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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


DATELINE: January 26, 2016, Honolulu, Hawai`i
CONTACT: Kelsey Meehan, (808) 591-9193, kmeehan@grassrootinstitute.org

Grassroot Budget Report Highlights Missing Element In Governor’s Address

“State of the State Budget 2016” report shows need for more transparency and accountability in government spending

HONOLULU, HAWAII–January 26, 2016–Following Governor Ige’s State of the State Address, the Grassroot Institute complimented the Governor on honoring his commitment to address the state’s unfunded liabilities, but pointed out one significant problem in the supplemental budget–a fundamental lack of transparency. In its own analysis of the multi-year state budget, a report titled “State of the State Budget 2016“, the Grassroot Institute questioned the Governor’s expenditure projections, which fall well below the historical average.

The Grassroot budget report is an overview of issues that came to light following the Governor’s submission of his supplemental budget for FY 2017. In the report, Grassroot looks at the gap between the Governor’s planned spending and historical figures, questioning the basis for a planned drop in expenditures that has not been accounted for by any significant cuts. In light of the Governor’s address, which included major capital projects as well as a renewal of the commitment to address problems in the ERS, Grassroot Institute expressed concern that–despite promises the contrary–the Ige administration may not be any more efficient or fiscally responsible than previous ones.

“A lack of transparency and accountability has been a major factor in our state’s budget woes, and it seems as though little has changed,” stated Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., President of the Grassroot Institute. “Though the problem may not be entirely of Governor Ige’s making, he now bears responsibility for making a real and substantial change in the way our state does business. Unfortunately, there is little to persuade us that a new kind of state government is just around the corner.”

“While we are glad to see the Governor address the problems with Hawaii’s unfunded liabilities, there is still much work to be done,” Dr. Akina continued. “For a healthy state budget and a bright economic future, we need to see the real numbers behind the promises. And we need to continue to look at new ways to address Hawaii’s problems. The Governor has taken a few steps in the right direction, but it’s time to show us that it’s not just spending as usual in the State Capitol.”

To read the Grasssroot budget report go to: http://new.grassrootinstitute.org/2016/01/state-of-the-state-budget-2016/

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Kelsey Meehan at (808) 591-9193 or email kmeehan@grassrootinstitute.org.

About the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii:
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, the free market, and limited, accountable government throughout Hawai`i and the Asia-Pacific region.  Read more about us athttp://www.grassrootinstitute.org/
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About Grassroot President:
Keli’i Akina, Ph.D.,  is a recognized scholar, educator, public policy spokesperson, and community leader in Hawaii.  Currently, he is President/CEO of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a public policy think tank dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, free markets and limited, accountable government.  An expert in East-West Philosophy and ethics, Dr. Akina has taught at universities in China and the United States and continues as an adjunct instructor at Hawaii Pacific University.  Dr. Akina was a candidate for Trustee at Large of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in the 2014 General Election run-off.