Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ige vetoes Airbnb tax, six other bills, lawmakers call special override session on Maui hospital, Biden stopping in Hawaii, Kenoi ethics case delayed again, Anaergia seeks to sell energy to Maui Electric, revamp for Kauai Black Pot park, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Gov. David Ige has vetoed a bill that would allow short-term accommodations brokers, such as Airbnb, to act as tax collection agents for the state, along with six other measures that he found problematic for various reasons. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige dropped the veto hammer Tuesday on seven bills, including one that would have allowed vacation-rental companies like Airbnb to collect taxes on behalf of the state. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige vetoed a bill that would have allowed online lodging services like Airbnb to collect taxes, delving into a debate about whether websites should be held responsible for the listings people post on their sites. Associated Press.

Gov. David Ige announced the vetoes of seven bills Tuesday, including one that prompted the Hawaii State Legislature to call for a special session. West Hawaii Today.

Governor David Ige announced the veto of seven bills on Monday, a day ahead of Tuesday’s July 12th deadline. Maui Now.

The Hawaii Legislature convened a special session on Tuesday in an effort to save a bill aimed at providing benefits for unionized employees at three state-owned Maui hospitals who risk losing their jobs due to privatization. Pacific Business News.

Lawmakers gathered at the state Capitol on Tuesday for a special “override” session to consider Gov. David Ige’s veto of a bill to provide severance payments or retirement bonuses to workers at three Maui County hospitals, but quickly recessed without voting. Lawmakers are scheduled to return to the Capitol on Monday to continue their deliberations on whether to amend the bill or allow the governor’s veto to stand. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers back in special session to salvage Maui hospitals deal. KITV.

David Ige Vetoes Far Fewer Bills Than His Predecessors. Hawaii’s governor has vetoed 16 bills from the first two legislative sessions of his term. Former governor Linda Lingle has him beat – by a lot. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers convened a special session Tuesday to revive a bill providing financial assistance to public employees at three hospitals in Maui County that was vetoed by Gov. David Ige on Monday. Civil Beat.

The legislature convened a special session today to consider the Governor’s veto of a bill to help Maui hospital workers.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Vice President Joseph Biden will make a brief layover in Hawaii this week on his way to state visits in Australia and New Zealand, the White House announced Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

State Public Utilities Commission Chairman Randy Iwase said Tuesday he is hopeful the commission will announce a decision on NextEra Energy Inc.’s $4.3 billion proposed purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. this week. Star-Advertiser.

A 10-page unsigned document titled “ODC COMPLAINT” that was distributed to some media outlets late last week has blown up into a request for a full-fledged investigation amid concerns over its impact on the sale of Hawaiian Electric to NextEra Energy, the biggest business deal in Hawaii’s history. Civil Beat.

Why Hawaii Has A Double Standard On Isolating Prison Inmates. Hawaii lets its for-profit prison contractor set its own rules for what it terms segregated, instead of solitary, confinement. Civil Beat.

A fighter pilot and former U.S. Air Force commander in South Korea has taken over as the top U.S. Air Force leader in the Pacific. Associated Press.

A group working to raise $2 million to bring the newly created Native Hawaiian constitution to a ratification vote by the end of the year says they’re running behind schedule. Associated Press.

Items confiscated at Hawaii airports now up for sale. KHON2.

Oahu

The reams of paperwork in Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his prosecutor wife, Katherine's lawsuit against the Honolulu Ethics Commission include records that reveal new details about what provoked the federal probe. Civil Beat.

A group whose stated purpose is to lobby and educate government officials, property owners, vendors and the public about the vacation rental industry is suing to invalidate the way the city enforces its bans on some bed-and-breakfast and transient vacation rental units. Star-Advertiser.

In an effort to build on existing plans for transit-oriented development in Waipahu, the city is holding a meeting today to identify short-term projects to enhance Waipahu town. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Attorney General’s Office said Tuesday that former state Rep. Richard Fale pleaded no contest July 1 in state District Court for failing to file “a complete and accurate candidate committee report.” Civil Beat.

With the number of hepatitis A cases on Oahu climbing to 52 adults, state health officials are urging all residents to consider getting vaccinated — and especially anyone who consumed food or drinks at a Waipahu ice cream shop between June 17 and July 3. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The county Board of Ethics moved Tuesday to defer until November a complaint that Mayor Billy Kenoi’s use of a county-issued credit card for personal expenses violated the Ethics Code, while a petition alleging the panel’s vice chairman is biased toward Kenoi and shouldn’t be allowed to hear the matter won’t be considered until next month’s hearing. Tribune-Herald.

A lingering ethics complaint against Council Chairman Dru Kanuha could be revisited next month, just a few days before the primary election. The unresolved ethics issue is one reason Kanuha, who’s never had an opponent in his four-year political career, faces a challenger for his Kona council seat. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Anaergia Services is seeking local buyers for its biogas and engaging in talks with the state's only franchised gas utility, Hawaii Gas Co., as it awaits a ruling from the state Public Utilities Commission on its efforts to get Maui Electric Co. to consider purchasing its product, a company official said. Maui News.

South Maui Rep. Kaniela Ing pulled no punches Monday evening in his first face-to-face forum with challenger Deidre Tegarden, questioning her campaign support and endorsements. Maui News.

The Maui Mall Service Center will reopen Monday after a four-month closure following rain damage from a leaky roof, the county announced. Maui News.

Kauai

The Department of Parks and Recreation is leading a public planning effort to develop a master plan for the future expansion of Black Pot Beach Park. Garden Island.

Solar power incentive programs can useful, according David Bissell, president and CEO of Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, but they need to undergo periodic evaluation. Garden Island.