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State Special Funds Mystery

No one's sure how many there are - or how much is in them

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Some Special Funds

One good measure of where legislators think money is hidden is 2009’s Senate Bill 884. That reflects what they and their staff found while exploring special funds and scooping up what they considered to be excess money. The following pages offer some of the many examples

Name and purpose: Aloha Stadium special fund, for maintenance and repairs
Source: Fees from tenants and concessions
Estimated excess: $1.5 million.

Name and purpose: Wireless Enhanced 911 fund, to improve emergency service for mobile phones
Source: Fee on all mobile phones
Estimated excess: $16 million

Name and purpose: Agriculture Loan reserve fund, to help farmers after droughts and other problems.
Estimated excess: At least $500,000.

Name and purpose: State Risk Management revolving fund, to help the state save money by self-insuring
Estimated excess: At least $5 million.

Name and purpose: Medicaid Investigations revolving fund, to pay for fraud investigations
Estimated excess: $1.5 million.

Name and purpose: Hydrogen Investment special fund, to finance energy investments
Estimated excess: At least $2 million

Name and purpose: Drug Demand Reduction special fund, to cut illegal-drug use
Estimated excess: $1 million

Look It Up Yourself

Click here to find out more on special funds. But beware: The information is organized department by department. Also, the information covers all non-general-funded programs. That includes special funds, programs supported purely by federal funds, trust funds and revolving funds. Look for programs described as “special funded” or sometimes called “B” funds.

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Old to new | New to old
Dec 31, 2009 03:02 am
 Posted by  Publius808

Special funds need to be abolished. It's poor planning by an inept legislative body who wants to micro-manage the executive branch. When will bills in Hawaii be screened for legal and financial sufficiency before they are passed? We cannot expect our elected officials to have the wherewithal to understand the legal and budgetary complexities of running a state. In a democracy, it's not how smart you are, it's how many people like you. That's OK, but we need a better system to support them.

Jan 5, 2010 04:29 pm
 Posted by  PTF Boy

The purpose of a special fund is to protect certain monies from the political whims of whoever is in power in a particular year. Even legislators realize that certain projects and programs must be protected even when times are tough. It’s easy to say let’s not have a museum or let’s forget about taking care of our beaches for a couple of years while the economy improves. But that kind of thinking is shortsighted. Sometimes we have to a mechanism in place to protect us from ourselves.

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