State House and Senate negotiators hope to close out the supplemental budget by Tuesday night and empower lawmakers to seek agreements on other finance-related legislation before Friday’s procedural deadline to have bills ready for final votes before session adjourns.
On Monday night, budget negotiators agreed to fund 20 positions in agriculture with general funds instead of special funds, freeing up the special fund money to help combat invasive species. Lawmakers will also use general funds to pay for nine other positions being financed with federal money.
Negotiators agreed to spend $5.2 million in bond and special fund money for Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s watershed protection initiative. The amount is less than Abercrombie wanted but would help launch the initiative.