library.

• $500,000 for the Maui County Council of Boy Scouts of America.

• $500,000 for Maui Economic Opportunity Inc.

• $250,000 for Ka Lima O Maui.

• $200,000 for Maui Family YMCA.

• $60,000 for Hawaiian Kamali’i Inc.

According to Luke, statewide appropriations included:

• $39 million for consolidated rental car facilities at the Daniel K. International Airport in Honolulu and Kahului Airport.

• $15 million in a lump sum for homeless programs and services statewide.

• $11 million for special maintenance highway projects statewide.

• $5.25 million to Medquest for online enrollment in Medicaid.

• $4.5 million and one position for Alternative Learning Centers.

• $3.9 million for additional funding for the Kupuna Care Program. (The Kupuna Caregiver fund received $1.2 million.)

• $1.1 million for the Alternative Teacher Route Program to help with recruitment and certification of potential public school teachers.

• $850,000 to the state Department of Education for students to travel to interisland athletic events.

• Two additional positions and $500,000 for the Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

• $500,000 for an aquaculture accelerator initiative to help island startups.

• $500,000 for the Early College program.

• $450,000 for the State Rent Supplement Program to provide housing support for vulnerable families.

• $400,000 for the Teacher Certification Stipend Program to help increase the number of qualified public school teachers.

Budget worksheets detailing appropriations can be found at www.capitol.hawaii.gov/budget/2018budget.aspx.

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