Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty

Bill of the Week: State Budget by grassroothawaii
April 22, 2011, 1:37 pm
Filed under: Economy

by Hawaii Votes

With less than 2 weeks left in the 2011 session, the Legislature has, as of today, scheduled 232 bills to be heard in conference committees next week. See the list of hearing notices here.

The bill with the most negative impact for taxpayers is House Bill 200, the state budget bill.

Fraught with mythical numbers and needs, the budget does not tell citizens the reality of what the state currently has in its coffers nor what it really needs to operate. How can the people, or even legislators really know what is currently going on financially with the state when the Department of Accounting and General Services takes nearly 2 years to release its comprehensive annual fiscal reports? It just released the report for fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. See the report here.

Statements by the governor throughout the session have stressed that government and taxpayers are equally responsible to attain a balanced budget. It’s evident that taxpayers are paying more and more in increased fees and taxes, which includes more taxes through the loss of tax exemptions and credits. But where exactly are the cuts for all the state departments and government workers that support the notion that everyone is sharing the burden of paying for an ever-growing government?

Comparing last year’s budget bill (2010 HB2200) with this year’s, no cuts are evident throughout the departments. Perhaps once all the other bills are finalized this week, lawmakers will get around to doing some actual cuts to government expenditures.

Why aren’t lawmakers held accountable for what happens with the taxpayers’ money that is entrusted to them? If the private sector is required to be transparent and open in its accounting practices, why settle for anything less from the public sector?

It is up to citizens to keep an eye on the way the state creates its budget. One way is to attend the conference committee on Monday, April 25 at 7 p.m. in room 309 at the state Capitol in which HB200 will be discussed as it is being finalized.

To see the status of HB200, go here.

Public testimony is not permitted in the conference committee meeting, but the public can still send comments to the co-chairs, Rep. Marcus Oshiro at and Sen. David Ige at

To let all legislators know what you think about this bill, or any other bill, go to:

Or find your individual Senator or Representative at:

Start a discussion at or on HawaiiVotes Facebook.


1 Comment so far
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Big Mahalo to Grassroot Institute for keeping us aware of the shenanigans on Beretania Street!

Comment by giliar

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