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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 12:02 p.m., Monday, December 22, 2003

Lingle proposes additional $539 million in construction

By Gordon Y.K. Pang
Advertiser Capitol Bureau

The state could see an additional $539.3 million in construction projects aimed at "high priority areas" such as education, the economy, the environment, health care and public safety under a supplemental budget request Gov. Linda Lingle presented to the Legislature today.

The supplemental capital improvements budget request would be in addition to the $310 million budget approved by the Legislature in the spring. Lingle attributed the increase to slightly better economic times and a better feel by her administration for the needs of the community after a year in office.

Lingle also requested an $86.8 million increase for the state’s $3.7 billion general fund, a 2.3 percent increase.

Saying education improvements are the priority for the year, the governor proposed $90 million for school repair and maintenance and $20 million for new public-school construction. An additional $25 million is earmarked for major repair and maintenance at University of Hawai'i campuses.

In operating money, Lingle wants $2.5 million to address financing shortfalls in student transportation, $3.5 million for the A-plus after-school program and $1 million for library books and materials.

Also high on Lingle’s list is public safety. The administration is seeking $26.7 million to replace community correctional centers on O'ahu, Kaua'i and Maui and for improvements to the Halawa Correctional Facility.