By State Senator Sam Slom from the Hawaii Senate Minority Website.
The Hawaii State Legislature voted on more than 180 final reading bills during the 2-day final voting process. The process was spread over two days because of a delay during the conference committee process where the budget failed to pass at a self imposed 6:00 pm deadline on Friday night, April 27 and had to be pushed off for decision making until early Saturday morning, April 28 at 3:00 am. The delay resulted in more than 40 other bills being put off until Monday morning where they were decided in a last minute conference committee voting session April 30.
Here are some of the bills that resulted in final floor action votes both on May 1 and today, the last day of the 2012 session, May 3.
HB 2012 THE BUDGET: The $13 billion State Budget bill includes nearly $11.2 billion applied for operating expenses… funds to keep the various branches and departments of government going. The House Draft of the budget bill showed areas of funding of nearly or more than $2 billion each — Dept. of Education ($1.824 Billion), Dept. of Human Services ($2.3 billion), Dept. of Health ($1.5 billion) and the Dept. of Budget & Finance ($1.82 billion), from which the Employeeʼs Retirement System (ERS) and the Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF) is administered. A conference draft of those figures were not available.
The budget has increased over the last fiscal year with more spending and more employees hired at a time when the state should be cutting the excess and concentrating on core services. As a result I cast a “No” vote on the Senate floor.