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In a conversation that covered topics as varied as the illusory nature of the state budget surplus and the demands of rail and similar projects on the state purse, Grassroot Institute President Keli’i Akina, State Finance Director Kalbert Young, and Think Tech’s Jay Fidell even touched on areas of optimism in how the state has begun to address Hawaii’s unfunded liabilities.

The interview took place as part of Think Tech’s regular video series on community issues, and focused on creating a clearer picture of our current financial health. During the conversation, the group delved into the finer points of Hawaii’s finances, with special consideration of how politicians and citizens should approach proposals to make use of the $844 million budget “surplus”–a term that Mr. Young emphasized gave a slightly inaccurate impression of the way that state finances operate. In addition, Dr. Akina praised Act 268, the measure that requires the (gradual) annual funding of the state’s OPEB obligations.

You can watch the interview in its entirety below or at http://youtu.be/IiDHamBeqc8.