Thursday, January 21, 2016

All eyes on the state Legislature as the 2016 session begins -- a special news compilation with links to majority and minority speeches and more

Hawaii House of Representatives
Opening day in the Hawaii Legislature, courtesy House GOP
Lawmakers launched the 2016 session of the state Legislature on Wednesday with brief speeches and little fanfare while activists staged a daylong rally in the Capitol courtyard to draw attention to issues ranging from pesticides and genetically modified foods to the Thirty Meter Telescope and Hawaiian sovereignty. Star-Advertiser.

Leaders in the Hawaii Legislature moved beyond generalities on housing, homelessness and fiscal order to identify specific priorities in their opening-day speeches Wednesday. Leaders called for converting commercial leasehold lands to direct ownership, building a methane biodigester on Maui and giving a bigger slice of the hotel tax to counties, among other ideas.  Civil Beat.

The State Legislature convened today for the 2016 session. Hawaii Public Radio.

Homelessness and affordable housing will be key topics as the Hawaii Legislature begins its 2016 session, with Democrats and Republicans emphasizing the need for action. The House and Senate began their legislative session Wednesday, talking about the need to create a more economically viable community. Associated Press.

State lawmakers laid out their top priorities Wednesday morning as the 2016 legislative session was called to order. Hawaii News Now.

Singing and chanting outside the State Capitol marked opening day for the 2016 legislative session. Both the House and Senate have their own agendas this year, which include health care, education, and homelessness. KHON2.

Hawaii House Speaker Joe Souki plans to introduce a bill that would consider the conversion of commercial leasehold lands to fee simple ownership as a way to slow the closure of many small businesses because of the rise of leasehold rents in recent years. Pacific Business News.

Senate President Ron Kouchi expressed his desire to address quality health care in rural areas on neighbor islands in his opening speech of the 28th Legislative Session. Associated Press.

Lawmakers moonlight as attorneys, consultants, farmers. Star-Advertiser.

Who’s Who: The State of Hawaii 2016 Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

An East Hawaii lawmaker was absent from opening day of the 2016 legislative session and will remain out until further notice, his family says. State Sen. Gil Kahele, a Democrat who represents Hilo, checked into The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu on Monday to address medical issues and undergo testing. Tribune-Herald.

Speaker Joseph M. Souki 2016 Opening Day Remarks. Hawaii Majority House blog.

House Minority Leader's Opening Day Speech Jan 20, 2016. House Minority blog.

Members of the Hawai‘i State Senate began the 2016 Legislative Session with a renewed commitment to create a better life for those who call these islands home. Senate Majority blog.

Senate Minority Opening Day Remarks. 28th State Legislature, 2016. Senate Minority blog.

Hawaii state Legislature website.