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Gov. Ige vetoes overspending in upcoming state budget

 Gov. David Ige announces line-item vetoes for the fiscal year 2024 state budget.
Office of Gov. David Ige
Gov. David Ige announces line-item vetoes for the fiscal year 2024 state budget.

Gov. David Ige has vetoed over-appropriations of federal American Rescue Plan Act funding from the upcoming year’s $17 billion state budget.

The state Legislature over allocated about $104 million with 22 project allocations.

Ige made the announcement on Wednesday, and stated his intentions to sign the state budget, House Bill 1600, on Thursday.

“I think that a lot of the appropriations are valid,” Ige said. “We're in the process of reprioritizing based on the vetoes taken and the actions that we need to make to balance the maintenance of efforts.”

Last week, Ige said he intended to veto HB 1147, a bill that allocated about $88.5 million to the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority. He called the bill "unconstitutional" for the gut-and-replace tactics used that didn't allow for public discourse on the measure.

“We are working with HTA to make sure that they are funded for the programs they need,” Ige said.

While he did not say how much was going to HTA, he said they had received federal funding last year, and that they are working to see how much is left.

"We'll be working with the agency duty to determine what is the current status of rescue funds that they received last year, we will be looking at what contracts they need to execute and what funding is necessary, and then providing the rescue funds to cover whatever those needs are," Ige said.

Ige also cut $23 million in funding for the Wahiawa Spillway and Lake Wilson Reservoir, saying that neither the Department of Agriculture nor the Department of Land and Natural Resources has done the “due diligence” for this project, the proper funding for the parcel repair and compliance measures.

A Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency project for a First Responder Technology Campus in Mililani also saw significant cuts. Ige reduced the appropriations from $51.6 million to $16.6 million.

“Planning and permitting for the campus is still in its initial stages,” Ige said. “A master plan must be prepared to subdivide the campus to make possible the participation and development of the facilities by non-state agencies. It is highly unlikely these steps can be completed before funding for the project lapses in June 2024.”

Overall, Ige said that the bulk of appropriations made by the state Legislature were appropriate.

“We do believe that we are in a good position to be able to respond to the needs of our community, at the same time moving the community forward in so many important areas,” he concluded.

Sabrina Bodon is Hawaiʻi Public Radio's government reporter. Contact her at sbodon@hawaiipublicradio.org or 808-792-8252.
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