NEWS RELEASE – for immediate release
April 18, 2016
HONOLULU, Hawai’i – Representing the islands of Kauai and Niihau, Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi and members of the Senate unanimously approved the Senate draft of the State’s Operating and Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) budget for the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year on Tuesday, April 12, 2016.Â House Bill No. 1700, SD1, relating to the State Budget, will proceed to conference committee for final deliberation and action by the Legislature in the coming weeks.
“I am tremendously pleased and appreciate the hard work of Senator Jill N. Tokuda, Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz, members of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, and staff. The Senate version of the State’s Budget addresses key matters, funding affordable housing, education, and infrastructure projects throughout the State, including adding $21 million to fund Hawaii state hospitals, in order to maintain existing levels of operations for Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital and Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital.”
Along with some of the projects proposed by the House, Senate President Kouchi supported additional funding for a multitude of projects including $10 million for affordable housing on Kauai – $5 million for the Lima Ola affordable housing project and $5 million to assist with the potential acquisition of the Courtyards at Waipouli. These projects will deliver much needed affordable housing for working families on the west and east side of Kauai.
Additional projects in the Senate draft include, $5 million for the plans, design and construction for an Adolescent Treatment and Healing Center on Kauai, $2.5 million for the remediation improvements to DHHL dams and reservoirs in Anahola, $2 million for the Kauai Community College’s Culinary Arts Program Improvements, $1.8 million for installing replacement windows campus-wide at Kapaa Middle School in order to comply with hurricane wind rating and emergency shelter requirements, and $700,000 for construction improvements to structural, electrical, and architectural repairs of the Kauai Veterans Cemetery Communal Hall.
The Senate also proposed funding to improve connectivity in our public schools and appropriated an additional $30 million for the Department of Education to address heat abatement in the classrooms. “Due to the scorching temperatures last year affecting hundreds of students across the State and in preparation for the summer, it is imperative for the legislature to act as the Administration moves forward with their plan to cool 1,000 classrooms by the end of the year” said Senate President Kouchi. Included on the State’s Expanded Heat Abatement Priority List is Kekaha Elementary School to be evaluated for air conditioning.
As the Senate enters the final and most crucial stage of the legislative session, Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi will continue to work diligently with the Kauai delegation, Representatives James K. Tokioka, Derek S. K. Kawakami, and Daynette Morikawa, to support vital projects and issues important to the community.