Think About It: Drawing Lines, Drawing Conclusions - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

January 12, 2012

Think About It: Drawing Lines, Drawing Conclusions

A couple of major items to keep an eye on from last week. First off, the district re-alignment for voting purposes has been voided by the state Supreme Court, which might mean that the Big Island gets one more representative in our local legislature at the expense of Oahu due to its population growth relative to Oahu over the past decade. The fact that the facts were not clear as to what actually represents a resident is an issue that surely needs a remedy right now, as the Reapportionment Commission was not sure and still is not sure who to exclude and who to include. One would hope a black and white answer is arrived at soon, so the politicians know which side of the street they need to be campaigning on, should they even choose to run in a re-drawn district. Since nomination papers are due to be filed by February 1, this answer can't sit in the legal waiting room forever.

A second item of note was the lower revenue forecast put forth by the Council on Revenues, which indicates a mere $268-million shortfall over the next two fiscal years from the last forecast a short while ago. Wow, a quarter of a billion dollars off… and some wanted the projections to be even lower. A good chunk of this projection ejection was due to a change in procedures at the Department of Taxation. How this lack of money affects us will be decided upon in the upcoming legislative session, which seems to be a semi-annual event with missed predictions and changing of revenue assumptions. It would be nice to see projections proffered with a more conservative approach, as it seems like more cuts are legislative inevitabilities as the soothsayer's numbers just don't add up from quarter to quarter.

So we will soon see where more cuts will have to be made and, even sooner, we will find out who loses a seat and who gains one in a game of legislative musical chairs. Should be a tough, yet interesting session for people elected to make these decisions on the people's behalf in 2012. Think about it…

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