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House sends $25 billion budget proposal to Senate for consideration

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AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy
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A state budget proposal is crossing over from the House to the Senate for further consideration.

State representatives approved House Bill 1600, which adjusts and requests appropriations for the state’s last biennium budget — approved last session.

The measure will distribute more than $25 billion. House finance chair Sylvia Luke says it will “address many unmet needs within the state.”

Money from the proposal will go toward environmental conservation efforts, education, criminal justice reform and broadband.

Luke says the proposal also makes significant strides in helping those on the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands waitlist — as well as current beneficiaries.

"In addition to the $600 million set aside by the Legislature, this budget also includes $41.5 million to build an affordable rental housing project for DHHL beneficiaries, $30 million for lot development, and $5 million for repair and maintenance," Luke said.

"Together, this is the largest appropriation in one year. At the same time, we cannot forget the needs of the homestead communities. That is why this budget includes $10 million for homestead services," she said.

Luke says nearly $3 million will go toward creating 48 new positions at the state’s Child Welfare Services program. But adds she doesn’t think it will be enough.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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