Lawmakers Commit $300 Million to Fix Pension Mess
Hawaii taxpayers may be on the hook for nearly $300 million over the next four years to help restore the sorely underfunded Hawaii Employees' Retirement System, which covers pensions for state and county workers.
That's one proposal that advanced through the House Committee on Labor and Public Employment on Tuesday. Another bill would allow the Legislature to direct excess general fund revenues toward the pension fund, which covers 39,400 retirees. (No mention of where the excess would come from given the $800 million shortfall.)
Lawmakers heard testimony on a total of six bills that aim to address the fund's $9 billion unfunded liability — and advanced all six.
The measures had the support of ERS trustees, most public labor unions and the state Department of Budget and Finance. Here's a rundown of the bills, which still need to be heard by the House Judiciary and Finance Committees.
Similar Senate versions of these bills are scheduled to be heard on Friday by the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor.