Monday, March 2, 2020

Bills die as Hawaii Legislature nears crossover deadline, Hanabusa makes mayoral run official, state Supreme Court to hear Kahuku wind farm bat protection, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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What’s Likely Dead, What’s Still Alive As Hawaii Legislature Reaches Halfway Mark. As hundreds of bills get set to cross between the House and Senate, hundreds more are now likely dead this session. Civil Beat.

House Passes More Than 150 Bills on Third Reading. In advance of First Crossover next week, the House of Representatives on Friday passed more than 150 measures on third reading including bills on government ethics, highway safety, and public health. Maui Now.

New school facilities agency for Hawaii would dodge legal safeguards. A proposal to create a new state agency to build and renovate public schools is moving forward with broad backing at the Legislature despite concerns that the agency would be exempt from various safeguards in the law. Star-Advertiser.

Changes To Housing Omnibus Bill Axed. Senate Bill 3104 was restored to its original version and will go before the full Senate sometime next week. Leaders in the Legislature ensured a key component of their joint legislative package stayed intact Friday when a panel of senators removed amendments to an omnibus housing bill. Civil Beat.

Senate Passes Medical-Aid-in-Dying Measure. The Hawai‘i State Senate today overwhelmingly passed on third reading SB2582, SD1, authored by Senator Roz Baker (D-South and West Maui), which aims to improve access and options for terminally ill patients seeking medical-aid-in-dying. Maui Now.

Bill Would Exempt Taro Production From Income Tax. The cost of poi remains inaccessible to Hawaii families most in need of this staple starch, lawmakers say. Civil Beat.

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DLNR supervisor fined for using state equipment for private employers. A state watchdog agency has fined a Department of Land and Natural Resources supervisor $10,000 for violating the state ethics law. The Hawaii Ethics Commission said Patrick Chong Tim admitted to using state equipment and his position to benefit his private employers. Hawaii News Now.

As the race for the Democratic nomination heats up, ballots are already being mailed out in Hawaii- the first year Hawaii is moving from a caucus to a primary, which also means some confusion. Interim Democratic primary Chair Kate Stanley says there are only 65,000 registered Democrats on the books, much lower than the 276,000 who voted blue in 2018. KITV4.

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State must prepare to be hit hard by financial losses tied to coronavirus, legislative leaders say. Hawaii’s legislative leaders said Friday that they were preparing for the possibility that financial losses tied to the global coronavirus outbreak could dramatically impact the state’s budget, which depends heavily on tourism and imports. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii businesses prepare for possible coronavirus outbreak. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that businesses prepare for the spread of coronavirus, some of Hawaii’s largest companies are drawing up their own plans. Star-Advertiser.

How Prepared Are Hawaii Hospitals For Coronavirus? Past training for outbreaks such as Ebola have hospitals equipped to deal with infectious diseases like the new coronavirus. Civil Beat.

Mayor Kim Issues Emergency Proclamation To Prepare For COVID-19. Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim on Friday issued an Emergency Proclamation “to increase preparedness for the possible arrival of Coronavirus in the State.” Big Island Video News.

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New federal rules could hurt immigrants and state economy. A federal rule that puts new limits on immigrants considered likely to become overly dependent on government benefit programs could end up costing Hawaii’s economy as much as $127 million, according to a recent analysis. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii added nearly 2,500 solar jobs in 2019, ranked 10th in growth, report says. Hawaii was No. 10 in a list of “Top 10” states with solar jobs growth in 2019, according to the latest report released by The Solar Foundation, a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Colleen Hanabusa officially joins Honolulu mayor’s race. Citing her long government experience, former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa on Saturday formally announced her candidacy for Honolulu mayor. Star-Advertiser.

Hanabusa officially launches campaign for Honolulu mayor. Former congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa launched her campaign for Honolulu mayor Saturday. Hawaii News Now.

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Honolulu prepares guidelines to register as B&B homes. The city Planning and Permitting Department is drafting rules to allow for the fall registration of new bed-and-breakfast homes, defined as rentals of less than 30 days where an owner or operator is present during the stay. Star-Advertiser.

Native bat could crinkle Kahuku Wind Farm Project plans. The Hawaii Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge against the habitat conservation plan for the Na Pua Makani wind project. KHON2.

