Hawaii Senate voting on education tax credit

HONOLULU (AP) – Hawaii lawmakers are deciding whether to give teachers, school librarians and counselors a tax credit for buying classroom supplies.

Both the House and the Senate have approved versions of the proposal. The Senate is deciding Tuesday whether to agree or disagree with the House draft. If they disagree, they can send the bill to a committee made up of both House and Senate lawmakers for further debate.

The Hawaii Teacher Standards Board says the bill would help dedicated teachers who often spend out-of-pocket to make sure their classrooms have enough supplies.

The state Department of Taxation has criticized the bill for being too broad and duplicating an existing federal tax deduction.

The department estimates that the state could lose about $3.5 million a year if the proposal is approved.

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