Friday, March 19, 2010

Lingle's spending plan shows more cuts, state auditor charges governor with bad, possibly illegal, investment decisions, pot poses problems, Ka'u wants more cops, Maui sued over girls' sports, Kauai shrimp company seeks to dump waste in ocean, more Hawaii news

"Simply balancing the budget doesn't get Hawaii back on track," Gov. Linda Lingle told Senate lawmakers Thursday.

Gov. Linda Lingle presented an updated six-year financial plan to the Legislature yesterday that presumes another round of pay cuts for state workers and reduces benefits for people in Quest, the state's health plan for the poor and disabled.

Gov. Linda Lingle appeared before the Senate money committee on Thursday with news that her six year budget plan includes cutting government worker salaries 5.5 percent.

Gov. Linda Lingle's long-term financial plan amounts to a "shell game" that simply shifts money around and relies on more pay cuts for public workers that would have to be negotiated after she leaves office, Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Donna Mercado Kim says.

State Auditor Marion Higa challenged Gov. Linda Lingle to take dueling lie detector tests yesterday, as her office released a stinging report on the Department of Budget and Finance.

The state legislative auditor blasts the Budget and Finance Department for its handling of taxpayer money and fires back at Gov. Linda Lingle administration over criticism of her report.

A feud between state auditor Marion Higa and Gov. Linda Lingle grew more heated yesterday with Higa challenging the administration to take a lie detector test.

State Auditor Marion Higa fired back Thursday afternoon, saying her reputation and credibility was attack two weeks ago when Governor Lingle called her audit draft "shoddy" and "a complete disregard for the facts." Higa said, "I think we need a affirmative response to set the record straight."

A nonbinding resolution that would call for Maui County to study the creation of a light-rail system moved forward Wednesday in the state House of Representatives.

Hawaii could see an increase in crime and other economic fallout if it legalizes medical marijuana dispensaries and softens medical marijuana laws, two Los Angeles police officers warned Wednesday.

Two prospective buyers squinted at azure skylines and tramped through fragrant, sun-warmed sugarcane Wednesday as the county showed off some of its land holdings for sale in Hamakua.

The Hawaii County Council on Wednesday paved the way for East Hawaii's only dialysis center to move into a new Hilo home.

A maximum of three officers on patrol at any given time in the Ka'u district doesn't provide enough police presence to deter crime, residents say.

The state Department of Education and Maui County have been accused of discriminating against girls' athletics.

Proposing to discharge up to 30 million gallons of wastewater effluent and treated shrimp remains into the ocean on a daily basis, Sunrise Capital has filed for a Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination permit with the state Department of Health, according to an e-mail from the DOH’s communications office Thursday.

The tsunami that hit Hilo Bay on Feb. 27 did no appreciable physical damage, but it may have released a chemical demon.

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