‘Studying all of our options’: Lassner talks looming budget cuts for UH – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-05-28 12:09:31 –

The looming budget cuts will be a challenge for the University of Hawaii, but President David Rasner said on Monday that UH is considering options and methods to address the cuts.

The state legislature reduced the UH system’s general fund budget by $ 47.9 million in fiscal year 2021-22 and an additional $ 42.3 million in fiscal year 2022-23.

The budget will also reduce UH-Hilo’s operating capital by $ 2.28 million each year of the two years.

University leaders were “surprised” when the budget came out of the meeting on the final day of the legislative session, which ended in April, in a live stream on Monday, Lassner said.

According to Lassner, UH faced a $ 15 million cut in the House budget over two years, including the State General Fund and the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, while the Senate budget cuts 12 million to college. Included an increase in dollars.

“That is, I was honestly surprised at the budget for the meetings in the last few days (of the session),” he said. “The building was closed. There was no normal conversation, but the system as a whole expanded from a savings of $ 15 million to a savings of $ 12 million and a savings of over $ 85 million.”

Lassner said he will discuss with Ige various ways the governor can help and discuss with the UH board and lawmakers.

“We are studying all options.”

Rasner said he hoped the university would avoid temporary leave and staff cuts as much as possible.

“But I don’t know if that’s possible with this level of reduction, so I don’t want to say this is easy,” he said. “Based on how the economy improves and what the budget looks like. It turned out to be pretty good news, so it wasn’t the place I expected in the spring. “

However, Rasner said some of the cuts could recover in the second year in two years.

“The governor may have access to other types of funding he can help, but we are not helpless,” he said. “We also want to look at all of our funding sources. We are accountable and responsible, use all the resources we have, do it effectively and cost as much as possible. Need to be reduced. “

But the largest part of the UH budget goes to salaries, Lassner said.

“Therefore, how to keep labor costs down needs to be part of that, part of which is about restructuring and we want to protect our current employees as much as possible,” he said.

Rasner’s comment came the day after the University of Hawaii’s Economic Research Organization published a report on the economic impact of the University of Hawaii system on the state economy.

According to UHERO, UH-related spending in fiscal year 2020 totaled $ 2.31 billion, of which more than $ 2 billion was spent on the local economy.

The spending created $ 3.66 billion in local business revenue, $ 1.02 billion in employee revenue, $ 186 million in state tax revenue, and more than 22,500 jobs, according to the report. It is said that

Also, due to the high estimated lifetime income of bachelor’s degrees, UHERO states that 9,345 students with a degree from 2019 to 2020 will earn more than $ 7 billion in “lifetime income” over the next 40-50 years. I predict that.

“The state’s general funding spent on the University of Hawaii system totaled $ 507.6 million in 2020,” economists Kimberly Burnett and Christopher Wada wrote in a report. “That means that for every $ 1 of state funding spent, UH was able to take advantage of an additional $ 3.07 in spending in the local economy.

“Given the multiplier effect, $ 1 of state funding is equivalent to Hawaii’s business revenue of $ 7.21, revenue of $ 2.01, and state tax revenue of $ 0.37,” they continued. “In addition, for every $ 1 million of general funding spent on the University of Hawaii system, 44 local jobs were created.”

“That is, we are a huge economic sector in the state …” Rasner said in a live stream. “UH is bigger than agriculture, we are bigger than utilities, and people don’t think of us that way.”

Please email Stephanie Salmons (ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.com).

‘Studying all of our options’: Lassner talks looming budget cuts for UH Source link ‘Studying all of our options’: Lassner talks looming budget cuts for UH

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