State Legislature returns Monday

House Speaker Scott Saiki & Senate President Ronald Kouchi confirmed today that the Legislature will reconvene on Monday, May 11 through Monday, May 18.  The legislature suspended its 2020 session on March 17 because of the coronavirus.

The Senate could stay in session longer because of the large number of board and commission nominations that need to be taken up. In addition, both bodies are scheduled to take up budget bills.  With the loss in GE Tax and Transient Accommodations Tax (ie hotel tax) revenues because of  COVID-19, plus an increase in some expenses, the state is going to have to rethink its upcoming budgets and the legislators have said they are starting to address those issues.

The budget shortfall could be $1Billion or more.  Although Governor David Ige said he was considering cutting state worker salaries by 20% and then put that plan on hold until at least June 1, both House Speaker Scott Saiki and State Senate President Ron Kouchi have said cutting salaries or using furloughs was a last resort.