Friday, August 28, 2009

Financial hole deeper than they thought, university trims brass, Lingle and unions dickering still

The state Council on Revenues yesterday lowered the state's revenue forecast for this fiscal year but predicted a stronger rebound next year.

Hawaii's state revenues are slipping even more than expected.

Economists with the Hawaii Council on Revenues on Thursday projected an additional $98 million to the state budget shortfall raising it to more than $800 million

Statewide visitor numbers, as well as those on Maui and the Big Island, took a small hitch upward in July, but it's taken some discounts to lure recession-weary visitors to the islands.

The University of Hawai'i Board of Regents yesterday approved an executive pay cut plan, which included a 10 percent reduction in salary for new UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and 210 other executives in UH's 10-campus system.

Seventeen University of Hawaii at Hilo executives are set to have their salaries trimmed to help close a hole in the university's budget.

The Lingle administration and the Hawai'i Government Employees Association have exchanged new contract offers that bring the two sides closer together on furloughs and would stop many of the 1,100 layoffs of state workers ordered by Gov. Linda Lingle.

Despite a report released by the U.S. Army in July saying that depleted uranium at the Pohakuloa Training Area poses no risk to the public, Big Island residents urged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Wednesday evening to investigate deeper before granting the Army a license to possess the radioactive material.

State Fifth Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe Thursday denied the county’s request for a preliminary injunction to prohibit Lady Ann Cruises from operating boat tours out of Hanalei Bay.