Gov. Proposes A State Tax Refund, to Expand UH’s Doctor’s Residency Program and Boost Broadband – in State of State Address

A refund to go to each taxpayer and dependent, support for broadband infrastructure, universal preschool, and expanding the University of Hawaii’s doctor’s residency program are priorities outlined in Gov. David Ige’s recent State of the State Address.

“We want to issue refund checks of $100 for every taxpayer and for each of their dependents. For a family of four, that would mean an extra $400. In this way, we’ll also inject $110 million back into our economy,” said Gov. Ige.

He said the state is working to maximize federal funding for Broadband, a project called Apakau Ka La (‘spreading of the sun’s rays). Ige is proposing the largest investment in technology in state history – a total of more than $400 million.

Ige urged lawmakers to work with him to create universal preschool in Hawaii, a plan he says had been delayed due to the pandemic.“Research tells us that early learning is crucial in preparing our children for school and life in general. We will continue to nurture our early learners through our community-based centers.”

Ige said expanding the UH’s doctor’s residency program will help to address the physician shortage in Hawaii. He also wants the State Legislature to provide funding to add more clinical instructors at community colleges to handle the rise for nursing programs.

In a separate news conference, the governor said all $1.6 billion (Hawaii’s share of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act) was allocated. He said these federal funds put off layoffs and furloughs, as well as provided funding to critical programs.

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