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Grassroot Institute Testimony Highlights Need for State Agencies to Share Death Records

Watchdog group urges Legislature to reform existing law to stop zombie pension payments

HONOLULU, HAWAII–March 11, 2016–Today, the Grassroot Institute reiterated that state agencies must be able to share information about deceased individuals in order to increase accountability and stop wasteful spending.

In comments submitted on SB 2840, the Grassroot Institute cited their finding that between 2010 and 2015, the state paid $538,519.25 of public pension money to deceased individuals. Allowing agencies to share information about deceased persons on their rolls would help put an end to waste and fraud, ultimately saving the taxpayers money. This is the second time that the watchdog group testified on this issue before the legislature, having previously offered similar remarks regarding HB 2311.

“This is a simple, common-sense reform that could end up saving the citizens of Hawaii millions of dollars,” stated Keli’i Akina, Ph,D., President of the Grassroot Institute. “Better accountability and more efficient government is the key to ending the ‘zombie’ pension payments. Moreover, improved record-keeping will help the state identify and stop fraud and help reduce wasteful spending.”

Grassroot Institute’s testimony can be viewed at: http://new.grassrootinstitute.org/2016/03/grassroot-testimony-sb-2840-reporting-deaths-to-state-agencies/

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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.