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@ STATE OF HAWATL a April 9, 2010 Honorable Marcus R. Oshiro, Chair House Committee on Finance ‘Twenty-Sixth State Legislature State Capitol Bldg., Rm. 306 Honolulu, HI 96813, ‘Dear Representative Oshiro: SUBJECT: Review of HB 2200, HDI, SD1 ‘This isin response to your memorandum of March 31, 2010, regarding the adjustments made o our ‘proposed fiscal year 2010-2011 budget request by the Senate in HB 2200, HDI, SDI, ‘We do not agree with the adjustments made to our operating and CIP appropriations, and provisions in HB 2200, HDI, SDI, and have the following concerns. The Senate proposes to cut nearly $4.2 million from the Department's budget proposal, which already reduced the budget by more than $5.8 million, resulting ina total of $10 milion reduction ‘or over 17% of our operating general funds in a single year. This will result in layofts of approximately 35 people from the Department. ‘The Senate proposes to obliterate the entire Division of Aquatic Resources by cuticg the general fund budget for LNR 401 by almost 60% or $1.2 million. This will result inthe additional loss of | over $4 million in federal funds, require a reduction in force of over a dozen people and positions, and the imeparable loss of the programs and services of the sole state program to manage our aquatic resources, The Department believes that managing our state's ocean and stream resources should be a higher state priority than the Senate's proposal to mandate the depariment support maintenance and various activities on a single offshore island exclusively operated by the University of Hawaii. We respectfully request the House reject this proposal In addition, the Senate proposes to cut the operating budget of the State Historic Preset Division by 8% and place a six-month hiring freeze on that division. As we shared with the Senate and House at recent hearings, this Senate mandated restriction will jeopardize the Departments Honorable Marcus Oshiro April9, 2010 Historic Preservation Program. Given the Senate's recently expressed concer about SHPD at theit ‘April 3, 2010 informational hearing, the Departmen is perplexed at this unwarranted and dangerous ‘mandated hiring freeze, which would override the Governor's suppor of filing postions within this critical division. We respectfully equest the House reject this proposal ‘The Senate also proposes to abolish the Deputy Administrator of State Parks and require the Administrator of State Parks” salary be supported by Special Funds instead of General Funds. This action appears counterproductive as the Deputy is tasked with raising revenues to offset the general fund budget cuts to Parks. In the past three years, State Parks’ general fund appropriations have bbeen reduced by 29%, from $6,554,966 to $4,646,776, and our total staff from 131 to 128, all while ‘we remain tasked with managing and operating 69 parks that are the backbone of our tourism industry and resident recreation, while housing our most treasured state cultural resources and iconic sites. We are astounded that the Senate would eliminate the Parks Deputy while simultaneously cutting more general funds and directing us to raise more revenues, Unless the House is similarly inclined to shut down State Parks, we respectfully request you reject this proposal ‘The Senate also proposes to eliminate the Deputy Director/Administrator of the State Water Commission. Again, the action appears contradictory to the Senate's position, which until last week, has been supportive of the Commission's efforts to update the State Water Resources Plan and adopt in-stream flow standards. Indeed, the Senate and House recently provided fiscal support for the Commission which has admirably responded with unprecedented results. Given the importance of this Commission's pinnacle role in our State Water Plan, we cannot understand why the Senate would propose terminating the Administrator of the division and leaving it without management to founder just when it is making groundbreaking progress on instream flow standards. The Senate's proposal may stop all progress on the State Water Plan. We respectfully request the House reject this proposal The Senate proposes to eliminate the Deputy Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. This department is the primary and sometimes exclusive manager of Hawai’s ocean, stream, aquifer, forest, wildlife historic and cultural resources; ofthe 1.3 million acres of state lands; millions of acres of ocean; parks, harbors; beaches; conservation lands; and Hawaii's only Bureau of Conveyances recording office. This department has 13 divisions and several offices. We manage over 100 federal grants and multiple special fund accounts in addition to general funds. It is not possible to administer and oversee this department with just a single Chairperson without a Deputy. This measure will result in poor oversight and accountability, and jeopardize public trust resources and federal grants. Its poor public poliey and shouldbe rejected by the House In otal, the Senate proposes to eliminate 6.00 additional positions and cut more than $2.2 milion in general and special funds from the Administration budget proposal. The four (4) Deputy and two @) Secretary positions identified for reductions are extremely eritical for the operations of the ‘Bureau of Conveyances, State Parks, Commission on Water Resource Management, andthe overall ‘management ofthe entire Department. The reduction of funds and the delay in hiring will severely Honorable Marcus Oshiro April9, 2010 Page? {impact the Departments response to public emergencies such asthe recent evacuations necessitated by the tsunami warming, firefighting, rockfall and flood control. Also, it should be noted that several of the “vacant” positions identified by the Senate to Ite the proposed six month vacancy savings have been filled ‘The additional budget cuts reflected in HB 2200, HDI, SD1 will result in closure ofthe Division of Aquatic Resources LNR 401; the reduction in force of approximately 35 people; an associated loss of more than $6 million in federal funds; closure of public parks; cessation or severe curtailment of effort on the instream flow standards and the State Water Plan; inability to respond to public safety emergencies like the tsunami evacuation, firefighting, rescue operations, rockall and flood contol; ‘© inability to meet the National Park Service corrective acticn plan, resulting in loss of the federal suppor for that program and federal recogien, erehy requiring federal poet reviews to be done in Washington DC rather than in Hawa (© inability to carry out its core duties, and having to ona or clininte stn anda services and functions. ecco ° ‘We respectfully request our original budget in ts unaltered form as t was prepared in recognition of | cour department's priorities. If you have any questions, please call me at 587-0401, Sincerely, H. Thielen Chairperson ‘Attachments Senator Donna Mercado Kim Senator Clayton Hee Senator Carol Fukunaga Representative Sharon Har Representative Ken Ito Representative Hermina Morita