Gov. David Ige’s comments on legislative actions, as prepared:
I must first recognize the hard work of the Hawai‘i State Legislature. We appreciate its focus on setting the policy direction and making appropriations for the state. Disagreements are inevitable and healthy debate strengthens the end product.
What we saw this year was true collaboration – a true team effort. We moved forward on many long-standing issues. I am pleased that so many of our initiatives from the State of the State can now move ahead.
If I were to give grades, this session would earn a resounding B. There are still issues to look at and bills that need careful consideration. Overall – it was a solid session, but there is always room for improvement.
For the Sake of the Children: Cooling our Schools (SB3126 – Relating to Public Schools)
Cooling the schools was my highest priority and we are glad the legislators agreed. SB3126 allows for an emergency appropriation for air conditioning, heat abatement and related energy efficiency measures at public schools. I am grateful to our legislators for ensuring that the funds are available quickly, so the Department of Education can continue its work. In the end, legislators found their own way to move this long overdue project forward.
Governing with Compassion: Taking Action on Homelessness
We thank legislators for approving $12 million, more than we requested, to support the state’s effort to move homeless families and individuals into temporary and permanent housing. The funds will support coordinated strategy with concrete and measurable goals, taking a systemic and evidence-based approach to addressing homelessness.
We have identified three levers of change that will accelerate our efforts:
No lever alone can resolve our current homeless crisis. We must press on all three levers simultaneously and focus attention on the root causes of homelessness in order to see measurable results.
Creating More Affordable Housing
Substantial progress was made to meet the housing needs of the average family. Legislators allocated $75 million toward this effort. They provided additional support to:
Working with the Community: Kalihi 21st Century Initiative
We are thankful to the Legislature for approving $5 million for a feasibility study and planning for a new prison facility. This is a huge step forward. The state will be engaging the community in the planning process.
Legislators also funded improvements to correctional facilities statewide.
Improving Health Care
Legislators approved $160 million for a long-overdue new facility for patient care at the Hawai‘i State Hospital. This is an investment in patients, employees and the surrounding community. They also approved $6 million for operating expenses to cover the deficit.
Also approved — $31 million in operating subsidy for Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation hospitals statewide, including $6 million in capital improvement funds to complete Maui Region hospitals transfer.
An additional 20 positions for the Department of Health’s vector control branch, with additional funds to enhance the state’s fight against mosquito-borne diseases
Managing State Resources in Better, Smarter Ways
Governing the right way means taking care of our debts and obligations while managing effectively.
In all, a quarter of a billion dollars is being invested in our children’s future.
Mahalo to the state’s directors and deputies who have kept the state running during this legislative session. During this time, we have accomplished some important tasks:
I appreciate the collaboration and hard work of the cabinet and the Legislature. We are true partners in moving Hawai‘i forward. This session:
My administration will continue to work closely with the Legislature to execute these programs efficiently and effectively on behalf of the people of Hawai‘i.
Deputy Communications Director/Press Secretary
Office of the Governor
Office of the Governor