Kalbert Young, UH vice president for budget and finance and chief financial officer, shares his analysis of the 2019 legislative session.
The 2019 legislative session adjourned on May 2, with hundreds of bills being passed by the Legislature and moving on to the governor for consideration. A number of these bills impacted the University of Hawaiʻi either directly or indirectly. There were times this legislative session that I would characterize as challenging. However, in general, I believe the university fared decently well considering the budget and level of funding support provided for areas within the university.
I will highlight just a few of the significant measures that passed the Legislature this session and cover the legislative appropriations in the university budget.
Hawaiʻi Promise program
Hawaiʻi Promise is a “last dollar” scholarship program to provide for the unmet financial needs of qualified UH Community College resident students. Approximately 1,500 students have benefited from the program. For 2019, the university had requested the Legislature make permanent $700,000 of what is already “base funding” of $1.8 million for Hawaiʻi Promise. The Legislature had appropriated the $700,000 last year to the program, but that funding was not recurring. The university had also requested that Hawaiʻi Promise be funded for the four-year campuses as well, for $19 million. This legislative session, the Legislature did approve reinstatement of the $700,000 to continue the program at the UH Community Colleges. However, the Legislature did not provide any funding to make the program available to the four-year campuses. The university intends to return next session and again request expanding this important initiative to the four-year campuses.
The biennium budget bill is always the single most important measure at the Legislature because it is a significant source of funding for the university. Usually, most of UH’s desired funding initiatives would have been provided via the annual budget appropriation bill. As I have mentioned in earlier summaries, this year the budget process employed by the Legislature created difficulties in being able to identify funding during the course of the session. Additionally, issues arose late in the session around the UH budget and established faculty positions that created some drama.
|Description||BOR FY20||BOR FY21||CD1 FY20||CD1 FY21|
|Hawaiʻi Promise Program||$19,700,000||$19,700,000|
|Raise Graduate Assistant Stipend (Mānoa)||$2,198,360||$2,242,327|
|Student Mentors and Tutors (CCs)||$1,004,400||$1,004,400||$500,000||$500,000|
|Custodial and Maintenance (Hilo)||$228,576||$228,576||$143,784||$143,784|
|Wayfinding Education Program (Hilo)||$375,000||$300,000|
|Learning Assistants and Peer Mentoring (Mānoa)||$956,600||$1,408,876|
|Student Employment (Hilo)||$122,000||$231,000|
|Student Employment (West Oʻahu)||$300,000||$300,000|
|Security Staff (Hilo)||$311,240||$311,240|
|HINET for SNAP Recipients (CCs)||$520,000||$520,000|
|Distance Education (West Oʻahu)||$1,000,000||$1,000,000|
|Convert 7.5 Positions from Tuition to General Funds (West O‘ahu)||$395,121||$395,121|
|Reduce (6) Positions and Funds for NHERC (Hilo)||$(246,047)||$(249,309)|
|Add (9) Positions and Funds for NHERC (CCs)||$634,171||$634,171|
|5 positions-Teacher Education Program (Leeward CC)||$418,720||$418,720|
|Other Current Expenses (Aquaria)||$25,000||$25,000|
|Innovation Center (Maui)||$250,000||$250,000|
|Child Care Site Director (Windward CC)||$65,000||$65,000|
|CTAHR-Ornamental Breeding and Clean Export Practices (Mānoa)||$400,000|
|Apiary Program (Kauaʻi CC)||$60,000||$60,000|
|Reduce Funds for Performance Funding (System)||$(2,000,000)|
|Reduce (1) position and Funds from Mānoa||$(91,584)||$(91,584)|
Other legislative measures
There were other university funding requests for programs, proposed initiatives or service enhancements considered by the Legislature. While most of these requests will be left to next year’s Legislature to consider, a number of them did get funded.
