Thursday, January 19, 2012

Subdued opening day for Hawaii Legislature, leaders' speeches promote austerity, public records, plastic bag fees, gambling among top topics, teachers union votes today, more government and politics news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Legislature (c) 2012 All Hawaii News

State House and Senate leaders, on a spartan opening day of the legislative session, said they would avoid new taxes and major spending increases but may invest in bond-financed construction projects to upgrade  Hawaii’s aging infrastructure and hopefully create jobs. Star-Advertiser.

Slideshow: Hawaii Legislature's 2012 opening day. Pacific Business News.

Opening remarks


Senate President Shan S. Tsutsui
So, let us unite and move forward “Pupukahi I Holomua” with “The Invest in Hawaii Act of 2012,” the Governor's New Day initiatives, and all of the Senate's priorities to create a better Hawaii for today and the future. Text.







House Speaker Calvin Say
Let us be confident that our unselfish work of today will lead tomorrow to the Hawaii that we all dream about. Text.





Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom
Every day is a “new” day; it is time we make it a BETTER DAY for all of Hawaii’s people. Text.







House Minority Leader Gene Ward
We're world class and this session has the potential to prove it. Text.






The state Capitol came alive Wednesday as lawmakers, lobbyists and interest groups anxious to be heard gathered for opening day at the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

State Senate leaders expressed bipartisan support for the "Invest in Hawaii Act of 2012," which sets forth an aggressive, $500 million capital improvement project package aimed at stimulating the economy. Associated Press.

In austere and abbreviated fashion, the Hawaii House of Representatives opened for business this morning, with Speaker Calvin Say stressing economic issues in his opening address.Hawaii Reporter.

The 26th State Legislative Session convened today at the Capitol. Celebrations this year were scaled back in both Houses to observe the continued slow economic recovery in the islands. Hawaii Public Radio.

The 2012 state Legislature opened Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the state Capitol in Honolulu without much of the pagentry of previous years. Garden Island.

A bill introduced last year in response to Civil Beat's publishing of state and city government salaries has resurfaced and will receive a hearing Friday. Civil Beat.

Protecting the state's water resources and imposing fees on plastic bags are already gaining attention from lawmakers and environmental groups this session. Civil Beat.

Gambling at top of opening lesiglative session issues. KHON2.

A task force assigned to perform an extensive review of Hawaii foreclosures presents its 2012 findings to state lawmakers Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

The public school teachers union says it might prepare for a strike vote or continue a legal challenge to a contract offer imposed in July if members do not ratify a proposed six-year pact today. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii public school teachers are preparing to vote on a proposed six-year contract to end a labor dispute that has contributed to placing a $75 million Race to the Top grant on "high-risk" status. Associated Press.

Hawaii's public school teachers will be voting on a proposed 6-year contract that includes moving to a performance-based compensation system. Associated Press.

State roundup for January 19. Associated Press.

Oahu

Honolulu rail planners are unlikely to request an extension to the general excise tax surcharge that's paying for the bulk of the project. Civil Beat.

Enforcing limits on chromium-6, a naturally occurring toxic chemical found in Oahu's drinking water, is a priority on the environmental health agenda for the state Legislature this session. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Peter Carlisle proclaimed Wednesday "Hire Our Heroes Day" in support of a nationwide initiative to hire veterans and military spouses. KITV4.

A University of Hawaii at Manoa building is the first research laboratory in the state to receive the highest level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification. KHON2.

Hawaii

Hawaii County is facing a fourth straight year of lowered property tax collections, which will force additional cuts, Mayor Billy Kenoi wrote in a letter presented Wednesday to the state Legislature's two money committees.  Tribune-Herald.

Bids for a long-anticipated roof repair in Honokaa have come in more than three times higher than county officials expected. West Hawaii Today.

The most recent results from Hilo Medical Center's patient satisfaction surveys show that the hospital continues to lag behind state and national averages in most key areas. Tribune-Herald.

Food grown in Hawaii has more than just perfect farm-fresh flavors, a visiting chef said Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County Council members endorsed more than $16 million in water infrastructure projects Tuesday, including plans to replace the aging Waikamoi flume. Maui News.

An old Navy landing craft broke loose from its mooring line and washed onto Sugar Beach in north Kihei on Tuesday morning. Maui News.

More than two dozen Hana residents reacted with enthusiasm and hope in helping shape an income initiative aimed at improving the economic well-being of Native Hawaiians in the area. Maui Now.

Kauai

Monk seal hospital closer to reality. Garden Island.

Kauai County workers won't accept green waste  at the Hanalei, Kapaa and Hanapepe transfer stations due to safety concerns caused by muddy conditions in the drop-off areas caused by Tuesday's heavy rains. Star-Advertiser.

Molokai

Tsunami Debris Exploration Uncovers New Theories, More Questions. KITV4.