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Abercrombie releases $67M from Hurricane Relief Fund


In his first executive action, Gov. Neil Abercrombie released funds to bring a definitive end to Furlough Fridays in the schools and to help maintain jobs and services provided by community programs.

Abercrombie announced the release of $67 million from the Hurricane Relief Fund to restore 17 instructional days for the 2010-2011 school year; and $23.7 million from the Rainy Day Fund for community programs as appropriated by the state Legislature under Act 191.

The release fulfills the agreement reached to restore 17 instructional days for teachers. This does not bring an end to teacher furloughs on non-instructional days.

“This Administration is getting to work right away, taking actions that reflect our values and priorities,” he said. “We want to keep people working, help the most needy in our community and invest in our children’s education.”

Abercrombie added, “Private nonprofit organizations are employers. Like all businesses, they are relying on government to follow through on its commitments. We need to get our economy moving and this is a first step.”

Of the $23.7 million appropriated for community programs, Catholic Charities Hawaii will receive $350,000; Kapahulu Center will receive $300,000; Moiliili Community Center will receive $150,000; and Waikiki Community Center will receive $150,000.

Because some of the allocated funds may have to go through the state procurement process, the Abercrombie Administration will work expeditiously across departments and in collaboration with community organizations to ensure that the funds are deployed as quickly as possible.

The state Department of Budget and Finance coordinated the release of these funds. Last week, Abercrombie nominated Kalbert Young as Director of B&F. Monday, he announced his nomination of Dean Hirata as B&F Deputy Director.

Hirata, 53, is the former Chief Financial Officer of Central Pacific Bank. Hirata, a Certified Public Accountant, has 30 years of experience in banking both in the public and private sectors. Hirata graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Programs supported by Act 191 include:

* $1.5 million to Healthy Start program

* $3 million for Kupuna Care program

* $2 million for QUEST health care payments to restore adult dental care

* $1.5 million for development disabilities Medicaid waiver program

* $1.5 million for mental health services

* $1.4 million for substance abuse treatment

* $1 million for homeless service housing pilot program

* $332,000 for Waianae District Comprehensive Health and Hospital

* $800,000 for child care subsidies

* $762,500 for domestic violence shelters

* $600,000 for HMSA for Keiki Care

* $550,000 for Hawaii immigrant health initiative program

* $500,000 for meals for the elderly for Kupuna Care

* $500,000 for Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services

* $300,000 for Families for R.E.A.L. program

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