The state budget expanded by an unprecedented $1.2 billion this year. State expenditures will increase from $14.4 billion to $15.6 billion, an impressive 8 percent gain, in the next fiscal year. Included in the new budget is debt service on $2.7 billion in new funding for this year’s statewide Capital Improvement Program.
Our senate district is easily the largest on Oahu, stretching from Kaneohe Bay to Kaena Point, through Schofield Barracks and Poamoho Camp to Kunia Camp. Of the nearly 300 public schools statewide, our children attend three public high schools, two intermediate schools and 15 elementary schools. We also have large tracts of state watershed, conservation and agricultural lands. Here is the list of recently approved funding for Senate District 23.
Kahuku Medical Center - $1.5 million for renovations
Kahuku HIS - $4.5 million to address athletic field flooding
Waialua HIS - $500,000 for planning a STEM Innovation Center
Castle High - $300,000 for stadium lighting
Castle High - $402,000 for parking and site improvements
Kahaluu El - $486,000 for fire alarm and site improvements
Kahuku Agricultural Park - $1.7 million for site improvements
Kunia - $1.0 million for development of new water source
Kaena - $22,000 for repairs of the predator proof fence
Malaekahana - $1.5 million for state park improvements
Watershed Protection - $6.583 million statewide
Na Ala Hele - $450,000 for updating state trails and planning
Kamehameha Hwy - $6.0 million for Laieloa Stream Bridge
Kamehameha Hwy - $4.0 million for Waiahole Stream Bridge
This is the partial list of new appropriations; many other projects are already budgeted and in various stages of completion. Laniakea Realignment remains on the books as a planning project, but DOT continues to resist moving any solution forward. Several highway resurfacing projects are also programed for the next couple of years.
Rep. Matsumoto was instrumental in securing funds to begin planning the Waialua STEM Innovation Center. This project will propel Waialua High and Intermediate School to the forefront of new technology education, yet it will need substantial support in the coming years. I look forward to working with Rep. Matsumoto, school leaders and the community to bring this dream project to reality.
The Kahuku High School football field and track flooding has been an eternal tragedy. Every year, the DOE rejects athletic facility improvements because of the persistent flooding. This year, Rep. Quinlan and I pushed very hard to secure the funding to build huge storage tanks under the field to remove flooding waters from the surface. With laser-like focus and can-do determination from the right people, we should be able to finally solve the common flooding problem and get on with improving the school facilities.