HILO — The federal budget enacted by the newly passed $1.3 trillion spending omnibus has wide-reaching effects on every state, and Hawaii is no exception.
Among the benefits to the state are:
• $36.4 million to Native Hawaiian education — specifically for the “construction, renovation, and modernization of any elementary school, secondary school, or structure related to an elementary school or secondary school, run by the Department of Education of the State of Hawaii, that serves a predominantly Native Hawaiian student body.”
• $17.5 million to Native Hawaiian health centers across the state.
• $8 million for conservation efforts to preserve the endangered Hawaiian monk seal and sea turtles.
• $16 million nationwide to financial assistance, technical assistance, training and outreach programs designed to benefit Native Hawaiian and other Native American communities.
• $4.4 million nationwide to native tourism programs — $3.4 million from the Department of the Interior and $1 million from the Department of Transportation — for Native Hawaiian and other Native American communities to promote cultural tourism initiatives.
• $14 million nationwide for Native American language preservation activities, including $12 million for language preservation activities and $2 million for Native American language immersion schools.
• $7 million for Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Reserve.
• $6 million for Haleakala National Park.
• $26.6 million nationwide for coral reef conservation.
• $30 million nationwide for regional coastal resilience grants, which help coastal communities prepare for and recover from extreme weather events.
• $317 million for various military construction projects across the state, including $25 million for an operational readiness training complex at the Pohakuloa Training Area.
In addition, some benefits for the state were retained despite President Trump proposing their elimination, including:
• $2 million for Native Hawaiian housing, through the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant Program, which provides financial assistance to Native Hawaiian families attempting to buy or renovate a home.
• $1.9 million to treat Hansen’s Disease in Hawaii.
• $2.9 million nationwide for the preservation of Japanese-American confinement sites, including the Honouliuli National Monument in Honolulu.
• $31.6 million nationwide for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Tsunami Program, which funds tsunami monitoring as well as coastal states’ preparedness activities.
Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz called the bill “the best appropriations bill that we’ve seen for Hawaii since I got here.” Schatz has held his office since 2012.
“This appropriations bill will give our state funding to create jobs, help our veterans, protect our environment, and strengthen education and health care programs,” Schatz said.