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Governor’s state priorities win 2018 legislative support

Posted on May 30, 2018 in Featured
PROGRESS: Ainahau Vista, a senior affordable rental, opens in Waikiki.

PROGRESS: Ainahau Vista, a senior affordable rental, opens in Waikiki.

Affordable housing and homelessness. Education, the economy and the environment. All of Governor Ige’s top priorities for budget funding received support in the 2018 legislative session. “We have alignment on 90 percent of our priorities,” said Governor Ige. He added that careful financial management by his administration, combined with the robust economy, made the appropriations possible.

At a recent news conference, the governor said the $200 million to the Rental Housing Revolving Fund for financing affordable rental development was especially needed. “We’ve been pushing for investments into that fund for the last four years so we’re glad the legislature is finally catching up,” he said. “The legislature might try to repackage it to look a little different, but it’s essentially the program we’ve been doing now for four years to make progress in affordable housing.” Among the governor’s initiatives funded for FY 19 are:

Some of Waipahu High's Early College Olympians with Governor Ige.

Some of Waipahu High’s Early College Olympians with Governor Ige.

• Early College High School program – $1.5M to expand the program in high schools statewide..
• Hawai‘i Promise – $700,000 to help UH community college students cover the gap between financial aid and direct college costs.
• Affordable Housing – Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund – $10M; Rental Housing Revolving Fund -$200M; $4.5M for Mayor Wright Homes infrastructure Improvements—Final EIS approved by governor.
• Homelessness – $6.8M for Housing First, Rapid Re-Housing and other initiatives; $30M for ‘ohana zones.
• Watershed protection – $6.5M in capital improvement funds for protective fencing and initiatives statewide.

Read more in June’s Capitol Connection newsletter