Gov. Neil Abercrombie began his State of the State Address Tuesday morning by speaking to those who are cynical of government.
"At its heart, politics is about doing good and relieving suffering. If politics is done right, it is all about making life better for people," said Abercrombie.
Gov. Abercrombie denounced those who reduce politics to slogans and bumper stickers.
"In secular political terms, the Party Line is established and with today’s cyber-technology, internet-hysteria often takes on a life of its own. Perspective gives way to prosecution or even persecution. We can do better than what we have lately witnessed. The level of discourse in our public policy discussion stands in need of elevation," said Abercrombie.
Gov. Abercrombie says we are confronting a political "Jeopardy!" As in the game show, everyone already has the answers and the challenge is to figure out and frame the right questions.
"At its heart, politics is about doing good and relieving suffering. If politics is done right, it is all about making life better for people."
- Gov. Neil Abercrombie
"My thought is irrespective of what we are for or against, we cannot allow ourselves to preempt the raising of pressing questions we need to comprehend and address lest we lose our way before we even begin to understand where we need to go or what path to take," said Abercrombie.
The governor pointed to unfunded liabilities like healthcare benefits, exploding pension deficits and the Public Land Development Corporation.
The governor's first topic of his speech was on the state budget.
Gov. Abercrombie said when he took office, the state was facing a $1.3 billion potential budget shortfall for Fiscal Biennium 2011-13. The year-end general fund balances for Fiscal Year 2011 was $126 million and $275 million for Fiscal Year 2012, according to Gov. Abercrombie. He said in about five months, the state is looking at a positive balance once again.