Thursday, April 16, 2020

Ige says 'drastic actions' such as pay cuts needed to plug $1.5B budget hole, state plans for reopening, high school graduation ceremonies canceled, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Gov. David Ige PC: Media pool photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser
With tourism at a standstill, governor says he’s preparing for $1.5B in cuts to state’s budget. The governor says the shutdown of tourism is Hawaii will have a significant impact on the state’s budget — and could lead to up to $1.5 billion in cuts. The entire operating budget for the state is about $8 billion. Hawaii News Now.

State lawmakers looking at department cuts and ways to restore local economy. Only the governor has the power to cut state worker pay and institute furloughs, but Senator Donovan Dela Cruz tells KHON the legislature is also trying to see what they can do to balance state general funding. KHON2.

Public employee pay cuts mulled. Pay cuts for state employees are on the table, but increases in state general excise or personal income taxes are not at this time, Gov. David Ige said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon. West Hawaii Today.

Rep. Case disputes Ige’s claims on federal funds to help proposed pay-cuts. Hawaii’s US Representative Ed Case is at odds with Governor David Ige’s message Wednesday about federal funding being used to help with the state’s billion-dollar budget shortfall. KHON2.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s plan for public worker pay cuts gets pushback. Gov. David Ige’s plan to impose 20% pay cuts for teachers and many other public workers quickly encountered resistance Wednesday from both the public worker unions and some leading state lawmakers. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers, Union Officials Are Pushing Back Against State Pay Cuts. Other options like eliminating vacant positions or tapping the rainy day fund should be considered first. Civil Beat.

Unions plead with governor to reconsider proposed pay cuts of up to 20% for state workers. Union leaders and state lawmakers urged the governor Wednesday to reconsider proposed pay cuts of up to 20% for state employees, saying that slashing salaries so drastically at a time when many families are already struggling with layoffs or reductions in hours would do widespread harm. Hawaii News Now.

Governor Ige considering a pay cut for teachers and most state employees. Facing a 20% cut in pay, experienced teachers are worried about their financial future heading to retirement. KITV4.

State Workers Would Face Pay Cuts up to 20% Under Ige’s Plan to Offset Budget Hit of Coronavirus. Hawai‘i state employees may be looking at pay cuts across the board, as tax revenues shrink amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Big Island Now.

Gov. Ige proposes pay cuts. Governor David Ige is considering a 20% pay cut for state workers due to a drop in tax revenue triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, but hasn’t made any decisions on the proposal. Garden Island.

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More than 2,600 visitors have come to Hawaii since quarantine began. More than 500 trans-Pacific passengers came to Hawaii on Tuesday — including some visitors. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii officials intestigating a half-dozen coronavirus clusters. Hawaii health officials are investigating half a dozen COVID-19 clusters throughout the islands as the number of cases continues to creep up. Star-Advertiser.

More Than Half Of Hawaii’s 530 COVID-19 Cases Have Recovered. On Wednesday, 13 more cases of coronavirus were confirmed, taking Hawaii’s COVID-19 infections to a total of 530. Civil Beat.

Hawaii COVID-19 Updates For Wednesday, April 15. As of noon on Wednesday, there have been 530 cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawaiʻi, an increase of 13 from the day before. Big Island Video News.

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HEMA chief says time to plan for reopening state’s economy is now. Gov. David Ige’s point man on economic and nonmedical logistic response to the COVID-19 pandemic told lawmakers Wednesday now is the time to plan for reopening the state for business. Tribune-Herald.

Loosening stay-at-home orders could come as early as May if people follow the rules now. After four consecutive days of fewer positive cases, officials are discussing how they will begin our recovery, and gradually start loosening some of the stay-at-home mandates. KHON2.

New rapid antibody tests ‘could be the key to re-opening Hawaii’. As doctors and scientists continue to wage war against this invisible enemy, the rapid antibody test has emerged as the latest tool in their arsenal. KHON2.

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More money to flow to Hawaii’s unemployed. After being overwhelmed by more than 200,000 Hawaii unemployment claims since March, state officials have begun to ramp up payments. Star-Advertiser.

General frowns on using Guard to process Hawaii jobless claims. Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara said that he is against using Hawaii National Guard personnel to help process the overflow in unemployment claims caused by the closure of businesses due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

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Traditional High School Graduations in Hawaii Canceled This Year. Those will be replaced by alternative ceremonies to be determined by each school, according to the Hawaii Department of Education. Civil Beat.

