By ANITA HOFSCHNEIDER
HONOLULU — The Hawaii Senate Ways and Means Committee has published its budget proposals for the judiciary and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for fiscal years 2013-2015.
Chairman David Ige said Monday that the Senate OHA budget proposal adds funding for education and health care initiatives that weren’t included in the House version.
The proposal meets the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ request for $3.5 million per year in general funds and provides funding for direct health care and prevention programs along with academic services.
The Senate proposal is a boost from the House draft, which set aside just $2.9 million and $2.4 million in general funds each year.
After hearing the House proposal, OHA urged senators to provide more funding and emphasized the impending loss of federal funds due to federal budget cuts.
Ige has said that the Senate has more flexibility in crafting budget proposals than the House did because the Council on Revenues released positive revenue reports after the House budget drafts were published.
The Senate judiciary budget draft includes $145 million in general funds each year.
That’s up from the House proposal which set aside 143.9 million in general funds each year.
The Senate committee agreed with the House to set aside $4.5 million to restore pay for judges who took a pay cut in 2009.
The Senate proposal dedicates $1 million for the indigent legal assistance fund and $1.1 million to transfer juvenile client services from Honolulu to Kapolei.
It also includes funding for purchase of service contracts and community intake services on Maui and other neighbor islands.