In the last three years, nearly all fifty states saw government budgets operating in the red as a result of the global economic crisis. The fallout of the meltdown gained considerable notoriety in Hawaii as the determination was made to compensate for the revenue shortfall in part by implementing a temporary furlough of Department of Education personnel. The Hawaii State Legislature, faced with mounting public opposition to “Furlough Fridays” and insufficient revenues to maintain current levels of spending, considered a variety of funding mechanisms, one of which included the use of raiding funds designated on state budget worksheets as “B” means of financing (MOFs), or “special funds,” as it was believed that a number of these accounts were either in excess of their operational requirements or funded mandates which had sunset. (more)
Hawaii’s taxpayers might be shocked to discover that while numerous voices in and out of the local political establishment are calling for an increase in the General Excise Tax to cover any future budget shortfalls in education or other state services, upwards of $1.4 billion dollars in unspent excess funds may be sitting in special funds, several of which were tagged by the auditor almost a decade ago for repeal. According to the Department of Budget and Finance’s “Reports on Non-General Fund Information: Fiscal Years 2006-2012,” some 186 special funds spread across twenty different departments hold an estimated $1,412,357,203 in unspent revenues over and above their operational requirements. In plain language, if the estimates provided by the Department are correct, the state has more than just pocket change stuck in its seats. (more)
Correcting historical revisionism and misconceptions promoted by the Akaka Bill.
How Fast Does The State Government Spend Your Money?