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Budget & Spending

Hawaii finances ‘unsustainable’ without economic growth

“Unsustainable.” That was the word Joe Kent, executive vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, used to describe Hawaii’s precarious financial situation during a presentation earlier this month at Chaminade University of Honolulu’s “People, Planet and Prosperity for a Sustainable Future Conference.” “My rule for government financing,” Kent said,

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Governor’s budget cuts wise and courageous

My colleagues and I at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii are not shy about challenging the actions of public officials. It’s part of our mission to promote a freer, more prosperous Hawaii. But we also want to celebrate wins and give credit where credit is due — which is why

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Hill finds some gems amid Legislature’s overspending

Talking about Hawaii’s high cost of living was how Malia Hill, policy director of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, and radio host Rick Hamada eased into a conversation earlier this month about the Hawaii Legislature’s “distressing” 2023 legislative session. Appearing June 1 on the Rick Hamada Program on News Radio

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State needs to rein in wild spending

The following “Island Voices” commentary was published originally in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on May 28, 2023. _________ By Joe Kent and Jonathan Helton Government transparency in Hawaii took a hit this year when state lawmakers approved a state budget that burned through the state’s budget surplus and wildly exceeded the

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Governor is last hope to rein in state spending spree

The following commentary was published originally in the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle on May 20, 2023, ___________ The chaos that typically characterizes the final days of a Hawaii legislative session this year produced a state budget that exceeds the constitutionally mandated spending limit by 10%. Gov. Josh Green’s proposed budget would

Read More →

Kent says deleting slush fund is ‘the responsible thing to do’

It’s bad enough that Hawaii lawmakers have proposed exceeding the state’s legal spending by almost 25%, but they also appropriated $200 million to Gov. Josh Green for him to spend however he likes, and that’s not right, according to Joe Kent, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii executive vice president. Interviewed by

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Projected state surplus vanishing in face of planned higher spending

The Legislature’s proposed spending plan for fiscal 2024, if OK’d by the governor, could result in a state budget deficit of $45 million by fiscal 2028 The following is a news release issued by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on May 10, 2023. _____________ HONOLULU, May 10, 2023 >> Hawaii’s projected state budget surplus

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Legislature on track to violate state’s legal spending limit

The following is a news release that was issued May 2, 2023, by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. _____________ The proposed budget is $668 million more than the governor requested and doesn’t even include almost 30 other measures that require funding HONOLULU, May 2, 2023 >> The state Legislature’s proposed budget for the

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Maui Mayor Bissen so far keeps promise to be financially prudent

The following commentary was published originally by The Maui News on April 25, 2023. _____________ At his inauguration, Maui Mayor Richard Bissen promised a prudent approach to the county’s finances. “There are two things you need to know about my views on fiscal responsibility,” he told the audience. “First, I

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Governor’s ‘remarkable’ tax bills still mostly alive

Not all of Gov. Josh Green’s proposed tax cuts survived lawmakers’ scrutiny this session, but enough are still alive to be optimistic.  Grassroot Institute Executive Vice President Joe Kent joined H. Hawaii Media radio host Johnny Miro on Sunday to discuss what remains of the “Green Affordability Plan,” which could

Read More →

Hawaii finances ‘unsustainable’ without economic growth

“Unsustainable.” That was the word Joe Kent, executive vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, used to describe Hawaii’s precarious financial situation during a presentation earlier this month at Chaminade University of Honolulu’s “People, Planet and Prosperity for a Sustainable Future Conference.” “My rule for government financing,” Kent said,

Read More →

Governor’s budget cuts wise and courageous

My colleagues and I at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii are not shy about challenging the actions of public officials. It’s part of our mission to promote a freer, more prosperous Hawaii. But we also want to celebrate wins and give credit where credit is due — which is why

Read More →

Hill finds some gems amid Legislature’s overspending

Talking about Hawaii’s high cost of living was how Malia Hill, policy director of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, and radio host Rick Hamada eased into a conversation earlier this month about the Hawaii Legislature’s “distressing” 2023 legislative session. Appearing June 1 on the Rick Hamada Program on News Radio

Read More →

State needs to rein in wild spending

The following “Island Voices” commentary was published originally in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on May 28, 2023. _________ By Joe Kent and Jonathan Helton Government transparency in Hawaii took a hit this year when state lawmakers approved a state budget that burned through the state’s budget surplus and wildly exceeded the

Read More →

Governor is last hope to rein in state spending spree

The following commentary was published originally in the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle on May 20, 2023, ___________ The chaos that typically characterizes the final days of a Hawaii legislative session this year produced a state budget that exceeds the constitutionally mandated spending limit by 10%. Gov. Josh Green’s proposed budget would

Read More →

Kent says deleting slush fund is ‘the responsible thing to do’

It’s bad enough that Hawaii lawmakers have proposed exceeding the state’s legal spending by almost 25%, but they also appropriated $200 million to Gov. Josh Green for him to spend however he likes, and that’s not right, according to Joe Kent, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii executive vice president. Interviewed by

Read More →

Projected state surplus vanishing in face of planned higher spending

The Legislature’s proposed spending plan for fiscal 2024, if OK’d by the governor, could result in a state budget deficit of $45 million by fiscal 2028 The following is a news release issued by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on May 10, 2023. _____________ HONOLULU, May 10, 2023 >> Hawaii’s projected state budget surplus

Read More →

Legislature on track to violate state’s legal spending limit

The following is a news release that was issued May 2, 2023, by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. _____________ The proposed budget is $668 million more than the governor requested and doesn’t even include almost 30 other measures that require funding HONOLULU, May 2, 2023 >> The state Legislature’s proposed budget for the

Read More →

Maui Mayor Bissen so far keeps promise to be financially prudent

The following commentary was published originally by The Maui News on April 25, 2023. _____________ At his inauguration, Maui Mayor Richard Bissen promised a prudent approach to the county’s finances. “There are two things you need to know about my views on fiscal responsibility,” he told the audience. “First, I

Read More →

Governor’s ‘remarkable’ tax bills still mostly alive

Not all of Gov. Josh Green’s proposed tax cuts survived lawmakers’ scrutiny this session, but enough are still alive to be optimistic.  Grassroot Institute Executive Vice President Joe Kent joined H. Hawaii Media radio host Johnny Miro on Sunday to discuss what remains of the “Green Affordability Plan,” which could

Read More →