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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


DATELINE: February 4, 2016, Honolulu, Hawai`i
CONTACT: Kelsey Meehan, (808) 591-9193, kmeehan@grassrootinstitute.org

National Analysis Shows Concern over Ige’s Proposed Agenda

Report Findings Consistent with Grassroot Budget Report, 2016

HONOLULU, HAWAII –February 4, 2016– As part of its “State of the States, 2016” series, the ALEC Center for State Fiscal Reform offered an economic analysis of Governor David Ige’s State of the State address. The report, which commends the Governor for addressing the state’s failing pension system, finds that the state’s economy will continue to suffer until the regulatory barriers and crippling tax rates for businesses are removed.

The Hawaii report gives due credit to Governor Ige for addressing critical problems that the state’s economy faces in the coming year, yet it is quick to point out that the state leadership is largely ignoring the root of Hawaii’s fiscal troubles: an outdated, unsustainable pension plan model, and an uncompetitive business climate that does not allow for economic prosperity.

The state’s massive unfunded market liabilities, cited by ALEC as more than $30 billion, or $21,852 for every man, woman and child, is one of the biggest challenges facing the state. The Governor’s proposals to change the pension system as well as create an innovative economy fall short.

“Proper leadership and management of Hawaii’s economic future requires us to look outside of Hawaii at the best practices of the most successful states,” remarked Dr. Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., President of the Grassroot Institute, “That’s what the American Legislative Exchange Counsel helps us to do by evaluating Hawaii’’s fiscal policies against objective standards.”

Dr. Akina continued, “The ALEC analysis rightly praises Governor Ige for his concerns over the state’s pension system and his call to create an innovate and globally competitive economy. At the same time, the analysis highlights critical areas where the state requires clear direction and strong leadership, such as the need to revamp the public workers pension system and eliminate disincentives for business competition in Hawaii.”

The full “State of the States, 2016: Hawaii” report can be viewed by clicking here.

To view the Grassroot report, State of the State Budget 2016, click here.

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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.

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.