Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hawaii budget hikes taxes, erodes reserves, 12% on food stamps, most expensive state to rent, Hilo VA workers exposed to radiation, Kauai seed companies nicked for grubbing violations, HPD OT for Obama hits $228,247, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

Moana Surfrider (c) 2011 All Hawaii News
Waikiki Hotel Plan Caught In Honolulu's Tangled Web. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Legislature is passing more than $600 million worth of tax increases on businesses, vehicles and personal income. Associated Press.

After months of number crunching and heated debate, lawmakers passed a two-year state budget on Tuesday. They also voted on more than 100 bills. Hawaii News Now.

The state House and Senate sent Gov. Neil Abercrombie yesterday a balanced budget and financial plan with some cushion to close a projected $1.3 billion deficit, but lawmakers have left little in reserve if the economy stagnates further. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers passed the state budget today … with a unanimous vote in the House and a 24-to-one vote in the Senate.Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii lawmakers just balanced the budget. But a class action lawsuit could cost the state $70 million more that legislators didn't account for. Civil Beat.

The state Senate began voting on more than 100 new laws Tuesday morning, with a budget that received mixed reviews, even from its authors. KITV4.

Legislation that starts the process for native Hawaiians to form their own government is heading to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his approval. Associated Press.

David Louie has been confirmed as Hawaii's attorney general, the last of Gov. Neil Abercrombie's Cabinet appointees to be seated. Associated Press.

A bill that partially delays implementation of a law to lengthen Hawaii’s school day is headed to the governor’s desk after passing both chambers of the state Legislature yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Police Department spent $228,247 on overtime pay during President Barack Obama’s most recent nearly two week visit to Oahu over the Christmas and New Years holiday. Hawaii Reporter.

Hawaii once again has the most expensive rental housing in the nation. KHON2.

More Hawaii residents use food stamps today than a year ago - almost 12 percent of the population - and even that is below the national average, federal statistics show. Hawaii News Now.

The state Department of Health said a successful flu immunization program in Hawaii's schools is in jeopardy. KITV4.

Workers in the Hilo veterans outpatient clinic may have been exposed to radiation over the last six years due to insufficient shielding of a radiation therapy machine located in the downstairs oncology clinic. Tribune-Herald.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources and the state Historic Preservation Division have announced the appointment of a new architecture branch chief. Associated Press.

A state prison inmate whose beating at Halawa Correctional Facility was captured by a prison surveillance camera is suing the state and the three prison guards who were fired for beating him. Star-Advertiser.

In response to community concerns, the county has issued multiple notices of violation to two South Shore seed companies for non-permitted grubbing activities in November and December. Garden Island.

Mayor Peter Carlisle today signed into law Bill 61 (2010) CD 2, which revises and updates the City’s North Shore Sustainable Communities Plan that covers lands north of Wahiawa, from Kaena Point to Kawela Bay. Hawaii Independent.

County Council members are looking at making deep cuts to the county budget proposed earlier this year by Mayor Alan Arakawa. Maui News.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative announced Tuesday that it has received a petition that calls for a member vote on a decision made by the cooperative’s board of directors. Pacific Business News

The Hawaii County Housing Agency took a step toward eliminating cash payments as a way for developers to earn affordable housing credits. West Hawaii Today.

Molokai's own Capt. Clay Ching of Hallelujah Hou Fishing has been featured on the TV program, Hawaii Goes Fishing. Molokai Dispatch.

The United States Department of Agriculture is reminding farmers, ranchers and forest landowners that May 27 is the last day to submit project area proposals for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. Garden Island.

While the eyes of Hawaii were on Hilo and the Merrie Monarch Festival, a group of 10 Hilo High School students were on the mainland making Hilo proud. Tribune-Herald.