Friday, April 26, 2019

Trump Jones Act waiver could save Hawaii shipping billions, scrambling at state Capitol as legislative session nears end, UH volleyball coach Wade accused of sexual misconduct, Maui mulls $832M budget, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Matson shipping courtesy photo
Possible Trump waiver to Jones Act watched closely. The Trump administration is said to be considering a 10-year waiver to the Jones Act to allow foreign-flagged vessels to deliver natural gas to Puerto Rico — and possibly nationwide — creating the latest dust-up over the controversial century-old maritime law. Star-Advertiser.

A Flurry Of Deal-Making At The Hawaii Legislature As End Of Session Looms. Stay tuned. More decisions are coming Friday, the deadline for bills to clear conference committee. Civil Beat.

State Senate poised to accept a proposal to allow vacation rental platforms to collect Hawaii taxes. The state Senate appears poised to accept a bill tonight that would authorize vacation rental platforms such as Airbnb to collect taxes on behalf of the state, a development that triggered a last-minute lobbying push at the state Capitol today by the hotel industry and the hospitality workers union Unite HERE Local 5 to try to block the measure. Star-Advertiser.

Bill to Expand DUI Law Dies. State lawmakers chose to kill a bill that proposed expanding Hawaii’s impaired driving laws after they failed to reach an agreement on the measure in the waning hours of conference committee hearings Thursday. Civil Beat.

Stricter DUI penalties may be on the horizon. The Legislature is set to pass a bill that would significantly stiffen penalties for drunken driving offenses, including making it a felony if a driver is convicted three times of driving under the influence within 10 years — a charge that carries the possibility of up to five years’ imprisonment. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers agreed to $19.7 million of extra funds for positions and other programs at state departments over the next two fiscal years. The agreement reached Thursday in House Bill 116 is in addition to a $16 billion spending plan lawmakers approved in March. Civil Beat.

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Funding passes for multiple construction projects. Hawaii lawmakers unveiled a state construction budget for the next two years that totals more than $3.4 billion in projects to be funded with state, federal and other funds, including injections of funding into affordable housing, airport projects and school construction. Star-Advertiser.

$3.4 billion budget agreed for renovations, repairs, construction, land acquisition statewide. Over $3.4 billion was agreed on by the House Finance and Senate Ways and Means Conference Committee today. The bill for the 2020-2021 fiscal years will now move to the full House and Senate for a final vote. KHON2.

House & Senate Committee Agree on $3.4 Billion CIP Budget. The bill now moves to the full House and Senate for a final vote. Big Island Now.

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Fight Over Coffee Labeling Stalls at State Capitol. Hawaii’s coffee farmers have failed again to gain additional protections for their crop. Hawaii Public Radio.

Internal affairs case opened after Public Safety’s head trainer accused of puffing up resume. The Public Safety Department has launched an internal investigation the head of training for more than 1,000 deputy sheriffs and corrections officers statewide. Hawaii News Now.

As HMSA Changes Doctors' Pay To Lower Costs, State Isn't Monitoring. Some of Hawaii doctors say they are struggling financially under the Hawaii Medical Service Association's new payment model, arguing it is exacerbating the state's serious physician shortage and extending wait times for patients. Hawaii Public Radio.

The leadership team of the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations held a roundtable with Lieutenant Governor Josh Green on April 23, 2019 at the State Capitol. Lieutenant Governor Josh Green asked Hawaiian homeland leaders to identify two sites per island where his office and homestead associations can collaborate to build kauhale, or transitional group homes and affordable rentals. Maui Now.

Ed Case: Some PAC Money Is OK As Long As He Knows Where It’s Coming From. As Democrats renounce corporate PACs, the Hawaii congressman still takes their cash so long as their interests align with his own. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Hawaii Volleyball Coach Accused Of Sexual Misconduct. A nonprofit organization that investigates sexual misconduct for the U.S. Olympic Committee has been looking into allegations that University of Hawaii men's volleyball coach Charlie Wade engaged in sexual misconduct with a former female player. Associated Press.

University of Hawaii stands by volleyball coach accused of misconduct. The University of Hawaii is standing by volleyball coach Charlie Wade as it reviews allegations of misconduct against him. Star-Advertiser.

'Bows volleyball coach ‘strongly denies’ allegations of sexual misconduct. The head coach of the University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team “strongly denies” decades-old allegations of sexual misconduct that have resurfaced in recent days. Hawaii News Now.

UH Manoa responds to allegations against men's volleyball coach. A week ahead of the National Championship tournament, UH men's volleyball head coach Charlie Wade is accused of possible misconduct against a female athlete. KHON2.

UH men's volleyball head coach under investigation for sexual misconduct. Trouble for the head coach of the top-ranked UH Manoa men's volleyball team. Charlie Wade's under investigation by the U.S. Center for SafeSport regarding an allegation of misconduct with a female athlete. KITV.

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Cost of repairing convention center’s roof soars to $50M. That’s almost double what Hawaii Tourism Authority had anticipated it would cost to complete the circa-1998 center’s largest deferred maintenance project. Star-Advertiser.

Waimanalo split over changes to park. Waimanalo residents are being asked to show up at a community meeting tonight to voice support or opposition for athletic fields and other planned improvements at the 75-acre Waimanalo Bay Beach Park, also known as Sherwood Forest. Star-Advertiser.

Estranged wife sues Honolulu police officer and HPD. The estranged wife of a Honolulu police sergeant charged with abuse has filed a civil lawsuit against him and the Police Department. Star-Advertiser.

Over 8 years, nearly 62,000 more people left Oahu for other counties than came in. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Lifeguards have been funded for Kua Bay. Six years after legislators began the effort to bring full-time life-saving personnel to the North Kona state beach known for its beauty and danger, funding was included in the state budget for lifeguards at Kua Bay. West Hawaii Today.

Cardiac funding bill stalls. A bill that would further fund Hilo Medical Center’s interventional cardiac program has stalled in the final stages of the legislative process. Tribune-Herald.

Charter Commission rejects special election. Citing the cost and prospect of a low turnout, the Charter Commission on Thursday rejected the idea of a special election devoted to charter amendments. West Hawaii Today.

Here’s how to watch Merrie Monarch 2019 on air or online. The biggest event in the hula community is here. This week, hula halau across the state will take the stage and compete for top honors in three nights of competition at Merrie Monarch 2019. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Council committee releases $832M budget and tax proposals. Budget invests in environmental programs, tourism impacts, is $51M more than mayor’s. Maui News.

Maui County hotels led the state overall in revenue per available room at $337, with an average daily rate of $428 and an occupancy rate of 78.6%. The first quarter of 2019 data was compiled in the latest Hawaii Hotel Performance Report published by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Maui Now.

Kauai


Tourism takes downward turn. Kauai had 123,730 visitors in March, down 1.3 percent from March 2018. For the first three months of the year, Kauai has welcomed 333,961 visitors, down 1.4 percent from the first three months of 2018. Garden Island.

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