By Derrick DePledge
Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Wednesday that the new forecast from the state Council on Revenues should not undermine his supplemental budget request.
State House and Senate leaders have said the lower forecast basically validates their cautious approach to the governor's new spending requests.
My administration has submitted a supplemental budget that is able to accommodate revenue fluctuations – even slight declines – while furthering our initiatives to provide enhanced public services, recapitalize state reserves, address long-term liabilities, invest in public infrastructure, and support preservation efforts.
The Council on Revenues’ forecast supports my belief that Hawaii’s economy is already running at peak conditions. Although the adjusted forecast suggests slightly reduced potential revenues in the current fiscal year, the amount is very modest and manageable in the state’s financial plan. The revision in the forecast is more reflective of what has been substantial revenue growth over the last two fiscal years.
Additionally, our success in reaching collective bargaining agreements for most units allows us to focus on our initiatives within a sound six-year financial plan that embodies a degree of predictability necessary to navigate future fluctuations.
Because of our prudent fiscal management, we have a healthy positive balance from the end of fiscal year 2013 as we move forward on our long-term financial plan.