Governor to take $46M from DOE to balance state budget

Gov. Neil Abercrombie

Gov. Neil Abercrombie plans to veto proposed spending by the Dept. of Education to balance the state’s budget.

The governor said Monday that the budget bill and bond authorization bill are supposed to balance, but they don’t, and signing off on the budget bill as is would be illegal.

“Automatically, we would be out of whack, out of budget and not in compliance with the Constitution,” explained state Attorney General David Louie.

Abercrombie’s solution is to veto up to $46 million in proposed spending for DOE projects, which would be returned during the next legislative session.

“We made a mistake. Somebody didn’t double-check the numbers and there was a mistake made,” admitted state Senate president Donna Mercado Kim.

“There is certain risk and that risk is January 1 of that year if that appropriation doesn’t come back in, so it’s tenuous,” said Ray L’Heureux, Dept. of Education assistant superintendent.

State officials say DOE projects for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1, will not be affected.

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