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Budget & Spending

‘Jenga’ budgeting is no game

Last week, I accidentally demolished the state budget. What’s more, I was helped by Maui residents who attended the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii’s recent event in Wailuku concerning “The real state of Hawaii’s finances.” The guest speaker for the event was Sheila Weinberg of Truth in Accounting, an organization dedicated

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Jenga game illustrates how government budgets go wrong

The founder of Truth in Accounting showed her Maui audience how Hawaii’s state budgeting practices invite financial collapse Everyone had a good time at the institute’s first in-person event on Maui since 2020, on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. That’s because Sheila Weinberg, founder of national government watchdog group Truth in Accounting, engaged

Read More →

NEWS RELEASE: Ige’s ‘intent to veto’ list praised

The following news release was issued by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on June 23, 2021. _____________ Grassroot Institute of Hawaii CEO Keli’i Akina says the list reflects a commendable effort to avoid increasing Hawaii’s taxpayer burden HONOLULU, June 23, 2021 >> The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii today commended Gov. David Ige for declaring his intent

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Now is the time to ‘get real’ about Hawaii’s future

Hawaii’s “brain drain” has been an ubiquitous subject in our public consciousness for decades.  But given the economic devastation prompted by the state’s yearlong COVID-19 lockdowns, we now are even more vulnerable to losing the state’s best and brightest to opportunities elsewhere.  Legislative tax bills such as the notorious SB56

Read More →

Kent urges GASB to maintain strict accounting standards for governments

The Grassroot Institute submitted testimony in February to the private Government Accounting Standards Board, which is considering some rule changes that would make it easier for governments to ignore their long-term liabilities when crafting short-term budgets. This past Monday, April 12, 2021, Institute Executive Vice President Joe Kent met with the

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Lawmakers should follow the ‘golden rule’ of budgeting

This commentary was originally published in The Maui News on April 14, 2021. ______________ If state leaders ever hope to revitalize Hawaii’s economy, they need to follow the “golden rule” of budgeting: Make sure government does not grow faster than the economy. That would leave more money for Hawaii residents

Read More →

Fiscal notes could help Hawaii avoid fiscal calamity

Above, Hawaii former state Rep. Cynthia Thielen, in a 2018 video pleading for fiscal notes Fiscal notes by themselves would not solve Hawaii’s financial crisis, but they could help rein it in   Hawaii is experiencing its worst economic depression ever, yet state lawmakers seem determined to drive the state

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Legislators flub chance to put Hawaii budget house in order

The commentary below was Keli’i Akina’s weekly “President’s Corner” column for March 26, 2021. If you would like to have his columns emailed to you on a regular basis, please call 808-864-1776 or email info@grassrootinstitute.org. ____________ Imagine you have a cousin who is having problems with debt. He keeps telling

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Grassroot Institute CEO denounces House budget plan as ‘irresponsible’

The following is a news release issued by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on March 24, 2021, regarding the state House voting unanimously to approve HB200, HD1. _____________ Institute President Keli’i Akina says House members should have aimed to pay off more debt instead of go on a record-breaking spending spree HONOLULU, March 24, 2021 >>

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Testimony, HB200, relating to the state budget

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on March 17, 2021, for consideration by the Hawaii House Committee on Finance. ______________ To: House Committee on Finance Rep. Sylvia Luke, Chair Rep. Ty J.K. Cullen, Vice Chair From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii Joe Kent, Executive Vice President RE:

Read More →

‘Jenga’ budgeting is no game

Last week, I accidentally demolished the state budget. What’s more, I was helped by Maui residents who attended the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii’s recent event in Wailuku concerning “The real state of Hawaii’s finances.” The guest speaker for the event was Sheila Weinberg of Truth in Accounting, an organization dedicated

Read More →

Jenga game illustrates how government budgets go wrong

The founder of Truth in Accounting showed her Maui audience how Hawaii’s state budgeting practices invite financial collapse Everyone had a good time at the institute’s first in-person event on Maui since 2020, on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. That’s because Sheila Weinberg, founder of national government watchdog group Truth in Accounting, engaged

Read More →

NEWS RELEASE: Ige’s ‘intent to veto’ list praised

The following news release was issued by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on June 23, 2021. _____________ Grassroot Institute of Hawaii CEO Keli’i Akina says the list reflects a commendable effort to avoid increasing Hawaii’s taxpayer burden HONOLULU, June 23, 2021 >> The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii today commended Gov. David Ige for declaring his intent

Read More →

Now is the time to ‘get real’ about Hawaii’s future

Hawaii’s “brain drain” has been an ubiquitous subject in our public consciousness for decades.  But given the economic devastation prompted by the state’s yearlong COVID-19 lockdowns, we now are even more vulnerable to losing the state’s best and brightest to opportunities elsewhere.  Legislative tax bills such as the notorious SB56

Read More →

Kent urges GASB to maintain strict accounting standards for governments

The Grassroot Institute submitted testimony in February to the private Government Accounting Standards Board, which is considering some rule changes that would make it easier for governments to ignore their long-term liabilities when crafting short-term budgets. This past Monday, April 12, 2021, Institute Executive Vice President Joe Kent met with the

Read More →

Lawmakers should follow the ‘golden rule’ of budgeting

This commentary was originally published in The Maui News on April 14, 2021. ______________ If state leaders ever hope to revitalize Hawaii’s economy, they need to follow the “golden rule” of budgeting: Make sure government does not grow faster than the economy. That would leave more money for Hawaii residents

Read More →

Fiscal notes could help Hawaii avoid fiscal calamity

Above, Hawaii former state Rep. Cynthia Thielen, in a 2018 video pleading for fiscal notes Fiscal notes by themselves would not solve Hawaii’s financial crisis, but they could help rein it in   Hawaii is experiencing its worst economic depression ever, yet state lawmakers seem determined to drive the state

Read More →

Legislators flub chance to put Hawaii budget house in order

The commentary below was Keli’i Akina’s weekly “President’s Corner” column for March 26, 2021. If you would like to have his columns emailed to you on a regular basis, please call 808-864-1776 or email info@grassrootinstitute.org. ____________ Imagine you have a cousin who is having problems with debt. He keeps telling

Read More →

Grassroot Institute CEO denounces House budget plan as ‘irresponsible’

The following is a news release issued by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on March 24, 2021, regarding the state House voting unanimously to approve HB200, HD1. _____________ Institute President Keli’i Akina says House members should have aimed to pay off more debt instead of go on a record-breaking spending spree HONOLULU, March 24, 2021 >>

Read More →

Testimony, HB200, relating to the state budget

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on March 17, 2021, for consideration by the Hawaii House Committee on Finance. ______________ To: House Committee on Finance Rep. Sylvia Luke, Chair Rep. Ty J.K. Cullen, Vice Chair From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii Joe Kent, Executive Vice President RE:

Read More →