Hawaii Film Blog

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

It's the Economy, Stupid

In June, Governor Lingle assembled the Economic Momentum Commission (EMC), a 30-person bipartisan group tasked with devising an action plan to sustain Hawaii's booming economy. On Saturday, the Honolulu Advertiser's Sean Hao reported that the EMC has just put forth its initial list of 31 proposals, which include building a major Hawaiian cultural center in Waikiki and cutting Act 221 in half to redirect $60 million into venture capital funds targeting Hawaii (see that proposal here on page 4).

The EMC's proposals seek to enhance quality of life; improve employment, education, and investment opportunities; and upgrade infrastructure and review Hawaii's master planning process. Among its members are chairperson Donald Horner, President & CEO of First Hawaiian Bank; Haunani Apoliona, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Office of Hawaiian Affairs; Senate President Robert Bunda; David McClain, Interim UH President; and Speaker of the house Calvin Say.

The EMC will meet this week to prioritize proposals. The 31 preliminary proposals can be downloaded in PDF format from the Advertiser article page. The EMC wants to hear what you think (yes, YOU). So read the proposals, think about how they would benefit you and the economy (or not), and spill your guts to:

The Economic Momentum Commission
c/o Enterprise Honolulu
PO Box 3200
Honolulu, HI 96847
Phone: 808-525-6112
Fax: 808-525-7710
Or, fill out their online Contact Form

In other Hawaii economy news, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin's Richard Borreca reported today that the state is rollin' in it. That is, there is a projected budget surplus of $632.6 million for 2006-07--enough money, said Governor Lingle, to up educational spending and pay for tax cuts for the working poor.

Democrats are less optimistic about the state's windfall, believing it will be eaten into by pay raises for public employees, and making recommendations that any excess monies should be spent on education rather than tax cuts or rebates. Not such a terrible idea considering that the SAT scores of Hawaii's public school students continue to lag behind the national public school average (492 math / 467 verbal in Hawaii vs. national average of 515 math / 505 verbal).

>> Major Hawaiian-culture center proposed / Recommendations of the Economic Momentum Commission [Hnl Advertiser, 10/8/05]
State surplus growing [Hnl Star-Bulletin, 10/11/05]
>> Economic Momentum Commission site

Film Incentives That Aren't Tax Credits
>> Tax Incentives Suck...Who Said That?
Tech Comm'ty: Don't Denigrate Act 221
Act 221 = $108M So Far
From Your Mouth to the Legislature's Ears
Numerology: 221, 215, 235-110.9

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