Abercrombie: Hawaii taking cautious view on ‘fiscal cliff’
By OSKAR GARCIA
HONOLULU — Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Tuesday his budget planners are cautiously anticipating the state may need to immediately make up anywhere from $25 million to $40 million in lost federal funds depending on how Washington acts on the so-called fiscal cliff.
Abercrombie said at a news conference to announce the sale of $867 million in state bonds that his administration is taking the approach that if federal lawmakers can’t come through, Hawaii will plan for added costs.
“We’re not falling off any cliff,” Abercrombie said.
Abercrombie declined to be more specific about which programs could be affected, saying he planned to present his budget later this month. The Legislature reconvenes in January and Abercrombie will formally present his proposal then. Hawaii’s budget for fiscal year 2013 is $11.3 billion.
Abercrombie said the bond sale affirms investors agree the state is on the right financial track.
Budget and Finance Director Kalbert Young said the deal included refinancing $397 million in bonds for new bonds with lower interest rates. That resulted in $54 million in debt service savings, Young said. Young said the state’s interest rate of 2.6 percent was its lowest borrowing cost in history, well below normal municipal bond rates.
Abercrombie’s comments came the same day as a bipartisan group of governors met with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to seek assurances that any cuts in spending not shift the financial burden onto states.
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat and chairman of the National Governors Association, said the governors didn’t endorse proposals from either Obama or Republicans.
The president’s proposal would raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Republican proposals would raise revenue by closing tax loopholes and deductions.
Lawmakers are negotiating a deal to avoid automatic across-the-board tax hikes and drastic spending cuts.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.