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Thread: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

  1. #1

    Default Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/b...122957053.html

    [Note: My "bolds"]

    Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed into law a measure allowing him to spend money from the state’s hurricane relief fund to help balance this year’s budget. The measure is meant to get the state through the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

    It authorizes the governor to first spend $42 million from the $117 million hurricane relief fund, and then drain it entirely if needed. Abercrombie’s administration planned to use hurricane money, rainy day savings, special funds and a 10 percent restriction on departmental operating costs to plug a $232 million shortfall since April.

    Without the fund, residents and businesses would be at risk of not being able to get insurance coverage if insurance companies stop issuing policies after a major hurricane.
    Anyone else besides me have a problem with the fact that money that I put into an insurance fund to protect against a specific hazard is now being hijacked for another use?
    Now run along and play, but don’t get into trouble.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    Too bad that the $50 million that's sitting around collecting dust in the "Tobacco Settlement Trust Fund" survived SB120 without so much as a penny taken from the principle.

    -Professional lobbyist rings that make money from this fund - yes,
    -New spending -yes,
    -White elephant rail project -yes,
    -Hurricane relief - no,
    -taxpayers - no.
    Your wonderful legislature has spoken.

  3. #3
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    Post Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    And...
    "Hurricane season begins today and Honolulu has been placed at the top of the list for “Hurricane Overdue Cities.”
    The ranking from “The Weather Channel” was based on how many years it has been since cities received a direct hit from a significant hurricane.

    The top five cities were:

    Most Overdue City: Honolulu, HI
    Second Most Overdue: San Diego, CA
    Third Most Overdue: New York City, NY
    Fourth Most Overdue: Savannah, GA
    Fifth Most Overdue: Tampa, FL"



    http://www.khon2.com/content/news/de...mFPsI6lkw.cspx
    Life is either an adventure... or you're not doing it right!!!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    Neal is proving to be a worthless A-hole, at best. He'll have to pull endless pink bunnies of wonderment out of his butt to overcome my already severe disappointment in him after decades of support.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    Anybody actually surprised??


    Really??
    FutureNewsNetwork.com
    Energy answers are already here.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    Quote Originally Posted by timkona View Post
    Anybody actually surprised??
    Really??
    Surprised? Nope, he is following the same path that he's been on for decades.
    Now run along and play, but don’t get into trouble.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    Abercrombie?
    What would Sansei say?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    This article from August, 2009 (Lingle administration) says that the fund had $186 million in it. Today's article says there is $117 million there. What happened to the difference of $69 million?

    http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/ar...908040343.html


    i'm just kind of curious - before I start blaming Abercrombie for doing what the legislature asked and plugging holes in the major deficit left to the state by the Lingle Administration. Those who have a problem with this bill need to tell their legislators that they don't like the way they are doing things - either by phone or mail or.........................in the voting booth. I know - shocking idea to actually suggest that eligible voters actually vote!
    Last edited by anapuni808; June 3rd, 2011 at 12:26 AM.
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
    – Sydney J. Harris

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    Quote Originally Posted by AlohaKine View Post
    Too bad that the $50 million that's sitting around collecting dust in the "Tobacco Settlement Trust Fund" survived SB120 without so much as a penny taken from the principle.

    -Professional lobbyist rings that make money from this fund - yes,
    -New spending -yes,
    -White elephant rail project -yes,
    -Hurricane relief - no,
    -taxpayers - no.
    Your wonderful legislature has spoken.
    Before you start complaining that the tobacco settlement fund is not being used, I would suggest you read this:

    http://lrbhawaii.info/reports/legrpt..._15dhrs_11.pdf
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
    – Sydney J. Harris

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    [URL="http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/122957053.html"]Anyone else besides me have a problem with the fact that money that I put into an insurance fund to protect against a specific hazard is now being hijacked for another use?
    I don't own a home but I'm sure this factors into the amount of rent I pay each month. How much of your insurance premium goes into this fund?

    My understanding was that the majority of the funds were contributed by the insurance cos. themselves and also from recording fees. My understanding is that individual homeowners can buy their own policies but this fund covers everyone, privately insured or not.

    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
    – Sydney J. Harris

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    Quote Originally Posted by anapuni808 View Post
    Before you start complaining that the tobacco settlement fund is not being used, I would suggest you read this:

    http://lrbhawaii.info/reports/legrpt..._15dhrs_11.pdf
    It says it took in $50.9 million and cost $1.1 million to run in FY2009-2010.
    The total funds taken in since 1998 = $490 million.

    What the report doesn't show is how much money has been retained and how much has been spent. Only 2% goes to run the program. What about the other 98%?

    HRS 328L talks about how over 30% goes to the trust fund/health dept. which goes to their "tobacco prevention and control board" (stocked with cronies, of course) and/or their choosen "non-profit"(the HCF), as well as non-specified DOH "programs". From this point on public information is hard to come by, in this secretive world, as to what monies are going excactly where.

    In the end, about $10 million a year comes out the other end of this mess and ends up in the pockets of full time professional lobbyist rings, with some token amount going to run the uneffective quit line, and appearently some other small and next to useless local quit groups. These token quit groups can then be used to downplay the fact that a lot of the money is going to lobbyist rings when the anti-smoking lobby's funding gets challenged.

