Hawaii is expected to receive more than $490 million this fiscal year to pay for an array of initiatives including military construction, Native Hawaiian education and healthcare, highway improvements, disaster preparedness, the East West Center and other projects, Senate Committee on Appropriations Chairman Daniel K. Inouye, Senator Daniel K. Akaka, U.S. Representative Mazie K. Hirono, and U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa announced today.
The money was included in the Conference Report on H.R. 2055, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012. The U.S. Senate approved the report Saturday by a vote of 67 to 32.
Senator Inouye and Senator Akaka voted in favor of the measure. The bill is before the President awaiting his expected signature.
The legislation includes the Fiscal Year 2012 Defense; Energy and Water Development; Financial Services and General Government; Homeland Security; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; Legislative Branch; Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies; and State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bills.
"This was a difficult budget year. There was much more that I wanted to do but there were limitations. However, we secured funding for very important projects in Hawaii. These federal funds will create jobs by supporting education, infrastructure and our military. Hawaii is a critical part of our national defense and our position in the Pacific means we must support our residents, visitors and military with essential government services to ensure that we are prepared for any situation," said Chairman Inouye.
"I applaud this bipartisan effort to pass the appropriations bills and allow federal agencies to plan though the fiscal year with a set budget. This legislation includes critical funding for Hawaii's security, natural resources, education, and economy. It will help the state by providing reimbursement for APEC costs and calling for assistance with COFA financial burdens. It funds environmental conservation efforts, crucial military construction, homeland security, and civil defense projects, and helps the East-West Center continue its invaluable work bridging the gap between the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific region," said Senator Akaka.
"In our continued effort to stabilize and strengthen our economy, it is critical that we avoided a shutdown and were able to come together to compromise on a budget that takes us through September of next year," said U.S. Representative Hirono. "This budget will help us improve our military readiness while creating jobs, boost tourism by making it easier for visitors from China, Brazil and India to travel to the U.S. and invest in Native Hawaiian education and health care."
"I am glad to see a continued investment in Hawaii's military both for the effect it has in supporting our economy and the commitment it represents in maintaining Hawaii's critical strategic position in the Pacific," said U.S. Representative Hanabusa. "I am pleased that the leadership from both parties were able to reach an agreement that provides funding for the remainder of the fiscal year, instead of passing another short-term spending bill. The approach of funding the government week-to-week or month-to-month creates unnecessary insecurity among our constituents and country. This long-term measure will allow Congress to focus on putting Americans back to work."
A detailed list of some Hawaii projects receiving funding is attached.