Officials and lawmakers grapple with Oahu’s eroding coastal highway. Emergency repairs are becoming increasingly necessary as climate change-driven sea level rise and erosion plague the 10-mile shoreline from Hauula to Kaaawa and undermine a highway that is now precariously close to the ocean’s edge. Star-Advertiser.

Waikiki public parking lot sits empty due to discreet signage. Waikiki is notorious for its lack of parking, especially inexpensive parking — yet a city lot with 50 stalls in the heart of the tourist district is sitting empty. Star-Advertiser.

Fireworks at annual Honolulu Festival nixed amidst coronavirus concerns. Organizers of the 26th annual Honolulu Festival announced Friday that the popular Nagaoka Fireworks Show, one of the largest fireworks shows in the state, has been canceled amidst growing coronavirus concerns. Hawaii News Now.

Ewa Beach couple eager to fly home Monday after month-long quarantine. On Monday morning at 5 a.m. PST, an Ewa Beach couple will have their temperatures taken one last time before heading to San Francisco Airport and boarding their flight home to Honolulu. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Kim asks for 6.9% increase in $625.9 million budget, Chung pushes $103 million bond issue for roads. Mayor Harry Kim on Friday released a $625.9 million operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year, a 6.9% increase over the current year. West Hawaii Today.

State is seeking information about those who provided support to TMT protesters. Lawyers for opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope filed a petition Friday seeking to reverse a January court decision that would allow the state attorney general to subpoena the financial records of a nonprofit providing funding for TMT protesters. Tribune-Herald.

Ethics Board seeks outside legal help over Maunakea access road. Jurisdictional issues over Maunakea access road and who has authority to police it were at the forefront Friday, during several hours of testimony to the county Board of Ethics. West Hawaii Today.

Mauna Kea Law Enforcement Ethics Debated In Hilo. The Hawaiʻi County Board of Ethics heard public testimony from both sides of the Thirty Meter Telescope issue on Friday. Big Island Video News.

Judge rejects Papa‘ikou Mill Beach condemnation suit. A judge has ruled in favor of the landowners in a condemnation lawsuit filed three years ago by the county that was aimed at acquiring a trail over private property that is the only existing land access to Papa‘ikou Mill Beach. Tribune-Herald.

Keaau Community Center construction pushed back. Long-gestating plans for a new youth center in Keaau will likely gestate some more as its planned start date gets pushed back. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

County considers phasing out all short-term rentals. Public meeting to be held March 6. In the fight against illegal short-term rentals, the Maui County Planning Department is considering something other than tougher fines and customized software — phasing them out altogether. Maui News.

E-warrants cut down on DUI blood draw delays. System should get more accurate alcohol readings. Maui News.


Kauai

Demographic Shifts Pose Tremendous Risks For Kauai. The island’s population growth is largely a result of the island becoming home to more retirees. Civil Beat.

Embattled Kauai Councilman accused of using drugs to pay for sex, feds say. Federal prosecutors are raising startling new allegations that Kauai Councilmember Arthur Brun used drugs to pay for sex. The feds alleged that Brun is the kingpin of an extensive Kauai drug operation that included nearly a dozen couriers, enforcers and gun smugglers. Hawaii News Now.

Commentary: Arthur Brun should resign from County Council. The crimes detailed in the 29-page federal indictment of County Councilmember Arthur Brun describe an almost unfathomable betrayal of the public trust and a deeply troubling commentary on the personal damage that can be done by addiction. Garden Island.

Molokai

Molokaʻi Farmers Get The Chance to Grow. About 50 residents/farmers gathered for the inaugural Ho’opili Nā Mahiʻai (Farmers Gathering) at the Lanikeha Community Center on Molokaʻi earlier this month. Maui Now.

Kahoolawe

Kahoolawe brush fire appears to be out after one-third of the island is burned. One week after flames were ignited on Kahoolawe, a large wildfire appears to have burned itself out with some help from heavy showers. Hawaii News Now.

Kaho'olawe wildfire burns a third of the island. The Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission lost several buildings, water catchment tanks, all-terrain vehicles, water crafts, irrigation supplies, restoration equipment, and planting materials in the fire. KITV4.

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