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Lawmakers reach agreement on record-setting $8.7 billion state budget

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As the Hawaiʻi State Legislature approaches the closing days of the current session, lawmakers on the money committees have reached an agreement on a budget.

Senate and House conferees approved late Wednesday a final version of the operating budget of $8.7 billion for fiscal year 2023, which starts July 1.

That's a record, and comes after state tax collections exceeded expectations as many local businesses saw increased activity as parts of the economy recovered quickly from pandemic lows.

House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke said, "The budget presents us with the unprecedented opportunity to address many of the state's unmet needs, including nearly $20 million more in grants-in-aid."

The House Finance Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee also agreed to spend some $6 billion on construction projects.

The budget now heads to floor votes in both chambers of the Legislature, and then on to Gov. David Ige for his signature.

The Legislature is scheduled to end its session on May 5.

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