FACT CHECK—Abercrombie: Critical Public Services Have Been Restored
By Eileen Chao 02/22/2013
In his State of the State address last month, Gov. Neil Abercrombie touted the progress his administration had made in pushing state government toward a speedy recovery in the wake of budget cuts.
“Because we did what needed to be done, we were able to restore critical public services such as agriculture, elevator inspections, vector control and restaurant inspectors,” the governor said.
That statement implies that inspections are up to date and department vacancies have been filled. Is that true of the four sectors the governor mentioned?
BOTTOM LINE: Abercrombie said that he has restored critical public services in agriculture, elevators, vector control and restaurants. A check of the staffing levels at three of the four of the departments shows significant improvement in the past two years. A request for additional staff is still pending this session for vector control and the agriculture department. While these departments are indeed on their way to restoring critical public services, backlogs in at least one department — elevator inspections — may take years to rectify. Abercrombie's statement gives the impression that services have been completely restored, when in fact they are still in progress. The claim is misleading, and overstates the true state of affairs. Civil Beat concludes his statement to be HALF TRUE.