Meals on Wheels won't break state's account
The Lingle administration has put on hold an allotment for Lanakila's food program for elderly citizens.
TAXPAYERS would agree that bean counters ought to give the state's spending plans a close look because revenue collections might come in lower than experts predicted.
At the same time, few would deny funding for nutritious meals for elderly citizens.
Against a $10.5 billion state budget, the $180,000 legislators allocated for a Meals on Wheels program doesn't amount to a hill of legumes. But that small portion of money is being held up by the Lingle administration while it gives its books a once-over.
Lanakila Rehabilitation Center, which runs the food program for 727 elderly people, can't wait much longer for the governor to release the funds.
Short $113,159 despite contributions from the public, businesses and other organizations, it will soon have to cut 164 people, many of whom are housebound, from its roster. This means 164 elderly men and women who counted on the meals Lanakila prepares and delivers to their homes will have to find another source or do without.
The governor began rationing cash after a panel of economists changed its projection of revenue growth from 6 percent to 4 percent, but collections came in lower, at 3.4 percent or $115 million below the forecast.
Lingle already has put holds on $110 million for public school repairs and another $43 million for grants for nonprofit groups.
The governor, who has said she will release funds "based on need," should cut loose the money for Meals on Wheels. Few needs are more basic than food.
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