Public input on HHSC sought today

Members of the state Legislature will meet at 5 p.m. today at the Kaua‘i High School cafeteria on Lala Road in Lihu‘e to discuss the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, a state news release says.

The HHSC recently informed House and Senate members that they are facing a roughly $62 million shortfall by the end of the next fiscal year (June 30, 2009).

For FY 2009, HHSC will receive a general fund subsidy of $53.6 million. Its annual expenditure for FY 2009 is estimated to be about $400 million from its special fund.

Prior to the 2008 legislative session, HHSC requested from Gov. Linda Lingle an emergency appropriation of $14 million for FY 2008 and a $57 million supplemental budget request for FY 2009.

The governor provided the emergency request, but denied the supplemental request. The Legislature provided the $14 million emergency appropriation, but could not provide any supplemental appropriation as the Legislature reduced all state department budgets by about 4 percent, totaling $45 million. HHSC was spared from the 4 percent budget reduction.

However, in recent weeks, the governor has announced she intends to restrict at least 4 percent of the subsidy provided to HHSC facilities’ operations, the press release says. HHSC and its regions have announced a variety of measures to address the impending revenue shortfall.

Among other issues the Joint Committee will explore are the following:

• Any impacts to services from HHSC actions to mitigate and manage its $62 million shortfall

• Whether HHSC can implement all their plans without Legislative approval

• Any impacts to communities served by HHSC facilities

• What assistance has been provided by the governor’s administration

• Options and actions to help HHSC continue to fulfill its mission

• Any fiscal and management issues critical to the operation of HHSC.

The HHSC administration and Kauai Regional Board were invited to participate.

Information on HHSC’s system-wide and Kauai Regional plans to address their revenue shortfall may be accessed on the Capitol Web site at: www.capitol.hawaiLgov/site1/docs/gettestimony.asp?query=FIN-WAM 08-18-08 HHSC.

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