Kalbert Young, UH vice president for budget and finance and chief financial officer, shares his analysis of the 2020 legislative session.
The 2020 legislative session has been interrupted due to COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi. The Legislature has been on an extended recess since Monday, March 16, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been an unprecedented time in the State of Hawaiʻi and after close to a two-month recess, the legislative session reconvened on May 11, to address budgetary issues due to the pandemic, and then recessed again on May 21. The 2020 Legislature anticipates reconvening sometime in June to take up other items.
We will all need to confront an inevitable and serious reduction in tax revenues, as we also face new expenditure requirements to address the unanticipated consequences of the pandemic. We all need to think about how to position Hawaiʻi for economic and social recovery when the worst of the pandemic passes. The University of Hawaiʻi has already begun planning and anticipating its elevated role in the near future with different services to meet the new levels of demand.
Both the operating and capital improvement projects (CIP) supplemental budgets were passed by the Legislature and are pending governor’s review and approval. Prior to the start of the 2020 legislative session, the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents had submitted a supplemental operating budget request of $28.1 million in general funds. However, due to the decrease in tax revenue in the State of Hawaiʻi, and the uncertainty of Hawaiʻi’s economic recovery, reductions across all state departments occurred, including UH.
None of the board’s requests were approved by the Legislature. While there were no dollar amount reductions to UH’s general fund appropriations, many full-time equivalent (FTE) position counts were removed by the Legislature. These positions were vacant, but these reductions will inhibit UH’s ability to hire and recruit which may impact services to our students and community. In total, nearly 758 FTE counts were reduced, which is equivalent to more than 11 percent of all General Funded FTEs available to UH.
|FTE||$$$||FTE||$$$||FTE (P)||FTE (T)||$$$|
|Mānoa||UHealthy: Establish MD cohort on Maui||8.00||$1,400,000|
|Mānoa||UHealthy: Medical Education and Residency Support Program on Maui||8.00||$1,400,000|
|Mānoa||Athletics: Convert positions to General Fund||43.00|
|Mānoa||Mental Health: 5 Licensed Psychologists||5.00||$750,000|
|Hilo||Security: Complete the transition of security force to being completely comprised of civil service employees||8.00||$324,624|
|Hilo||New Program: BS in Aeronautical Sciences program||4.00||$370,000|
|Hilo||Student Success: Case Manager, Retention Specialist, and Financial Aid Outreach Specialist||3.00||$180,000|
|Hilo||Student Success: Employ students as Learning Assistants, Peer Tutors, and Peer Advisors||$200,000|
|Hilo||Mental Health: 1 Licensed Psychologist||1.00||$150,000|
|Hilo||Educational and Cultural Programming at Hale Pohaku or other suitable venue, Maunakea Visitor Information Station, and ʻImiloa||8.00||$1,211,120||8.00||$1,211,120|
|West Oʻahu||Student Success: Admin Assistant for Early College transition and funds for Student Help Payroll||1.00||$347,000|
|West Oʻahu||Compliance, Food Sustainability, IT Specialist (Distance Ed), Travel/Hospitality Asst Prof||4.00||$272,000|
|West Oʻahu||New Programs: Creative Media & Facilities Management||4.00||$252,000||4.00||$252,000|
|West Oʻahu||5 Security Officer, 1 Janitor, 1 Garden Manager, 1 Lab Manager||8.00||$368,000||3.00||$200,000|
|West Oʻahu||Mental Health: 1 Licensed Psychologist||1.00||$150,000|
|CCs||New Facilities: Kapiʻolani CC Culinary Institute of the Pacific Phase I. 1 Custodian, 1 General Laborer, utilities and facility maintenance costs||2.00||$465,780||2.00||$465,780|
|CCs||New Facilities: Leeward CC Waianae Ed Center. 1 Custodian, 1 Security Officer, utilities and facility maintenance costs||2.00||$101,096||1.00||$50,000|
|CCs||New Facilities: Hawaiʻi CC Pālamanui Ed Center. 1 Custodian, 1 Building Maintenance Worker, 2 Security Officers, utilities and various maintenance costs.||4.00||$491,620||2.00||$391,620|
|CCs||Security: Positions and funds to provide 24/7 coverage at each campus.||32.00||$1,223,040||32.00||$1,223,040|
|CCs||Student Success: Hiring of Student Tutors and Mentors||$500,000|
|CCs||Mental Health: 12 Licensed Psychologists||12.00||$1,600,000||6.00||$800,000|
|System||Hawaiʻi Promise Expansion to 4 year Institutions||$17,700,000||$19,000,000|
|System||Office of Strategic Development & Partnerships – Project Coordinator||1.00||$100,000|
|Mānoa||Reduce all vacant GF positions||(346.49)||(8.00)|
|JABSOM||Reduce all vacant GF positions||(22.79)|
|Hilo||Reduce all vacant GF positions||(63.00)|
|West Oʻahu||Reduce all vacant GF positions||(21.20)|
|CCs||Reduce all vacant GF positions||(219.00)||(13.50)|
|Aquaria||Reduce all vacant GF positions||(4.00)|
|System||Reduce all vacant GF positions||(60.00)|
On the CIP budget, the UH board approved request was for $236.8 million for FY21 to address capital renewal, progress on deferred maintenance, and funding for projects to modernize each of the campuses within UH. The university provided the Legislature with shovel-ready projects that would stimulate the state’s economy.
|Mānoa||Mānoa Mini Master Plan Phase 2||$66,000,000|
|Mānoa||Renew, Improve, and Modernize||$60,500,000|
|Mānoa||Central Admin Facility with Parking||$4,000,000|
|Aquaria||Repairs and Improvements at Waikīkī Aquarium||$600,000|
|Hilo||Renew, Improve, and Modernize||$6,000,000|
|West Oʻahu||Planning Projects||$500,000|
|West Oʻahu||Campus Center Phase 2||$35,000,000|
|CCs||Capital Renewal and Deferred Maintenance||$10,500,000||$10,500,000|
|CCs||Hononlulu CC Science Building||$46,000,000|
|CCs||Windward CC Agripharmatech Bioprocessing Facility||$3,000,000|
|System||Renew, Improve and Modernize||$61,000,000||($1,752,000)|
|System||Renovations to enhance culture and education at Hale Pohaku or other suitable location that does not include a telescope||$300,000||$300,000|
|System||UH Mānoa Athletics||$4,500,000|
At this time, we do not know how this legislative session calendar and interrupted schedule will affect other pending legislation.