Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Gay marriage bill dies, soda fee advances, Public Land Development Corp. faces repeal, Hawaii drops in ranking of government employees, charter school employee fined for conflict of interest, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

beach scene
Hawaii beach scene courtesy illustration
The state House Judiciary Committee has decided not to hear a bill to legalize gay marriage, likely tabling the issue for this year. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Neil Abercrombie issued a statement on the topic of marriage equality, calling on legislators to hold hearings on the marriage equality bill to further discussions on equal treatment. Maui Now.

The state Senate Health Committee voted Monday to advance a soda fee of 1 cent per ounce — or $1.28 per gallon — that would raise about $37 million a year to counter obesity. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers from two House committees have voted to repeal the Public Land Development Corporation, bowing to strong community opposition across the Hawaiian Islands. Associated Press.

Bending to public pressure, state House and Senate committees agreed Monday to repeal the Public Land Development Corp. Star-Advertiser.

House education committee Chair Roy Takumi wants to allow the state to lease unused public school land and use the revenue to help improve Hawaii’s schools. Associated Press.

A selective digest of bills and briefings of interest Tuesday at the state Capitol. Civil Beat.

Hawaii has slipped from having the highest percentage of government employees to third behind the District of Columbia and Alaska, according to a Gallup poll report released Monday. West Hawaii Today.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono warned Monday of "devastating" sequestration budget cuts that could cost Hawaii 11,000 jobs, result in furlough days for 18,000 defense civilians and cut into defense contracts that average $2.3 billion a year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines’ parent said Monday that it has named its turboprop interisland subsidiary Ohana by Hawaiian, and said the service operated by contractor Empire Airlines will launch this summer with flights to Molokai and Lanai. Pacific Business News.

State roundup for February 12. Associated Press.

Oahu

The state has decided not to prosecute Stoneridge Recoveries, the controversial vendor that had the city's most lucrative towing contract for eight years, on allegations of insurance fraud. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The state Ethics Commission announced Monday that it has fined a Big Island charter school employee $10,000 for breaking conflict-of-interest laws. Civil Beat.

Police have arrested a 23-year-old Kona man whose threatening text messages prompted schools in Waimea and Honokaa to lock down their campuses Monday morning. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Financial pressures, including the decline of cruise ships visits to Maui, have led The Hawai'i Nature Center in Iao Valley to close its interactive museum and gift shop. Maui News.

The state Land Use Commission ruled Thursday that revised plans for a commercial and light industrial subdivision violate the commission's 1995 order to reclassify 68 acres from agricultural to urban use and ordered the project stopped. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

The Beach House Restaurant in Po‘ipu has been named one of the top 37 “Most Romantic Restaurants” in the United States by Travel + Leisure magazine. Garden Island.

Lanai

After nearly three years of waiting, Lanai residents are enjoying their own, full-time public health nurse. Maui News.