Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Gov. Ige pushes projects in proposed $13.7B budget, state borrows $150M but doesn't fund solar, Aiona could run for Honolulu mayor, Maui charter amendment would erode mayor's power, Obama relaxes on golf course, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

screen shot from news conference
Finance Director Wesley Machida, left, and Gov. David Ige
Gov. David Ige on Monday unveiled his proposed $13.7 billion state budget for next year along with a construction budget that would push $1.8 billion in new building projects out into the already busy Hawaii economy. Star-Advertiser.

Christmas came early for many — but not for all — when Gov. David Ige announced his $13 billion supplemental budget Monday. It includes $160 million to rebuild the Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe, $179 million for improvements to airports in Kona and Honolulu and $161 million for affordable housing. Civil Beat.

Hawaii must rebuild programs that were truncated during the Great Recession, Governor Ige said in his executive supplemental budget, which proposes a 230 percent increase in the capital improvements budget for fiscal year 2017. The governor proposed $1.8 million in additional funding for capital improvement projects for fiscal year 2017 in the supplemental budget presented on Monday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has proposed a state budget that would increase spending over the next two years. Ige wants the state to spend $30.7 billion through 2017, according to the plan he submitted to the Legislature Monday. Associated Press.

Calling education one of his highest priorities, Gov. David Ige has included an extra $250 million for operations and capital projects at Hawaii public schools and the University of Hawaii in his proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Star-Advertiser.

Governor David Ige is targeting the Hawaii State Hospital and affordable housing in his supplemental budget through 2017. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige is looking to inject about $140 million into programs that assist the homeless, clear growing homeless encampments from state lands, upgrade dilapidated public housing and step up construction of affordable housing in light of the state’s ongoing homeless and housing crises. Star-Advertiser.

A new state program borrowed $150 million last year to loan to low-income people and organizations for solar power upgrades, but has yet to loan any of that money out, nearly three years after state lawmakers approved the program. Hawaii News Now.

Nearly 100 delegates have committed to attending the Native Hawaiian self-determination convention planned for February, the nonprofit sponsoring the event said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

President Barack Obama returned to his favorite vacation pastime Monday, spending the day on the golf course. Obama played at Mid Pacific Country Club after his routine morning workout and a short break at the house in Kailua where he and his family are staying. Star-Advertiser.

Why You Can’t Understand Obama Until You Understand Hawaii. HuffPost Hawaii.

Oahu

There’s speculation that Duke Aiona will run for mayor of Honolulu next year, and the Republican candidate for governor in the last two elections said Monday he would neither “confirm nor deny” the possibility. Civil Beat.

The city’s 65 temporary, full-time groundskeeper and supervisor job openings netted nearly 300 applicants at a special job fair held Monday — and more are expected today on the second day of the event at McCoy Pavilion in Ala Moana Park. Star-Advertiser.

The city’s maintenance crew is going back to Kakaako on Tuesday to enforce the stored property and sidewalk nuisance ordinances. Civil Beat.

The city is holding a public hearing next month on a proposal to serve alcoholic beverages at Queen’s Beach, which is considered part of Kapiolani Park proper. KHON2.

Some Oahu residents say a new law meant to tax offshore real estate investors at a higher rate is hurting local homeowners and developers. Hawaii News Now.

A five-year extension of the 0.5 percent general excise tax surcharge on Oahu is supposed to cover the growing shortfall for Honolulu’s $6.6 billion (and counting) rail project. Officials from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation say that the extension should raise from $1.2 billion to $1.8 billion for the project; they’re using $1.5 billion as the mid-range estimate. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

Gov. David Ige wants to see international commercial flights landing at Kona International Airport sooner rather than later, and he’s put $50 million into his supplemental budget to make it happen. West Hawaii Today.

After mulling running for seats closer to home, state Sen. Russell Ruderman says he will ask 2nd District residents for another four years as their representative at the state Capitol. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo Medical Center continues to win new fans in its ongoing efforts to rebrand itself as a facility offering top-quality health care, despite continuing to lag behind state and national benchmarks on key metrics. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. But it’s not only the streets or the beaches that are getting crowded, it’s also the jail. Hawaii Public Radio.

Commentary: On Friday, Dec. 18, the Maui County Council referred a little-advertised charter amendment to committee for discussion. Transmitted by Councilmember Riki Hokama, the amendment–submitted as a special committee continues to examine a possible county manager form of government that would strip the mayor’s office of most, if not all of its powers–would “require Council approval of the Mayor’s appointment of department directors.” MauiTime.

Officials are working to get a $6 million project to expand Maui's only cemetery for veterans back on track before burial space runs out. Associated Press.

A Maui Bus passes a spot on South Kihei Road where beach erosion is close to undermining the roadway earlier this month. Maui News.

Kauai

It’s not shoplift with a cop. An armed Kekaha man who tried to leave Kmart without paying for items during the Shop with a Cop program was promptly arrested. Garden Island.