Friday, March 30, 2018

Hawaii Legislature passes assisted suicide bill, Senate committee advances pared down budget, top lawmakers endorse Hanabusa, medical marijuana bill would prevent firing of those testing positive, not guilty pleas in Kealoha trial, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Ohia lehua captures the raindrops ©2018 All Hawaii News
State officials' message to Merrie Monarch Festival goers: Don't take the Ohia. Hawaii News Now.

A bill to legalize medically assisted death for terminally ill patients now awaits Gov. David Ige’s signature to become law after the state Senate today passed the measure. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Legislature Passes Medical Aid In Dying. The bill cleared its final hurdle in the Senate by a wide margin and is now headed to the governor for his signature. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers approved legislation Thursday that would make it the latest liberal-leaning state to legalize medically assisted suicide. Associated Press.

Medical aid-in-dying passes Senate, heads to governor. KHON2.

The Hawaii Senate on Thursday voted 23-2 to pass House Bill 2739 titled “Our Care, Our Choice Act.” Maui Now.

Sen. Breene Harimoto, D, Pearl City, Aiea, Halawa, has been diagnosed with lung cancer. He made the announcement Thursday on the Senate floor at the State Capitol as he cast his vote against "Our Care, Our Choice," Hawaii's medical-aid-in-dying bill. KHON2.

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Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz criticized Gov. David Ige’s proposed budget for next year as an example of “overspending” as Dela Cruz released his own budget proposal Thursday totaling $14.3 billion. Star-Advertiser.

Top leaders at the Hawaii State Legislature are throwing the full power of their legislative offices behind Colleen Hanabusa in her bid to unseat David Ige for the governor’s office. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Senate confirmed Russell Suzuki as Hawaii attorney general on Thursday via unanimous vote. Hawaii News Now.

A bill to allow out-of-state marijuana patients to buy their medicine at local dispensaries and prohibit employers from firing workers with cannabis cards who test positive for the drug passed out of a key committee Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Medical marijuana cardholders from out of state may soon be able to purchase the drug in Hawaii, if a bill at the state Legislature continues to move forward. Pacific Business News.

After Nearly 20 Years, Legislature Rethinks Payday Lending. The state’s growing demand for payday loans is no surprise given the high cost of living in the islands. But with interest rates as high as 459 percent, lawmakers are demanding greater regulation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii’s visitor industry tries to improve nuclear response. It’s possible that Hawaii’s visitor industry could achieve its seventh record-setting year in a row in 2018, provided that the state doesn’t fall victim to a natural or man-made disaster like a nuclear attack. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s hotel industry hosted an emergency preparedness workshop today as a follow-up to the state’s false missile alert earlier this year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Shipping Company Prepares for the Next Disaster. Hawaii Public Radio.

In light of evolving natural resource concerns and the needs of managers and people, the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife is proposing updates to rules regulating activities within Hawaii’s Forest Reserve System. DOFAW is now inviting input and comments. Information hearings will be held across the state in April. Big Island Now.

Outrigger Hotels and Resorts said Thursday it has named Jeff Wagoner to be its new president and chief executive officer. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines has relinquished its usual top position as the most punctual carrier in the country. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Kealohas, Accused Cops Plead Not Guilty To Newest Charges. Federal prosecutors added three new charges in the corruption case involving the former police chief and his deputy prosecutor wife. Civil Beat.

'We are not guilty': Ex-police chief says he looks forward to day in court. Hawaii News Now.

"We plead not guilty because we are not guilty," said former Honolulu Police Chief, Louis Kealoha, moments after he entered a not guilty plea in federal court Thursday. KITV.

Retired police chief Louis Kealoha and his deputy prosecutor wife Katherine were back in federal court this morning to answer to more charges. They pled not guilty. KHON2.

HECO: More Than Half Of Us Will Be Driving Electric Vehicles By 2045. The state’s largest power utility is preparing for a surge in ownership of EVs during the next 30 years. Civil Beat.

Oahu led all Islands in tourism gains in February as total visitor spending surged nearly 13 percent to $1.52 billion, according to preliminary statistics released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

The Lanikai Pillbox hiking trail will remain open after all, the state said in a news release today. Star-Advertiser.

Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie has sold his Honolulu home for $5.4 million, according to Mansion Global. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Council wants voters to weigh in on future raises. A charter amendment is unnecessary, Salary Commission officials told the County Council on Wednesday, because the commission is changing its administrative rules to add more transparency to the way it doles out raises.  West Hawaii Today.

The head of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands said a group that started an “Aloha Safety Checkpoint” on beneficiary lands along the Maunakea Access Road this week did so without permission. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Department of Water Supply took the first step toward augmenting its existing staff by proposing the addition of 19 new positions at the Water Board’s monthly meeting Tuesday in Hilo. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Kim: Hilo Farmers Market Info “Wrong And Misleading”. Big Island Video News.

A bill that would take $30,000 from the Geothermal Relocation and Community Fund and in order to provide access to computers and Wi-Fi at the Pahoa Community Center was panned by testifiers on Wednesday before the council voted 6-3 to advance the measure to second reading. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Maui County Council Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Riki Hokama did not get specific on projects or budget items he would support or object to in Mayor Alan Arakawa’s proposed $820 million fiscal 2019 budget, but he said the council should look into completing projects already on the books, as well as filling current staff vacancies, before creating new jobs and craft a budget allowing for flexibility for a new administration. Maui News.

Students from a number of schools walked out of class in a show of resistance against the placement of the state flag. One of the biggest protests happened on Maui at Hana High School, which also attracted members of the community. KITV.

Haiku residents were opposed overwhelmingly to a new zip-line operation at a community meeting Wednesday night called by its developer who already has racked up more than a half a million dollars in fines running another zip line in the region. Maui News.

Longer Stays on Maui Boost Visitor Spending in February. Maui Now.

Renovation begins on Waiehu Municipal Golf Course’s back nine greens starting April 16, the County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation announced Thursday. Maui Now.

Kauai

Bus stop ‘angel’ arrested. For more than a year, El Aina Danine lived at the bus stop fronting the Kapaa Neighborhood Center. She slept there. She ate there. She read there. She fed chickens there. Garden Island.