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.


  1. I was wondering if anyone ever has the creepy sensation that none of these clowns errr representatives of the people, actually understand how government is supposed to work and what the proper constitutional roles of the executive and legislative branches are and how to write instructions on how to spend money.

    It’s like they simply either are unwilling to act lawfully [or more frighteningly] unable to comprehend how they are supposed to behave. Am I risking looking foolish by saying they cannot all be that dumb? Maybe they can be. Their public behavior gives one little hope. God knows what we would think if we were privy to their private behavior.

    It’s like going to a kindergarten and finding all the adults took a coffee break and never came back and the children broke into the food locker.

    Comment by stevelaudig — May 9, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

  2. cunning lingle.

    Comment by line of flight — May 9, 2009 @ 1:25 pm

  3. Steve,

    I’m not sure what you think is the non-”clownish” way of writing “instructions on how to spend money.” Hawaii Governors have always had a great deal of freedom to release (or withhold) funds as they please. That has always offended my own notions of the appropriate separation of powers, but every time the legislators have tried to force the Governor to expend funds they have appropriated, they have been rebuffed.

    If you are familiar with the legislative and legal history of the battles over this in Hawaii, I would appreciate some suggestions.

    Comment by Kolea — May 10, 2009 @ 9:12 am

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