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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, April 8, 2006

OHA’s budget gains $1.6M as revenue rises

Advertiser Staff

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs' general community grants and initiatives coffers are getting an additional $1.57 million as a result of an increase in the second year of the agency's two-year budget, OHA officials announced yesterday.

OHA's board of trustees based their initial $28.2 million operating budget for 2005-06 on estimated earnings, administrator Clyde Namu'o said. Under its spending policy, OHA cannot allocate more than 5 percent of its earnings toward expenses.

Trustees will determine later which community projects will get the additional money, according to Namu'o.

As the second year of the biennium draws to a close, the trustees learned that as a result of rising revenues they have the authority to increase the budget to $29.8 million, Namu'o said.

Namu'o also announced the release of $1.75 million to Na Lei Na'auao, an umbrella organization of Hawaiian-focused charter schools in the state.

Also approved by the board this week were six new employee positions that will augment OHA's existing full-time staff of 128. Three of those positions are with the Native Rights, Land and Culture Division, which has taken on added work in recent months after several large land purchases.