The Hawaii state budget figures show a record high surplus of over $1 billion in 2016. Look at all of the extra money!
So, where did the surplus go?
Most of the money was used to make catch-up payments into the state’s $11 billion unfunded liabilities for state health benefits.
Normally, the unfunded liabilities are paid in quarterly installments throughout the year, like paying off a credit card a little at a time. But last July, Governor Ige put $725 million into the Employer Union Trust Fund in one lump sum, to help make payments early.