Sunday, July 08, 2007


Lingle willing to raid funds for the needy for her "innovation" project, but squeals at using highway money to make roads safer for pedestrians

A Star-Bulletin story on July 3 described the governor's willingness to take from the poor to fund part of her "innovation" program--a program, incidentally, that is unlikely to result in many new jobs in Hawaii. At the same time, she is engaged in a war with the Legislature over the appropriateness of using money from the state highway fund to make roads safer. Go figure.

According to the SB article, Lingle plans science academies: But a top Democrat questions the use of funds for the needy:

About $3.6 million in federal funds earmarked for assisting needy families will go toward establishing new science and math academies in up to eight schools, Gov. Linda Lingle said.


House Speaker Calvin Say questioned whether that was the best use of the federal dollars.

"Does that fit into the overall federal program for needy families?" said Say (D, St. Louis Heights-Wilhelmina Rise-Palolo Valley). "Would resources such as food, shelter and clothing be a bigger priority for TANF funds? Would food stamps and health care be a priority?"

Indeed, this is a question of priorities, and it seems the Legislature is standing up for the health, safety and well-being of Hawaii's citizens. For the governor, there seem to be other priorities.

A sidebar to the SB article describes a $500,000 grant that the state won for the STEM educational program. Now, that's more like it. No need to take food out of the mouths of the poor. There's a question mark at the end of the sidebar though:

Lingle said the state plans to match the grant money to put a total of $1 million toward STEM programs.

Where is that additional $500,000 going to come from? We better watch closely to see that essential programs for our people don't suffer.


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