May 8, 2009

Budget in limbo serves as a de facto furlough

Filed under: Hawaii State Politics — Doug @ 7:45 pm

From a KGMB story:

[T]he governor could veto the entire budget. She has asked for guidance from her advisors about that option.

“If she vetoes the budget,” said Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, “come July 1st, when the new budget is supposed to take effect, then they wouldn’t have a budget, and I’m not sure how she’s going to operate because they can’t spend any money.”

If the override doesn’t work [note: the overrides worked], the governor’s vetoes would stand and she would have to make up the money gaps. She’s suggested furloughing public workers to cut costs or having state employees pay more for health care. The governor’s staff says, she is still working with the labor unions to reach an agreement.

The Governor has a few weeks between the beginning of a new fiscal year (July 1) and the deadline to veto legislation (July 15). If Lingle vetoes the budget at the last minute (she’d have to notify the Lege 10 days beforehand, but legislators could not vote to override until she actually returns the bill), or even if Lingle allows the budget to become law without her signature on July 15, there would be a period of time with no spending bill in effect. My best guess, then, is that would mean that the “non-essential” functions of state government would be shut down, those workers would not report to work, and those workers would not be paid. i.e. That looks like 10 or 11 days of furlough. How much money would that equal? I dunno.

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