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Bill 12: Council deserves praise for axing $40 million from budget

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the Honolulu City and County Council, Committee on Budget on May 13, 2024.
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May 13, 2024, 9 a.m.
Honolulu Hale

To: Honolulu City and County Council, Committee on Budget
      Councilmember Radiant Cordero, Chair
      Councilmember Matt Weyer, Vice Chair

From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
           Ted Kefalas, Director of Strategic Campaigns

RE: BILL 12 — EXECUTIVE OPERATING BUDGET FOR FY 2025

Aloha Chair Cordero, Vice-Chair Weyer and other members of the Committee,

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii would like to offer its comments on Bill 12, the executive operating budget for fiscal year 2025.

In particular, we would like to praise the Council for cutting approximately $40 million from the proposed budget, something that was accomplished in part by eliminating funding for long-vacant positions.

City spending would still be going up by 7.3% while inflation is up just 4.8%. But ideally, the city budget should not outpace private sector growth over the same period, and this gets somewhat closer to that goal.

For that reason, we urge you to keep these cuts and resist any proposals that would restore the positions or increase funding elsewhere.

Given the economic stresses of the past few years, Honolulu would be wise to limit spending, reduce the burden on taxpayers and focus on budget practices that will help the city prepare for the future.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify.

Ted Kefalas
Director of Strategic Campaigns
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
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