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Budget & Spending

New tool lets citizens balance Hawaii budget

The following is a news release that was issued by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on June 19, 2020. _______________ The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii tool shows 15% cuts across the board and delaying salary increases would be enough to erase the deficit   HONOLULU, June 19, 2020 >> Hawaii citizens now can try their hand

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‘New normal’ requires long-term budget thinking

Hawaii lawmakers are facing a “new normal” of significantly reduced tax revenues. In response, they should reduce long-term expenses, such as payroll expenses and department budgets, instead of only short-term expenses, such as one-time projects or more borrowing, if they wish to keep their spending in line with their new

Read More →

Start working now to adopt a meaningful spending cap

Hawaii’s existing cap is too easily ignored by lawmakers Now is the perfect time for fundamental policy changes in Hawaii, and a perfect place to start would be imposing a government spending cap with teeth. It would take a state constitutional amendment to do it, but in case it wasn’t

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Legislature needs to cut costs, Akina advises on KITV4

KITV4 reporter Paul Drewes interviewed Keli’i Akina, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, on Wednesday, May 13, to get the institute’s views about legislative plans for Hawaii’s state budget. Considering that the COVID-19 crisis has decimated Hawaii’s economy, causing state tax revenues to dry up, Akina advised: “The Legislature

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Testimony on HB2200, HD1, relating to the state budget

This is the testimony submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii regarding HB2200, HD1, aka the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020, for consideration by the Hawaii Senate Committee on Ways and Means at its meeting on Monday, May 11, 2020. _______________ May 11, 2020 10:30 a.m. Hawaii State Capitol Auditorium

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Hawaii ERS headed for disaster, if economy keeps heading south

The following was issued as news release by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on April 28, 2020. ________________ Major reforms could help the pension system honor its promises HONOLULU, April 29, 2020 >> If you think Hawaii’s unfunded public pension liabilities of $14 billion[1] are daunting now, brace yourself for what they could

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How to rescue Maui from the coronavirus recession

This commentary was published originally in The Maui News on April 24, 2020. ___________ Maui County’s economy is in trouble because of the coronavirus recession, but there are ways to turn that around, if only our state and county lawmakers would get out of the way. On a per capita

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‘Coronavirus recession’ a reality check

Now that the coronavirus is officially a pandemic, politicians everywhere are scrambling to respond. While we applaud efforts to protect citizens’ health, there is another element that must be accounted for: the virus’ effect on Hawaii’s economy. Earlier this week, the Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawaii (UHERO)

Read More →

New tool lets citizens balance Hawaii budget

The following is a news release that was issued by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on June 19, 2020. _______________ The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii tool shows 15% cuts across the board and delaying salary increases would be enough to erase the deficit   HONOLULU, June 19, 2020 >> Hawaii citizens now can try their hand

Read More →

‘New normal’ requires long-term budget thinking

Hawaii lawmakers are facing a “new normal” of significantly reduced tax revenues. In response, they should reduce long-term expenses, such as payroll expenses and department budgets, instead of only short-term expenses, such as one-time projects or more borrowing, if they wish to keep their spending in line with their new

Read More →

Start working now to adopt a meaningful spending cap

Hawaii’s existing cap is too easily ignored by lawmakers Now is the perfect time for fundamental policy changes in Hawaii, and a perfect place to start would be imposing a government spending cap with teeth. It would take a state constitutional amendment to do it, but in case it wasn’t

Read More →

Legislature needs to cut costs, Akina advises on KITV4

KITV4 reporter Paul Drewes interviewed Keli’i Akina, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, on Wednesday, May 13, to get the institute’s views about legislative plans for Hawaii’s state budget. Considering that the COVID-19 crisis has decimated Hawaii’s economy, causing state tax revenues to dry up, Akina advised: “The Legislature

Read More →

Testimony on HB2200, HD1, relating to the state budget

This is the testimony submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii regarding HB2200, HD1, aka the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020, for consideration by the Hawaii Senate Committee on Ways and Means at its meeting on Monday, May 11, 2020. _______________ May 11, 2020 10:30 a.m. Hawaii State Capitol Auditorium

Read More →

Hawaii ERS headed for disaster, if economy keeps heading south

The following was issued as news release by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on April 28, 2020. ________________ Major reforms could help the pension system honor its promises HONOLULU, April 29, 2020 >> If you think Hawaii’s unfunded public pension liabilities of $14 billion[1] are daunting now, brace yourself for what they could

Read More →

How to rescue Maui from the coronavirus recession

This commentary was published originally in The Maui News on April 24, 2020. ___________ Maui County’s economy is in trouble because of the coronavirus recession, but there are ways to turn that around, if only our state and county lawmakers would get out of the way. On a per capita

Read More →

‘Coronavirus recession’ a reality check

Now that the coronavirus is officially a pandemic, politicians everywhere are scrambling to respond. While we applaud efforts to protect citizens’ health, there is another element that must be accounted for: the virus’ effect on Hawaii’s economy. Earlier this week, the Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawaii (UHERO)

Read More →