A few questions regularly surface in the LC mailbag. One of the more popular is: how much money does the department get? As the county irons out its 2010 budget, now is a good time to take a look.
First, a little recent history. In 2007, the Department of Liquor Control’s budget—including salaries and wages, operational costs and equipment—was $2,091,916. That figure grew to $2,284,443 in ’08 and jumped again in ’09, to $2,823,484. In all three years, salaries and wages accounted for about half of the department’s total cost.
The draft version of the LC’s proposed 2010 budget seeks another increase, to $2,920,481. Salaries and wages would grow by about $28,000, with operational costs remaining essentially unchanged.
The big uptick comes in equipment. The LC is asking for money to replace “two…vehicles utilized to carry out departmental responsibilities as well as inspectional and investigational duties.”
One other noteworthy aspect of the proposed budget is the section titled “Accomplishments for Calendar Year 2008.” The first accomplishment listed? “Conducted several ‘minor decoy stings’ which included Lanai and Molokai.” Considering that every case heard by the department’s Adjudication Board so far this year has involved a minor decoy sting, it’s a safe bet the program will be listed as an “accomplishment” again next year.