Maui Memorial Medical Center Among State Facilities Slated for Repair and Maintenance

HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Senate is expected to vote on House Bill 2145 tomorrow. The bill includes the Senate’s flagship initiative, known as “The Invest in Hawaii Act of 2012.” The measure is an aggressive $500 million general obligation bond-funded Capital Improvement Program package aimed at creating jobs by investing and stimulating our local economy from all corners of the state.

Ahead of the Senate’s floor vote, Senate President Shan Tsutsui visited Maui Memorial Medical Center last Friday to look at much needed repair and maintenance projects that would be funded by the measure. If the bill is ultimately signed by Governor Abercrombie, Maui Memorial Medical Center will be among state owned facilities that will be receiving funding for shovel-ready projects.

Under this bill, Maui Memorial Medical Center, along with other State hospitals in the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, would potentially receive $40 million dollars for repair and maintenance projects,” explained President Tsutsui.

This measure allows us to invest in our facilities, our people and our economy,” he said. “The money appropriated through this measure would go towards projects that would extend the useful life of our aging facilities, like Maui Memorial Medical Center.”

Other facilities within Maui County that are currently identified as part of the Program to receive funding are: Baldwin High, Haiku Elementary, Hana High & Elementary, Iao Intermediate, Kahului Elementary, Kalama Intermediate, Kamehameha III Elementary, Kaunakakai Elementary, Kekaulike High, Kihei Elementary, Kilohana Elementary, King Kekaulike High, Kualapuu Elementary, Kula Elementary, Lahaina Intermediate, Lahainaluna High, Lanai High and Elementary, Lihikai Elementary, Lokelani Intermediate, Makawao Elementary, Maui Community, Maui High, Maui Waena Intermediate, Maunaloa Elementary, Molokai High, Nahienaena Elementary, Paia Elementary, Pukalani Elementary, Puunene, Waihee Elementary, Wailuku Elementary, Hana Community School Library, Wailuku Public Library, Kahului Library, Lanai Public & School Library, Molokai Library, Hoapili Hale, Maui Community Correctional Center, UH Maui College, Lahaina Small Boat Harbor, Mahinahina Deep Monitor Well, DLNR Maui Office Annex, Kula Hospital, and Lanai Community Hospital.

The Invest in Hawaii Act of 2012 would give a big boost to the economy and put people to work by appropriating funds for shovel-ready jobs for all trades in the construction industry – from carpenters to consultants. According to estimates by DBEDT’s job multiplier, this measure could create or sustain more than 5,000 jobs.

The time is right to invest in our State’s infrastructures and facilities. Hawaii is currently experiencing the lowest interest rates in recorded history and significant savings have accrued from the State’s most recent bond issuance. Many bids for construction work are coming in significantly below budget. This means taxpayers are currently getting an excellent value for construction projects now being implemented,” said Senate President Tsutsui.

What Does Investment in Hawaii’s Facilities Mean to Our State Schools?

Duane Kashiwai, Department of Education Public Works Administrator, sat down with Senate Communications to explain what the State Senate’s flagship initiative, The Invest in Hawaii Act of 2012, would mean for Hawaii’s public schools. The $500 million investment in much needed repair and maintenance projects in the State’s facilities and infrastructure would jump start the State’s economy and create thousands of jobs for all trades in the construction industry.

As part of his explanation Kashiwai details, “This will provide operates and improvements to all of our campuses and will provide work for contractors on all islands and all districts.”

The Hawaii State Senate Invest in Hawaii Act of 2012, has garnered overwhelming support from State Senators, Departments, and members of the public because it makes sense for our State if it is enacted promptly and translated into action. Specifically, it will pave the way for progress on many positive fronts simultaneously. At its core, the Hawaii State Senate Invest in Hawaii Act is a most opportune $500 million general obligation bond-funded Capital Improvement Program (CIP) package aimed at investing in our valuable infrastructure by addressing critical deferred repair and maintenance needs. These well documented needs will be more expensive to fund if delayed further into the future when deterioration will be worse. Further, this work can now take advantage of record low interest rates in the bond market as well as terrific opportunities with current low construction industry bids. Finally, the related creation of jobs will assist in lowering the state’s unemployment rate and harnessing Hawaii’s greatest asset, our human capital.

The Time Is Right to Invest in Hawaii

By Senator Brickwood Galuteria, Senate Majority Leader
Senator David Y. Ige, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means
Senator Michelle N. Kidani, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, Oversees Capital Improvement Projects for the Senate

The time to invest in Hawaii’s future is now.  The Hawaii State Senate firmly believes this as evidenced by its recent unanimous and bipartisan passage of The Invest in Hawaii Act of 2012, Senate Bill 2012.  This measure is an aggressive $500 million general obligation bond-funded Capital Improvement Program package that will create jobs by investing and stimulating our local economy from all corners of the State and can become available as soon as it is passed out of the House and the Governor signs the bill.

