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.
|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.