GOVERNOR’S OFFICE PRESS RELEASE: GOVERNOR IGE ANNOUNCES VETOS ON LINE ITEMS, WILL SIGN BUDGET BILL TOMORROW
Posted on July 6, 2022 in Latest Department News, Press Room, Press Releases from the Governor’s Office
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HONOLULU – Governor David Ige today introduced the clause vetoes for Bill 1600, the Supplementary Appropriation Act of 2022. As required by law, the governor submitted his clause vetoes to the Legislative Assembly of the State of Hawaii and intends to sign HB1600 tomorrow.
The measure allocates funds for the 2021-2023 biennium, to fund operations and capital improvement projects of executive branch agencies and programs.
Line item veto:
US Federal Bailout Coronavirus State Fiscal Stimulus Fund:
As previously announced, Governor Ige vetoed all appropriations for the US federal bailout coronavirus state fiscal stimulus funds for three reasons:
- First, the Legislative Assembly over-allocated funds by over $104 million.
- Second, the Legislature failed to meet the federally mandated Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Effort Sustaining (MOE) proportional funding requirement by allocating funds to the Department of Education and the University of Hawaii. To meet the MOE’s requirement, US bailout funds must be allocated to DOE and HU to increase their commensurate funding levels.
- And finally, the US bailout coronavirus state fiscal stimulus funds are being vetoed so the governor can reallocate funds to the essential work of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
“It is necessary because the ‘dump and replace’ procedure used to pass HB1147 was unconstitutional,” Governor Ige said.
The governor is also vetoing several appropriations because proper due diligence, planning, and authorization were not done before funds were allocated.
Governor Ige cuts General Fund appropriations for the Wilson Lake Spillway and Reservoir. Neither the Department of Agriculture nor the Department of Lands and Natural Resources has done the due diligence work that would be a prerequisite for a project of this magnitude to proceed. Therefore, it is unclear whether sufficient funding is provided to acquire the designated plots; repair and expand the spillway to bring it into line with dam safety requirements; operate the dam and irrigation system; and operate and maintain the Lake Wilson Reservoir area. Furthermore, there is no clear framework as to the responsibilities of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Agribusiness Development Corporation and the DLNR regarding the operation and maintenance of the irrigation system and the reservoir.
For these reasons, Governor Ige is reducing appropriations to provide funding only
for due diligence work such as a feasibility assessment study/preliminary design report, survey and planning, preparation of an environmental impact statement and other due diligence costs.
The governor is reducing the $29.6 million appropriation for agricultural resource management to $6.6 million. It also reduced the $3.8 million appropriation in FY23 for agro-industry development and research irrigation management to $3 million. These cuts will leave $3.5 million for project due diligence.
First responder technical campus:
Governor Ige also reduced the amount allocated to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency for the First Responders Technology Campus from $51.6 million to $16.6 million.
“Campus planning and authorization is still in its infancy. A master plan should be prepared to subdivide the campus to enable participation and development of facilities by non-state bodies. It is highly unlikely that these steps can be completed before project funding expires in June 2024,” Governor Ige said.
It is also unclear why campus development funding is provided to HIEMA since the agency is a potential occupier of the campus, instead of the agency responsible for campus development.
Governor Ige is also vetoing general bonds of $17.8 million given to the Hawaiʻi Technology Development Corporation for plans, design, and land acquisition for the campus and cybersecurity data center.
“Acquiring additional land for the campus is premature,” Governor Ige said. “According to the draft environmental impact statement prepared for the campus, development is planned in six phases over the next 15 years.
The initial phase, scheduled for fiscal years 23-25, is expected to cost between $100 million and $150 million, covering construction of a road into the existing campus, drainage and utilities, in preparation for full campus construction during of the following phases. The estimated total cost of the six phases is $315-470 million. The estimate includes only road, infrastructure and common area facility development costs. It does not include facility construction costs for specific agency occupants. It is also unclear why the HTDC is acquiring a parcel of land classified as preservation land.
Deputy director of communication / press officer