Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Governor Lingle unveils budget

Governor Linda Lingle submitted today to the State Legislature a biennium operating budget for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 (FY10 and FY11) of $22.42 billion, $11.1 billion in FY10 and $11.3 billion in FY11. She is proposing a capital improvement budget of $2.95 billion.

Along with the biennium budget, the Governor also submitted a six-year balanced financial plan that demonstrates how the State will live within its means while meeting its priority obligations to the public.

Read the full press release here.
Read the Budget in Brief and the Supplemental Budget at the B&F webpage here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bank of Hawaii declines federal bailout funds

Bank of Hawaii announced today that it would not accept the funds provided by the Treasury's Capital Purchase Program, which was designed to strengthen the banking system.

"Bank of Hawaii has the resources to meet the needs of our customers and support our growth. We believe that Bank of Hawaii is safe, balanced and prepared to face the challenging operating conditions as the economy slows without government investment", said Bank of Hawaii CEO & Chairman, Allan R. Landon.

Read the full story in The Honolulu Advertiser here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

State Tax Department offers assistance in wake of storm

The Hawaii State Department of Taxation is offering assitance to individuals and businesses who may have difficulty paying their taxes as a result of the storm. Extensions and waivers of penalties and interest will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Read the press release and get more information here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Governor and Mayors unveil economic stimulus plan

Together with the Mayors of the Big Island, Maui, and Kauai, Governor Linda Lingle unveiled a plan to fast-track $1.86 billion worth of capital improvement projects to help stimulate the economy. The projects included in the plan have already been approved and budgeted by the Legislature.

Read the full story at the Honolulu Advertiser here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Good news for CUs on Capitol Hill

From CUNA News Now, December 15, 2008

WASHINGTON (12/15/08)—Recent U.S. House committee seat assignments carry some good news for credit unions, John Magill noted last week. Magill is the senior vice president of legislative affairs for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). The House GOP selected their ranking committee members and among them Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) displaced Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.) as ranking Republican on the important tax-policy committee, Ways and Means.

"Jim McCrery was not an advocate for credit unions," Magill said, adding that his replacement, Camp, is a co-sponsor of credit union legislation. In fact, Magill pointed out that the number two Republican member of Ways and Means, his old boss Rep. Wally Herger (R-Calif.), is also a co-sponsor of the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA). "Credit unions can expect a friendly one-two punch on Ways and Means with Dave as ranking member and Wally as number two," Magill predicted.

Also on the House Republican front, Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama was elected to remain the ranking member of his party on the House Financial Services Committee.

Committee assignments will be finalized when the new Congress convenes in January.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Inside Washington from CUNA

Source: CUNA News Now, December 12, 2008

WASHINGTON (12/12/08)--Congress plans to reject requests to use remaining Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds if the Treasury doesn't put some of the money toward a foreclosure prevention program, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) warned at a Wednesday hearing on TARP implementation (American Banker Dec. 11). Frank and other lawmakers argued that the Treasury has used $335 billion without significant results and criticized the agency for not tracking how banks use the money. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) told Treasury Assistant Secretary Neel Kashkari not to ask Congress for money until it adopts Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair's plan for loan modifications. Kashkari defended the Treasury, saying its investments in banks prevented economic collapse, and noted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently announced a voluntary loan modification plan that could help roughly every loan. He also said the Treasury failed to support Bair's plan because it would actually cause more foreclosures. Democrats at the hearing disagreed. Waters also introduced legislation Wednesday that would require the Treasury to back servicers who modify loans ...

WASHINGTON (12/12/08)--Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders are counting on President-elect Barack Obama to win back many other small banks that have ceased SBA lending (American Banker Dec. 11). Some congressional members also are pushing to move the SBA into the Cabinet. Obama has not provided many details on his plans for the SBA, but lenders say they hope his administration will be more open to ideas for improvement. Industry representatives and lenders say that the SBA has not been treated as a priority by the Bush administration--as evidenced by a smaller budget, higher fees charged to lenders and restrictions on some loan programs. In October, the agency changed the requirements of the Community Express program and limited the loans lenders could grant per month under it. The program's dollar volume dropped 76% in October and November, compared with last year ...

WASHINGTON (12/12/08)--The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) is seeking nominations for members of a Mutual Savings Association Advisory Committee. The committee will study the needs of mutuals, assess the challenges they face and advise the OTS director on how to support mutual institutions. Nominations are due Jan. 8.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hawaii gains national exposure

Governor Linda Lingle and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann both communicated with President-Elect Barack Obama this week, giving Hawaii some much-needed national "face-time".

In a letter to Governor Lingle, President-Elect Obama asked for advice on state-specific issues, and emphasized that he was "looking forward to working with Republican Governors on practical solutions".

After appearing in a press conference in Washington, D.C. with other mayors representing the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mayor Mufi Hannemann met with an Obama staffer in Chicago to discuss a proposed economic stimulus package that would benefit infrastructure projects in Honolulu. The report includes 17 projects in Honolulu worth a total of more than $87 million, and follows an earlier report that includes 28 Honolulu projects worth $456 million.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Aloha, Rep. Nakasone

Representative Bob Nakasone, a 15-year veteran of the State House of Representatives, passed away on Sunday after a battle with lung cancer. A quiet but effective legislator, Rep. Nakasone was known to be hardworking, trustworthy, and wise. I worked next door to him for 4 years, had the privilege of hanging out in his office a few times, and will miss seeing him in his usual "stance" on the 4th floor balcony of the State Capitol. The building won't be the same without him.

House Speaker Calvin Say said yesterday: “The island of Maui and the state of Hawaii have lost a dedicated public servant. Rep. Bob Nakasone was a very private and quiet man, but he was held in great respect in the Legislature due to his experience, his knowledge, and his unwavering commitment to serving Hawaii’s people. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Nakasone family. As a long-time colleague, we served many years in the House together, and he will be greatly missed. You could always count on Bob Nakasone as a leader and an asset to the House, especially in tough times. Even though he was very reserved, people knew he had a big heart, and that making Hawaii a better place for our families was the essence behind his public service. I felt privileged to work beside him.”

Governor Linda Lingle said: "Bob had the best characteristics of an old-style politician — a person who did not showboat, was nonpartisan when it came to achieving things for the people he represented, and a person whose word you could always trust. While he bravely battled lung cancer, Bob remained fully committed to serving the people of Maui and helping to make Hawai'i a better place to live and work. He was a tireless public servant."

Read the Honolulu Advertiser article here.
Read the Honolulu Star Bulletin article here.
Red the Maui News article here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

NCSL releases State Budget Update

The National Conference of State Legislatures has released their new State Budget Update Report, showing Hawaii with a projected budget gap of $220 million.

Visit the entire budget map here.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Welcome to the HCUL Legislative Center.

Keep up-to-date with legislative/political happenings this year by visiting this site, which will be updated regularly with information on bills important to credit union members. In addition to legislative information, you will find information on elected officials, local and national politics, and other credit union news on our site.

Please contact me with ideas, comments, and questions.