Categorized | News

Governor to continue negotiations for labor savings

Media releases compiled by Karin Stanton/ Contributing Editor

Gov. Linda Lingle said Thursday she and her cabinet will be working late into the night and through the weekend to plan the next steps following Friday’s court ruling on her furlough plan.

Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto ruled earlier Thursday that the governor does not have the authority to unilaterally order furloughs for state workers.

The judge found Lingle’s order of three furlough days a month for two years was unconstitutional because changes to worker wages and hours fall under collective bargaining.

Sakamoto also ruled Lingle does have authority to restrict state spending at the state Department of Education and University of Hawaii. 

Lingle previously said she would reduce spending at public schools and UH in the equivalent amount to her furlough plans.

Lingle said:

Today’s decision by Judge Sakamoto did not change the state’s fiscal situation. We still face at least a $730 million shortfall that will likely grow larger when year-end tax collections are finalized next week. In addition, the shortfall could grow again when the Council on Revenues meets in September. 

While we have already cut $2 billion in spending, the fact is we simply cannot afford the government we have now.

We will be working on two tracks throughout the weekend to close the budget shortfall. We will continue to negotiate labor contracts to achieve the savings we need to secure a balanced budget, as required by our constitution. 

We also will be continuing to identify additional savings from all state departments.

I continue to believe that we must approach this unprecedented fiscal challenge with a sense of shared sacrifice in the short-term, while remaining focused on our long-term economic future.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.