Hawaii needs $1.23 billion and could use your help. Governor Linda Lingle is calling it a “fiscal crisis” and says it won’t be fixed with budget cuts alone. Essentially, the fiftieth state wants everyone else to chip in. This year’s budget gap is $721 million, which will be followed by $509.5 million next year. The state might not hit pre-recession levels until 2014.
According to Lingle, “The stark reality of continuing declining general fund revenues means the state does not have sufficient resources to cover all expenditures.”
The problem is exactly what you’ve seen here on Gadling for a while – the travel market sucks. Hawaii relies on tourism to bring in the cash; the industry touches 74 percent of the state’s jobs directly or indirectly (at least as of 2007).
Georgina Kawamura, the state’s director of budget and finance, tells Reuters, “I can only remain hopeful that we are now at the bottom and will start to pick up.”