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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, January 25, 2010

Lingle: ‘Use Rainy Day Fund to stabilize state finances’

By Gordon Pang
Advertiser Staff writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Gov. Linda Lingle gives her eighth and final State of the State address.

GREGORY YAMAMOTO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Gov. Linda Lingle called for establishing a Fiscal Stabilization Fund as she gave her eighth and final State of the State address today.

Lingle, speaking to a joint session of the House and Senate, said she wants to “rename and revise” the state’s so-called Rainy Day Fund. “This fund will shield us in future years from the need to raise taxes during periods when the economy is contracting and citizens can least afford to pay more,” Lingle said in her prepared text.

The governor urged lawmakers to be cautious and be fiscally austere as they deal with a $1 billion-plus budget deficit this session.

“The mid-term economic outlook requires that we further downsize government, prioritize the services we desire and can afford and together devise innovative ways to meet the needs of Hawai‘i’s people,” Lingle said.

However, she said, we must do what it takes to create a future that does not financially burden our children and grandchildren simply because we weren’t willing to make those difficult, sometimes gut-wrenching decisions, when destiny called on us to do so. Clinging to the programs, practices and government structure of the past will not work and cannot be sustained.”