Possible Budget Cuts for Kalaupapa
Submitted by the office of Senator J. Kalani English
As the state budgets tighten and dwindle, law-makers like Senator English lobby to protect the communities they serve. The Department of Health in Kalaupapa does not appear to be exempt from the chopping block.
July 9, 2009
Dear Governor Lingle:
The purpose of this letter is to request an exemption of the Hansen Disease Branch within the State Department of Health (DOH) from any possible budgetary cuts that may be imposed. I feel that the patients of Kalaupapa have endured enough hardships and to induce further deprivation upon them would be detrimental to their welfare.
The State of Hawaii has statutory commitments to all persons forced into exile by the DOH for Hansen's disease to insure them adequate health care, medical treatment, and other services for the remainder of their lives. Moreover, the patient residents of Kalaupapa are entitled to the same health care and services regardless of whether or not they have been successfully treated.
State policy defines patients settled in Kalaupapa as a living memorial to a long history of forced exile, tragic separation, readjustment, and endurance. It would be inappropriate to cut their budget in these difficult economic times. I humbly ask for your favorable consideration on this request and thank you for your attention on this matter.
Warm personal regards,
J. Kalani English
July 22, 2009
Dear Senator English:
Thank you for your letter of July 9,2009, requesting an exemption of the
Hansen's Disease Branch within the Department of Health from taking any budgetary
cuts. While we appreciate your position of protecting the patients who reside at
Kalaupapa, the severe budget crisis requires that all State programs be scrutinized to
determine where budgetary savings may be realized. Please be assured that we will not
make cuts that would jeopardize the health and safety of the community.