February 12, 2002
Rep. Galen Fox
Tel.: 586-8520



GOP: Majority had opportunity to return hurricane fund to taxpayers but blew it

The State House Republican Caucus has released the following statement:

"The House Republicans have consistently advocated returning the hurricane monies to those who have paid into the fund. The bill that we wanted to have heard was co-sponsored by nine Democrats and four Republicans. Broad co-sponsorship shows the bipartisan support needed to pass this measure. The Democrats clearly had an opportunity to support the rights of those who paid into the fund, but instead they chose to send the measure into oblivion.

"The $230 million surplus in the Hawaii Hurricane Relief fund does not belong to the state and returning it is the legally correct and proper thing to do. The State is in a money crunch produced by an under performing economy, and the solution Republicans support is returning the hurricane funds to the people, who will spend to stimulate the economy. To transfer this money into the state's general fund is not only legally and morally wrong, it is also unsound economics.

"The Relief Fund does not belong to the state of Hawaii but to three parties: those who paid "premiums" for hurricane insurance coverage, those who paid mortgage recordation fees, and the insurance companies assessed by the fund. The huge surplus shows these parties were overcharged. If the State says they have no record of who gave how much, then the Hurricane Relief Fund should remain as is and not be used to bail out over-spenders."