Can Hawaii Dig Itself Out Of Multi-Billion Dollar Employee Benefits Hole?

Nathan Eagle/Honolulu Civil Beat

Hawaii lawmakers are doing more this session than ever to plug a multi-billion-dollar hole in health and retirement benefits promised to thousands of county and state workers.

For years, officials watched the state’s unfunded liabilities surge as they skimmed big investment returns to fund new programs and give employees raises.

Now they’re playing catch-up, but the question is how to dig out of such a deep deficit without raising taxes or cutting spending. There's no clear direction yet, but innovative approaches are being considered.

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