    You'll find that every dollar that falls into the DOH/trust fund black hole doesn't go to the general fund.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    its not supposed to go into the general fund and its not taxpayer dollars.
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
    – Sydney J. Harris

  13. #13

    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    Quote Originally Posted by anapuni808 View Post
    Before you start complaining that the tobacco settlement fund is not being used, I would suggest you read this:
    http://lrbhawaii.info/reports/legrpt..._15dhrs_11.pdf
    I think that report is only on the TOBACCO ENFORCEMENT SPECIAL FUND, of which
    FY 2009-2010 DEPOSITS TO TOBACCO ENFORCEMENT SPECIAL FUND
    Master Settlement Agreement funds 350,000
    Cigarette tax stamp fees/interest/fines 1,760,915
    Total $ 2,110,915
    Meanwhile, the report also says

    In fiscal year (FY) 2009-2010, the State received $50,922,091.79 in Master Settlement Agreement moneys.
    For an accurate picture of where the entirety of the annual tobacco settlement money is spent, a different report will be needed, one about the annual tobacco settlement funding (not TOBACCO ENFORCEMENT SPECIAL FUND). Because this reports only accounts for the $350,000 (for tobacco enforcement) of the $50,922,091,79 in annual tobacco settlement funds.

    A majority of the funding for the TOBACCO ENFORCEMENT SPECIAL FUND comes from cigarette taxes, etc. [see above].
    Now run along and play, but don’t get into trouble.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    Amati, I believe there are restrictions on how the state can spend that money. It is not taxpayer $$$ but part of a national class action suit that was brought against the tobacco companies. I could be understanding it wrong but that is how it was explained to me by a lawyer.
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
    – Sydney J. Harris

  15. #15

    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    Quote Originally Posted by anapuni808 View Post
    Amati, I believe there are restrictions on how the state can spend that money. It is not taxpayer $$$ but part of a national class action suit that was brought against the tobacco companies. I could be understanding it wrong but that is how it was explained to me by a lawyer.
    I do not think, but I could be wrong about it, that there are restirictions. I think the spending is set by the legislature, and they can spend it however they want.

    Googling tells me that:46 states that joined the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) with the nation’s major tobacco companies. Under the MSA, state lawsuits against cigarette manufacturers are dismissed in exchange for annual payments to states totaling billions of dollars.

    I think it is up to the states on how that money is spent. There are common sense and appropriate catagories where it should be spent (to address tobacco and health issues, for example), but are the states mandated on "how" to spend their dollars? I believe not (but am open to learning more if someone else chimes in with info).
    Now run along and play, but don’t get into trouble.

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    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    On further reflection - wouldn't it have made more sense to create a bill to take funds from the tobacco settlement fund, rather than the hurricane relief fund?
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
    – Sydney J. Harris

  17. #17

    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    Quote Originally Posted by anapuni808 View Post
    On further reflection - wouldn't it have made more sense to create a bill to take funds from the tobacco settlement fund, rather than the hurricane relief fund?
    I cannot find ... it is like a maze .... where to get info on how the tobacco settlement fund is spent. But I think the legislature already does take a large portion for "other" uses.

    I agree with you in the concept of is it wise to take money from the hurricane relief fund if other sources are there?

    And for thought for the legislature and governor: Should the state work harder on "balancing the budget" through how it spends money, rather than draining funds that are in place for other purposes?
    Now run along and play, but don’t get into trouble.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    The previous administration left behind a big hole called a huge deficit. I think the current administration is trying to plug that hole in whatever way they can. The state constitution requires a balanced budget. Raiding the different funds is often how that balancing takes place, especially in circumstances like the present. The revenue projections that the previous adminstration relied on were revised downward.

    Legislators work for US. We elect them and we need to stay on top of them so that they listen to their constituents. Without community input, they really don't know what they are doing. I'm very fortunate in that my Rep is very approachable and actually listens to her district. Our responsibility as members of the community is to communicate our thoughts and wishes to them so that they can take appropriate action. Voter apathy affects so much more than just the numbers on election day.

    So, instead of complaining or questioning here on HT - pick up the phone & call your representatives. or send an email. Anything - just participate.

    Lets face it - many of us on HT have very strong opinions and we argue a lot. We also come up with some good ideas.

    But...........I don't really think our politicians are reading any of this.
    Last edited by anapuni808; June 4th, 2011 at 04:22 PM.
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
    – Sydney J. Harris

  19. #19

    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    Quote Originally Posted by anapuni808 View Post
    So, instead of complaining or questioning here on HT - pick up the phone & call your representatives. or send an email. Anything - just participate.
    Again we agree. Being involved is why I give testimony, contact my legislator, vote, AND QUESTION.
    Now run along and play, but don’t get into trouble.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    Quote Originally Posted by anapuni808 View Post
    I don't own a home but I'm sure this factors into the amount of rent I pay each month. How much of your insurance premium goes into this fund?

    My understanding was that the majority of the funds were contributed by the insurance cos. themselves and also from recording fees. My understanding is that individual homeowners can buy their own policies but this fund covers everyone, privately insured or not.

    Where do the insurers get a great deal of their money? Premium income, of course! From us homeowners, landlords included.

    The speed at which the hurricane fund is to be depleted is astonishing.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Hurricane fund being hijacked by Abercrombie

    anden Schatz has the gall to remind us to be prepared for Hurricane Season. So this is the progressive democrats eh? Dan where are you!
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

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