Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty

Linda Lingle’s sort of About Face. by grassroothawaii
April 26, 2010, 7:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

By Hideo Hikida

In an interesting development last night, Governor Linda Lingle asked all Hawaii Public School teachers and principals to return to the classroom for the last three furlough days without pay. If approved, Lingle said she would also free up to $57.2 million dollars from the Hurricane Relief Fund to restore 11 furlough days next year.

Good move on Lingle’s part in my opinion. The community as well as the educators has been openly calling for the end to the furloughs and this move puts the ball solely in the educator’s court. It’s as if Lingle said “ok. your move.” So now educators, many of you have been calling for the end of furloughs, saying that our children need the education more than anything, in the next three furlough days, now you have a chance to put your money where your mouth is. Looking at it from both sides, this is truly a win-win; the governor gets her publicity and saves some face, the teachers get what they want, and the children get what’s most needed: Education.

Granted, taking $57.2 million out of the Hurricane Relief Fund isn’t the greatest idea of all time. Like I’ve said repeatedly over and over again, there are so many other places in the government where you can cut and eliminate to save money rather than to raid the HRF. What happens if a Hurricane actually hits? How sorely will we be missing that $57.2 million? It’s an incredibly short sighted move by Lingle in my opinion, as it just looks like she’s trying to find the easy way out by raiding funds that should be used for the right purpose: Hurricane Relief. I don’t know when the next hurricane is going to hit. It could be this year or it could be 20 years from now, but wouldn’t you rather be safe and taken care of when disaster strikes? Safe rather than sorry right Governor? Instead of raiding the fund, please, please, please take a look at what the public has pointed out to you. Cut down on government waste to get to that $57.2 million goal. You’re copping out in this respect, choosing to continue the vicious cycle of wasteful spending instead of killing two birds with one stone by eliminating government waste and restoring the furlough days.

Think about it


2 Comments so far
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Thank you Governor Lingle! Finally a step in the right direction. Although taking from the HRF is risky, its a risk that must be taken to get our children back to school.

Comment by Brett Kulbis

The Hurricane relief fund was established to underwrite insurance policies when the insurers pulled out after Iniki. The state has not written a policy since 2001. It is not and never has been disaster relief money. The insurers have long been back. The money cannot be refunded. The argument for not using this special fund is that it is not what the money was collected for and if there is a similar situation in the future they would restore the fund in the same way they did originally. If the population is undereducated it will take much longer to restore the funds if they are in low paying jobs. Less economically competitive population = decreased revenue = harder to respond to any crisis in the population. Using these special funds is less damaging economically than pay cuts, lay offs, raising taxes. Across the board slash and burn cuts are what brought us furloughed school children. Targeted, strategic cuts are far more responsible.

Comment by Joann Marshall

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