Hawaii State capitol building

Kalbert Young

Kalbert Young, UH vice president for budget and finance and chief financial officer, shares his analysis of the 2016 legislative session to date

The Hawaiʻi State Legislature is now entering its final weeks for 2016. The supplemental budget is the biggest point of discussion for this week as both the House Finance Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee meet in joint conference committee to deliberate their disagreements with each other’s draft of the budget and to eventually settle on funding and appropriation decisions for every state department and agency.

The University of Hawaiʻi is keenly watching the deliberations. Prior to the beginning of the legislative session, the university submitted a very lean request for additional general fund support—10 items for approximately, $16.2 million. No department should expect to get everything that they have asked for from the legislature.

As the conference committee on the budget begins, let’s see how UH has fared this session.

contingent upon UH putting in $1,500,000

Operating Budget Proposals Comparison (UH)
Campus UH Request House Draft Senate Draft
UHM 4 positions and $350,000 for CTAHR Extension Program None 4 positions and $330,000 for CTAHR Extension Program
UHM $306,168 for Office of Research Compliance None None
UHM $1,093,832 for Environmental Health and Safety Office None None
UHM $5,000,000 for UH Cancer Research Center None $3,000,000 for UH Cancer Research Center
UHM $3,000,000 for UHM athletics None None
UHM $560,000 for UHH athletics None None
UHH 37 positions and $420,000 for security services None 27 positions and $0 for security services
UHWO 12 positions and $728,020 for continued growth and evolution of UHWO None 8 positions and $530,416 for UHWO evolution
UHCC $1,250,000 for a centralized equipment fund $1,250,000 for a centralized equipment fund $1,250,000 for a centralized equipment fund
System 20 positions and $3,500,000 for Hawaiʻi Research and Innovation Initiative None 3 positions and $500,000 in revolving or federal funds for Hawaiʻi Research and Innovation Initiative
UHM   Reduce $50,000,000 in appropriation for personnel at UHM  
UHM   Increase appropriation by $50,000,000 for repairs and maintenance at UH System  
UHM     3 positions and $253,116 for mental health services

 

As you can see, much of the university’s modest request is not accommodated in either the House or Senate version of the budget. It is also clear that the Senate is more supportive of the university’s overall request than the House. The same is also true for funding support of capital projects.

The major capital concern at UH has been addressing the tremendous amount of deferred maintenance that exists throughout every campus in the UH System. The university had asked for general fund (via general obligation bonds) support for $184.9 million in capital projects. The capital budget that will also be discussed in conference committee similarly mirrors the support in the operating portion of the budget.

 

Capital Budget Proposals Comparison (UH)
Campus UH Request House Draft Senate Draft
UHM $2,500,000 for design of Snyder Hall $2,500,000 for design of Snyder Hall $55,000,000 for a new Life Sciences Building to replace Snyder Hall that includes $20,000,000 from a current appropriation
UHM $2,000,000 for design of Dean Hall renovation None None
UHM Authorization to expend $5,750,000 in UH bond proceeds at JABSOM None Authorization to expend $5,750,000 in UH bond proceeds at JABSOM
UHWO $38,800,000 for Creative Media Facility at UHWO None $38,800,000 for Creative Media Facility at UHWO contingent upon DBEDT as the expending authority
UHCC $10,000,000 for minor CIP at UH Community Colleges $10,000,000 for minor CIP at UH Community Colleges $10,000,000 for minor CIP at UH Community Colleges
System $300,000 for CIP staffing None None
System $131,300,000 lump sum for UH deferred maintenance and capital renewal $60,000,000 lump sum for UH deferred maintenance and capital renewal throughout UH System $48,625,000 lump sum for UH deferred maintenance and capital renewal
System Authority to issue up to $100,000,000 in UH revenue bonds None Authority to issue up to $108,000,000 in UH revenue bonds
UHM   $15,000,000 to renovate and repair athletic facilities at UHM  
UHM   $1,000,000 for repairs at Warrior Recreation Center at UHM  
UHCC   $25,000,000 for deferred maintenance and capital renewal projects at UH Community Colleges $15,000,000 for deferred maintenance and capital renewal projects at UH Community Colleges
UHCC   $2,000,000 for culinary arts program at Kauaʻi CC $2,000,000 for culinary arts program at Kauaʻi CC
UHCC     $32,000,000 for a High Technology Workforce Development Center at Honolulu CC
UHCC   $1,405,000 for building and roof repairs at Kapiʻolani CC  
UHCC   $4,320,000 for a parking lot at Honolulu CC  
UHCC   $9,500,000 for renovations at North Hawaiʻi Education and Research Center (Hawaiʻi CC)  
UHCC

  $7,000,000 for Maui Food Innovation Center (UH Maui College)  

 

Deliberations in conference committee can still leave many changes ahead. Nothing is guaranteed from any of the budget versions. It does appear that there are many ideas and areas for increased support from the legislature. We will have to await the conclusion of the conference committee to more fully judge just how much support ends up materializing for the university. The amount of proposed funding to UH is generally better than in recent years past so, that is encouraging. The Hawaiʻi State Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on May 5, 2016.