Thursday, November 7, 2013

Drama in Hawaii as House advances gay marriage bill, Senate President Kim running for Congress, security tightened for Kauai GMO hearing, first above-average test score for Hawaii students, likely tsunami debris washes up on Windward Oahu, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

 The Hawaii House on Wednesday night moved forward a bill to legalize gay marriage to the chamber’s final vote after a nearly 11-hour hearing that featured political maneuvering and chanting crowds outside the gallery. In a roll call vote, House lawmakers voted 30-18 to move forward the bill for a final reading, with three members excused. The bill will go to a last vote on Friday. Associated Press.

The state House voted late Wednesday to move forward with a marriage equality bill after a day of drama and emotion where lawmakers plowed through numerous procedural motions and amendments that would have postponed action or significantly amended the bill to expand a religious exemption. The 30-18 decision sets up a final House vote on Friday to fulfill a 48-hour notice requirement. If the House approves the bill, it would return to the Senate for another review next week. Star-Advertiser.

After 11 hours of emotional floor speeches and failed attempts to have the issue put on the ballot, the House passed Senate Bill 1 on second reading by a vote of 30 to 18 (three members' absences were excused). The decision brings the measure to its third reading, set for 10 a.m. Friday. From there, the bill returns to the Senate for its consideration. Civil Beat.

As passage of Hawaii’s same-sex marriage bill grows ever closer and more likely, opposition groups are growing ever louder and more angry. HuffPost Hawaii.

Dozens of people opposed to a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Hawaii have been chanting “Let the people vote” for hours Wednesday in the Capitol rotunda. Civil Beat.

House Republicans released an internal count showing overwhelming public opposition to SB 1 and urged colleagues to listen to the voice of the people. Hawaii Reporter.

The Hawaii House of Representatives passed a second reading of an amended version of SB 1, the "Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013" Wednesday night passed 30 to 18, with 3 legislators excused. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii House has moved forward a bill to legalize gay marriage to a final vote after a nearly 11-hour hearing that featured political maneuvering and crowds outside the chamber. KITV.

The state House of Representatives voted 30-to-18 to move forward the same sex marriage bill to a third reading. The announcement of the vote caused an uproar at the State Capitol. KHON2.

After hours of debate and numerous floor amendments, the State House voted to approve SB1. Hawaii Independent.

The state House of Representatives voted 30-18 on Wednesday to advance an equality bill relating to same sex marriage in Hawaii. Maui Now.

How they voted, plus links to updates and testimony here.

congressional candidate #HI01
 State Senate President Donna Mercado Kim officially jumped into the 2014 1st Congressional District race on Wednesday, immediately positioning herself as the most experienced and, arguably, the best known among what is now a field of six. Star-Advertiser.

What do age, experience, smarts, ambition, name recognition and a knack for raising lots of money amount to? If you are Donna Mercado Kim, it means you are the frontrunner for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District. Civil Beat.

The race for Colleen Hanabusa's soon to be vacated seat in the First Congressional District is up for grabs and a sixth candidate has entered the field. KITV.

Hawaii public school fourth-graders exceeded the national average for math on a national standardized test -- the first time Hawaii has surpassed its national peers in any subject on the National Assessment of Educational Progress since state results began being recorded in the 1990s. Star-Advertiser.

State officials say Hawaii is spending $32 million to rebuild a tax collection system that has never worked properly. And lawmakers are questioning why Hawaii’s health insurance exchange would hire the same contractor to build the state’s online marketplace at the center of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Associated Press.

Hawaii will receive more than $1.45 million from Johnson & Johnson as part the $2.2 billion the drug giant has agreed to pay to settle criminal and civil allegations over the illegal promotion of two of its antipsychotic drugs, Attorney General David Louie said Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii ranks third among all states when it came to adding new residents from the mainland or from overseas, according to the Census Bureau's recently released results of the 2012 American Community Survey, but that doesn't mean that our population is exploding. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's newest immigrants will get a better shot at pursuing the American dream by visiting one of four Immigrant Resource Centers the state is opening. Star-Advertiser.

Matson Inc., the state's largest ocean shipper, will pay tribute to late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye by naming one of two new container vessels it is acquiring after the longtime maritime industry supporter. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Army in the Pacific said it is exploring a new deployment concept for exercises and engagements with foreign nations that would have rotational forces travel from exercise to exercise to exercise for months at a time. Star-Advertiser.

State roundup for November 7. Associated Press.


Three large pieces of lumber, perhaps tsunami debris from Japan, have washed up on Windward Oahu over the past several days. Star-Advertiser.

Citing concerns about delays and threats of NCAA sanctions if fast-approaching completion deadlines aren’t met, a University of Hawaii Board of Regents committee ordered an immediate audit of the Clarence T. C. Ching Athletic Complex project on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.


Christmas is coming early for 31 appointed legislative staffers who will get 4 percent raises retroactive to July 1, thanks to action Wednesday by the Hawaii County Council. The raises, calculated to match similar raises granted unionized clerical staff, will bring a council aide’s salary to $31,512 and the special assistant to the council chairman to $50,444. West Hawaii Today.

A corporation recently formed in Hawaii has made the top bid for the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort. Ramco Properties LLC of Honolulu is offering $3.7 million for the troubled hotel on Hilo’s Banyan Drive. Tribune-Herald.

The state’s land board is set to consider a preliminary approval of the purchase of land for the Kona Judiciary Complex. The proposal to buy 10 acres of North Kona property from the Queen Liliuokalani Trust for the long-planned complex goes before the board Friday. West Hawaii Today.

Much of Hawaii Island continued to see below-average rainfall during the month of October, with severe and extreme drought conditions persisting in several locations, according to a National Weather Service report filed Wednesday morning. Tribune-Herald.


In recent years, Maui County's young people have outpaced the rest of the state in the severity of underage drinking, according to the executive summary of Maui County's Strategic Underage Drinking Prevention Program. Maui News.


Kauai County will heighten security at Thursday's special County Council meeting because of reported threats since Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.'s veto of Bill 2491, limiting pesticides and GMO. Associated Press.

Anybody planning to attend the meeting will be screened by handheld metal detectors. Personal belongings, including bags, containers, food and beverage containers will not be allowed in the chambers. Garden Island.

A Kauai County Council subcommittee will consider amendments to a measure that would fund a group charged with creating a study of pesticide use on the island. The unanimous council decision to refer the proposed resolution Wednesday to the Committee of the Whole came after most of the six  council members expressed disapproval of the measure in its current form. Garden Island.

Kilauea Irrigation Company is responsible for defending the state against lawsuits brought in the aftermath of a deadly 2006 Kauai dam break, a state appeals court has found. Associated Press.

The Kokee State Park Advisory Council will take another month or so to review the state’s master plan for Kokee and Waimea Canyon state parks before it makes a decision. Garden Island.

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