The need for capital improvements authorized by Senate Bill 2012 is great.  There is a backlog of over $1 billion in repair and maintenance projects for aging State facilities, from schools to hospitals. The measure aims to significantly reduce the repair and maintenance backlog list at 225 schools statewide and all 10 University of Hawaii campuses. The improvements will extend the useful life of State facilities and put people to work right away by fixing roofs and windows, and other basic essential repairs. The investment now will far outweigh the cost in the future, mitigating the need to fund replacements and reducing other future maintenance costs.

Making improvements to our State facilities now is cost effective. With Hawaii currently experiencing the lowest interest rates in recorded history, significant savings have accrued from the State’s most recent bond issuance.  Additionally, many bids for construction work are coming in significantly below budget.  According to an assessment from the University of Hawaii, repair and maintenance bids have come in about 18 percent below what was estimated over the past six months. This means taxpayers are currently getting an excellent value for construction projects now being implemented.

Another top priority of the bill is to develop sustainable and renewable energy resources, such as photovoltaic technology.  Investing in renewable energy and upgrades to information technology initiatives throughout schools, hospitals and office buildings will ultimately lead to cost savings and a reduction of the State’s carbon footprint. For example, photovoltaic projects currently underway at 15 Kauai schools are expected to save the Department of Education an estimated $30 million over the life of the project while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

Among the significant benefits of addressing the capital improvement needs contemplated in Senate Bill 2012 are the thousands of jobs that will be created for our unemployed and under-employed workers. While our economy is showing signs of stabilization, the unemployment rate is still high, at over six percent.  The construction industry has been particularly hit hard during the recession.  Hundreds of workers have been without a job for years. In Kona, times have been tough for 85 percent of its union members. Many are financially strapped; some face foreclosure.   Their counterparts statewide share in their struggles.

The Invest in Hawaii Act of 2012 will give a big boost to the economy and put people to work by appropriating funds for shovel-ready jobs for all trades in the construction industry – from carpenters to consultants.  Small and large companies would be able to bid on jobs through an expedited State procurement process.  According to estimates by DBEDT’s job multiplier, this measure could create or sustain more than 5,000 jobs.   That means jobs that will put money in workers’ pockets, which will in turn mean spending in our local economy.

This bill will benefit everyone as it gets our economic engine running again.  The Invest in Hawaii Act of 2012 creates a win-win situation for all.  The time is now to invest in Hawaii for our future.

 

Hawaii State Senate Introduces Bipartisan Bill Aimed at Stimulating Economy

HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Senate is united in support of Senate Bill 2012, which will be formally introduced and referred to its respective committee during Session this morning, Friday January 27, 2012.   Garnering bipartisan support, Senate Bill 2012, also known as “The Invest in Hawaii Act of 2012,” is an aggressive general obligation bond-funded $500 million Capital Improvement Program (CIP) package aimed at creating jobs by investing and stimulating our local economy from all corners of the state, from Hilo to Hanalei.

With Hawaii experiencing the lowest interest rates on record and significant savings made from the State’s most recent bond authorization and issuance, now is the time to invest in our State. The program will create shovel-ready jobs for all trades in the construction industry – from carpenters to consultants.  According to conservative estimates by the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism’s  (DBEDT) job multiplier, this measure could create or sustain up to 4,000 direct jobs.

Investing now in needed State capital projects will have a direct positive impact on our economy.  With interest rates at a historic low, there has been no better time to make a significant investment in our State’s infrastructure, said Sen. David Y. Ige, chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

Projects to be considered should focus on smaller repair and maintenance projects to address aging infrastructures and to extend the useful life of existing state-owned assets and facilities.  Projects should also include those that address health and safety code concerns.  State departments that have been identified as part of the Program are:  the Department of Education, including the State Public Library System; the University of Hawaii, including athletic facilities; the Department of Accounting and General Services; the Department of Agriculture; the Department of Defense; the Department of Health, and health care facilities of the Hawaii Health Systems, the Department of Human Services; the Department of Land and Natural Resources; the Department of Public Safety and the Judiciary.  Funding will be distributed depending on the individual department’s needs and ability to commence work immediately.

Another priority of the bill is to develop sustainable and energy resources, such as photovoltaic technology.  Investing in renewable energy and upgrades to information technology initiatives throughout schools, hospitals, and office buildings will ultimately lead to cost savings and a reduction of the State’s carbon footprint.

This bill encourages the use of energy efficient materials whenever possible in the projects.  It’s important that we invest in alternative energy throughout our State facilities now to save tax payers money in the future,” said Sen. Michelle Kidani, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

In order to expedite the backlogged repair and maintenance projects, Senate Bill 2012 would make revisions to the State’s permitting, approval and procurement process.  As a result, the accelerated process would get workers off the bench and on the job immediately, putting more money in workers’ pockets.  With this jolt in the economy, the safety net would be improved and a wide range of social and educational services would be provided.

“The Invest in Hawaii Act of 2012” is expected to be heard by the Senate Committee on Ways and Means in the upcoming weeks.

For more information on Senate Bill 2012 go to: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/.

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