Given the circumstances, pomp taken from Hawaii graduations. Add another victim to the coronavirus pandemic in Hawaii: traditional public high school graduation ceremonies. Star-Advertiser.

DOE cancels traditional high school graduation ceremonies statewide. The state Department of Education announced Wednesday that “alternative celebrations” will take the place of traditional commencement ceremonies this year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Traditional public school commencement ceremonies canceled this year. “Alternative celebrations” will be held in place of traditional commencement ceremonies at public and public charter schools amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, education officials announced Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

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Hotel for Heroes tweaks program as demand grows. Demand for the Hotel for Heroes program, which houses working health care employees and first responders in free hotel rooms, was so great in its first week that it outstripped supply. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii small businesses start getting federal emergency funding. An auto repair shop in Waipio is one of the small businesses in Hawaii benefiting from the federal CARES Act, meant to help the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

$1M raised for new fund aimed at helping struggling UH students. The University of Hawaii has raised $1 million to help struggling students pay for tuition. The funds will help many continue their education during the pandemic. The university says donors from across the state came together to help students on all 10 campuses. Hawaii News Now.

UH Medical School Seeks Funding To Develop New COVID-19 Blood Tests. A test to confirm workers’ immunity to COVID-19 could put them safely back to work and help Hawaii’s economic recovery, says a medical school professor. Civil Beat.

Zoom Replaces Hugs For Hawaii Parents With Children In Foster Care. Hawaii, like many states, has called off in-person visits because of the coronavirus pandemic, though some think the ban goes too far. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Honolulu rail agency now expects $80M for project. Rail officials now project that the $9.2 billion, 20-mile project will suffer an $80 million loss in state tax revenue as a result of the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

Wahiawa Health confirms third case of COVID-19. The employees who tested positive are currently in quarantine. KITV4.

Coronavirus Site For Oahu’s Homeless Will Not Offer Testing. There is no widespread COVID-19 screening or testing of homeless people in Hawaii after a facility set up to help has backed off from part of its original mission. Civil Beat.

With fewer cars on the roads, HPD sees uptick in speeding, jaywalking citations. Honolulu police have noticed an increase in speeding and jaywalking in recent weeks as fewer vehicles take to the roads following the stay-at-home order. Hawaii News Now.

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Dillingham Airfield tenants get a reprieve as Hawaii delays shutdown. The state is pushing back by a year its plan to terminate its lease at Dillingham Airfield — giving airport tenants “a little reprieve” in the view of one business owner there. Star-Advertiser.

State DOT postpones action at Dillingham Airfield. The DOT says it notified tenants that it has rescinded the termination of their permit at the facility. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Civilian police employee in Hilo tests positive for COVID-19. A civilian who works in the Hawaii Police Department Records Division tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, Chief Paul Ferreira confirmed Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

No new COVID-19 cases reported on Big Island. No new COVID-19 cases were reported in Hawaii County on Wednesday as the number of cases associated with two Kona McDonald’s restaurants held steady at a dozen, state health officials reported. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Kaiser Coronavirus Experts Fly In For Damage Control At Maui Hospital. The Kaiser team from the mainland is expected to significantly bolster the hospital’s efforts to control the spread of the virus. Civil Beat.

Hale Makua Health Services Impacted by COVID-19 Positive Cases. Hale Makua Health Services received word from the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Health that one Home Health patient has tested COVID-19 positive, and that one nursing home resident at the Kahului facility tested positive for COVID-19 as well. Maui Now.

Two with Hale Makua have COVID-19; one possibly exposed at MMMC. A Hale Makua nursing home resident who was potentially exposed to a cluster of coronavirus cases at Maui Memorial Medical Center tested positive for COVID-19, along with a separate Hale Makua home health patient, according to state health officials. Maui News.

Kula Hospital worker tests positive for virus. Extra precautions taken at long-term care facility. Maui News.

Hotels for Heroes Provides 192 First Responders and Health Care Workers on Maui. The statewide Hotels for Heroes program is providing complimentary rooms for health care workers and first responders during the COVID-19 crisis. Maui Now.

Kauai

No new cases on Kaua‘i. County of Kaua‘i announced a full transition to conducting board and commission meetings remotely on Wednesday and will continue to accept written testimony from the public, as is part of the public process. Garden Island.

Planning the replanting. Kaua‘i County is in the process of planning what kind of native plants they’ll be putting along the Ke Ala Hele Makalae coastal path between Kealia Beach and Kuna Beach, now that ironwood trees illegally felled in the area have been cleared. Garden Island.

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