|HB 560*||Honolulu CC Energy System Technology Training||$130,000|
|HB 654||Cancer Center Research||$350,000|
|HB 843||Hawaiʻi CC Applied Technical Education||$60,000||$60,000|
|HB 1455||Maui College International Office||$37,650||$37,650|
|HB 1547||Athletics (Mānoa and Hilo)||$4,000,000||$4,000,000|
|SB 50||HINET (Community Colleges)||$455,000||$455,000|
|SB 316||Hawaiʻi Promise Program (Community Colleges)||$700,000||$700,000|
|SB 989||Academy for Creative Media||$1,200,000|
|SB 1404**||JABSOM Loan Repayment Program||$150,000|
|SB 1418||Pamantasan Council||$195,000||$195,000|
*Appropriation shall be expended by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
**Appropriation shall be expended by the Department of Health in coordination with the UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine
There were two bills passed by the Legislature that are important but are non-fiscal measures. HB 398 CD1 reduces the number of Board of Regents’ members from 15 to 11 by reducing the number of Oʻahu regents from seven (7) to five (5) and eliminates the two (2) “at-large” regent positions.
HB 1157 CD1 exempts students in post-secondary education programs at community colleges from having to submit immunization records if they attend classes exclusively online or through distance learning, under certain conditions.
Funding for capital improvement projects (CIP) and construction of facilities is provided for in HB 1259 CD1. This funding is highly significant because it provides the majority of funding for the UH System to address major facility improvements and address deferred maintenance. This has consistently been a major area of concern for the university over the past decade.
|Description||BOR FY20||BOR FY21||CD1 FY20||CD1 FY21|
|Renew, Improve and Modernize (Systemwide)||$157,000,000||$133,000,000||$80,000,000||$50,000,000|
|Capital Renewal and Deferred Maintenance (CCs)||$25,000,000||$25,000,000||$25,000,000||$14,500,000|
|Science Building (Hononlulu CC)||$43,500,000|
|Pharmacy Lab Improvements (Hilo)||$3,000,000||$3,000,000|
|Renovate Sinclair Library to become Student Success Center (Mānoa)||$41,000,000||$41,000,000|
|Snyder Hall Replacement (Mānoa)||$55,000,000|
|Renew, Improve and Modernize (Hilo)||$5,000,000||$8,000,000|
|Minor CIP (CCs)||$10,000,000||$10,000,000||$14,000,000||$10,000,000|
|Kuykendall Hall (Mānoa)||$2,000,000|
|Development and Infrastructure (West Oʻahu)||$7,000,000||$8,000,000|
|General Education Building I (West Oʻahu)||$1,000,000|
|Planning Projects (West Oʻahu)||$500,000||$500,000|
|Manono Campus Development (Hawaiʻi CC)||$2,000,000||$50,000,000|
|Holmes Hall (Mānoa)||$2,000,000||$35,000,000|
|Keller Hall/Physical Science (Mānoa)||$1,000,000|
|Agripharmatech Bioprocessing Facility (Windward CC)||$3,000,000|
|Mānoa Mini Master Plan Phase 2 (Mānoa)||$6,000,000|
|CTAHR-Kula Ag Station (Mānoa)||$500,000|
|Aeronautical Science Program (Hilo)||$321,000|
|Hangar 111 (Honolulu CC)||$11,650,000|
|PV Systems Buyout (CCs) (Reimbursable GO)||$4,000,000|
|Mānoa Athletics Master Plan (Systemwide)||$750,000|
|Clarence T.C. Ching Complex Field (Systemwide)||$2,000,000|
|Cancer Center Early Phase Clinical Trials Facility (Systemwide)||$6,500,000|
In addition to the projects listed above, the university was appropriated two revenue bond funded projects: $38.0 million for parking structure renovations and $4.8 million in each year of the biennium for land acquisition.
As you will notice, significant portions of CIP funding are for items not requested by UH as part of its original budget request. Overall, funding for requested project areas are much less than originally requested. However, like the operating budget, the level of legislative funding support is still positive and will help to make some progress in improving university facilities.
In this area, I would like to highlight the approval of $41 million to renovate Sinclair Library to become a Student Success Center. Administration is particularly glad that this project has been funded. When completed, Sinclair will have been converted to a safe and comfortable environment for students to study, congregate and collaborate between classes and after hours. Given Sinclair Library’s proximity to Campus Center and the Warrior Recreation Center, this will create a modern flexible area for student success, collaboration and group learning.
UH is extremely thankful and appreciative to the governor and the Legislature for the support they have provided for operations and capital across the UH System. Sustained funding will always be a major issue for UH programs and facilities, but I believe this budget represents a big help in a number of areas.
The governor has until July 9, 2019, to sign, veto or allow bills to become law without his signature.