March 28th, 2011

State department directors and other staff made pitches today to the Senate Ways and Means Committee to add spending that was left out of the House version of the budget.

Among the most interesting – and pointed – testimony came from Amy Asselbaye, Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s chief of staff.

Asselbaye said she had “grave reservations” about the House draft because it would leave the governor’s office with about $1.9 million in general fund money a year, instead of the $3.5 million the governor requested.

Asselbaye said the House budget would either force layoffs of 25 of the governor’s staffers or a halt in operations for half the fiscal year. She said lawmakers should not short-change the public on basic government services.

We cannot continue cutting government and then act surprised and outraged when things don’t work.

3 Responses to “GOV100”

  1. Manoa_Fisherman:

    I sincerely believe that the Abercrombie administration had start to understand that the Hawaii economy is not a slot machine that pays out unlimited revenue to the government. The new paradigm now exists that inexorably requires a much smaller government, whether fewer programs or warm bodies results that is the reality that must be dealt with.

    Unfortunately, Abercromie is not so quick on his feet (after all he is 73 years old) and cannot grasp the reality of the new Hawaii economy. His adminstration is filled with liberal democrats who feel all people are entitled to anything they want (except Republicans). Milking the economy is easy, so long as the State Legislature is unwilling to act like adults and refuse to deal with the harsh reality of basic math. 1+1 still equals 2, not 5 or 10 as the State Senate seems to believe.

    Unfortunately, it will take a few more economic shocks to Hawaii’s economy before the voters really understand what carnival ride they are on and start asking their elected officials to grow up and learn to live within the State of Hawaii’s means. By then it may be too late and the total damage to the economy will be irreversible and permanent.

  2. charles:

    I don’t think Abercrombie’s age has anything to do with his quickness of feet. If age was a factor, then Aiona must be blindingly quick.

    As far as the “new” Hawaii economy, I don’t think we’re looking at billion dollar deficits every year forever. I happen to believe that the economy will improve.

    I also don’t want to see classrooms with fifty kids or reduced hours at the airport and harbors or the elimination of restaurant inspections.

    But, then again, I could be in the distinct minority.

  3. Kolea:

    It woulod be useful to see how much money Lingle had to run the Governor’s Office during her administration. And not just for the closing years, but in the beginning, when her staff people were struggling to find their feet, to get up to speed on the workings of the various agencies.

    My understanding is Abercrombie’s office is getting buy with far fewer employees than Lingle had and is forced to rely WAY TOO MUCH on volunteers to meet basic functions. Modern government requires “professionalism” at least as much as the private sector. Some folks claim the state should learn from the private sector, yet remain conveniently silent when such arguments would actually AID government rather than insult it.

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