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  • Writer's pictureHawaiʻi State Senate

CRITICAL FUNDING FOR MAUI SENATE DISTRICT 6 SECURED IN FINAL STATE BUDGET BILL



Today, State Senator Angus McKelvey (District 6 - West Maui, Mā’alaea, Waikapū, South Maui) announced nearly $80 million in capital improvement project (CIP) funds for Senate District 6 in the final version of this year’s budget (HB300 CD1).


“Although compromises were made to reconcile the House and Senate drafts, I want to thank Ways and Means Chair, Senator Dela Cruz, and our CIP Chair, Senator Keith-Agaran, for their work during negotiations,” McKelvey said, adding his thanks to the other members of the Maui delegation for their support.


Some of the highlights for District 6 include monies for teacher housing, flood mitigation measures for South Maui, vital funds for West Maui's small boat harbors and ramps, and essential upgrades for district schools.


“I am happy to announce that the Senate secured $45 million for teacher housing which will be conveniently located near existing schools in South Maui,” McKelvey said, noting the facility will also include necessary space to expand the state’s universal pre-kindergarten program. The South Maui Senator explained, because the funds will be used to convert existing hotel rooms into apartments, they should be able to come online faster compared to building such housing from the ground up.


“In my meetings with school principals prior to this year’s legislative session, the recurring concern from each administrator was that teacher housing was essential to fully staffing our schools, and teachers have been priced out of housing repeatedly leaving our schools understaffed and our children without teachers,” McKelvey reported. “This project will go a long way in fixing this critical problem.”


Funding for major improvements to West Maui's small boat harbor and ramp is included in the final version of HB300. McKelvey detailed that $4 million will be allotted for critical pier repairs, lighting, and other work at Lahaina Harbor, while Mala Ramp will receive $3.2 million for “much-needed upgrades and improvements.”


“As everyone knows, these facilities are grossly in need of immediate repair to address the demands of our boat users and members of the community who rely on these facilities for fishing and recreational purposes,” McKelvey acknowledged.


The final budget also contains over a million dollars to begin the process of implementing flood control measures and other efforts to rehabilitate the Waipuʻilani Gulch and Kūlanihākoʻi Gulch systems.


“Recent events have only underscored the critical need for us to collectively address flood mitigation in South Maui,” McKelvey stated. He cautioned, however, “these monies are contingent on the county matching the state funding. I am hopeful Councilmember Cook and the County Council will match these vital funds in the county budget for this essential project.”


The first-term Senator cited that certain funds have been outlined in the budget as capitol improvement projects while other monies will be included in lump-sum funding and operational budgets for state departments.


“Capital improvement projects are just the beginning of what the state budget will bring to Maui. An important part of the budget is monies delivered to state agencies to fund critical projects for the people of Maui County,” McKelvey emphasized.


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