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Hilo, Hawaii News, Sports, & Information Friday, May 27, 2016

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Posted: Saturday, April 26th, 2014 6:31 AM HST

Hawaii lawmakers advance $12B state budget

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Hawaii lawmakers advanced a $12 billion state budget out of committee on Friday after making tough choices about everything from capital-improvement projects to nonprofit grant requests.

The budget advanced by a conference committee of Senate and House lawmakers slashes $92 million from the fiscal 2014 budget and another $65 million from 2015.

The move was one of many maneuvers at the Hawaii Legislature on a day legislators tackled a mountain of difficult bills.

Lawmakers also advanced a proposal to raise the minimum wage in Hawaii to $10.10 per hour over four years.

On the budget, lawmakers approved $10 million in grants to about 55 groups including the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra and Volcano Art Center, but the final list of groups that got lucky was far smaller than the 260 organizations that had applied for aid.

When the session began the state was expecting a surplus of $844 million. But revenue projections were dramatically reduced in March, leaving lawmakers with nearly $500 million less than what was initially projected for next year.

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