Public testimony encouraged as Maui lawmakers finalize FY2015 budget

Maui County

Deliberations by the Budget and Finance Committee on the fiscal year 2015 budget continue this week with final reviews of departments and an evening opportunity for the public to testify on Tuesday at Helene Hall in Hana, starting at 6 p.m.

Budgetary items for the Department of Housing and Human Concerns, including grants, and the Department of Transportation will be considered on Wednesday, April 23, and an update on Maui County’s post-employment unfunded liabilities on Thursday, April 24.

Meetings on Monday and Thursday start at 9 a.m., while the Wednesday and Friday meetings start at 10 a.m. Public testimony will be accepted at each meeting.

Thursday, State Budget Director Kalbert Young and State Employees’ Retirement System Administrator Wes Machida will provide an update on post-employment benefit obligations. Budget and Finance Committee chair Mike White said recent estimates put the state’s total unfunded liability at about $16 billion and Maui County’s share at about $345 million.

The committee also plans to consider budgets relating to the legislative branch and the Department of Personnel Services on Thursday. A council public hearing on the FY 2015 budget will also be held in the council chamber starting at 6 p.m.

White encouraged the public to stay involved in the process, noting the county budget impacts our community’s daily lives. “We need to hear from you to make sure our decisions are for the good of the people we serve,” he said.

Committee deliberations will wrap up Friday with outstanding questions for departments and each member submitting his or her own budget proposal at the meeting. White will consider all proposals and present the chair’s version of the budget at the committee meeting on Monday, April 28, at 9 a.m. in the council chamber.

Following the presentation, the committee will enter decision-making through Friday, May 2. Public testimony will be accepted daily at each decision making meeting, beginning at 9 a.m. Testimony may also be emailed here.

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