Senators defer pay raises recommended by Salary Commission

The Hawai‘i State Senate Committee on Ways and Means today deferred pay raises for legislators and state officials this year that had been recommended by the Salary Commission prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The amended bill states (HB117), “Due to the unprecedented economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislature believes that continued implementation of the commission's recommendations for the executive and judicial branches, and planned adjustments for the legislature, is irresponsible at this time and should be deferred.”

The bill defers all salary increases slated for this fiscal year for members of the legislature, the governor, lieutenant governor, justices and judges of all state courts, administrative director of the State or an equivalent position, and department heads or executive officers and the deputies or assistants to the department heads or executive officers of the departments.

The amended bill notes that in expectation of an economic downturn due to COVID-19, “the State Council on Revenues lowered its fiscal year 2021 forecast from four per cent to zero per cent, meaning that the State will have about $225,000,000 less in revenues than expected.”

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