Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Ige proposes 1.8% cut, undisclosed tax hikes, possible layoffs in new budget; DHHL to vote on Kapolei casino today; Kilauea volcano eruption expected to draw crowds, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

From Governor's Office video
Gov. David Ige unveils budget Monday in video conference

 Ige’s New Budget Proposal Would Wipe Out The Jobs Of 149 State Workers. Gov. David Ige’s new two-year budget proposal would eliminate the jobs of 149 state employees who are scattered in departments across state government, and may also involve some as-yet unspecified tax increases. Civil Beat.

Governor Ige's biennium budget 2021-2023 reflects reductions. With the state expecting a $1.4 billion shortfall each of the next four years, Governor David Ige unveiled his fiscal biennium budget on Monday. KITV4.

State furloughs might be pushed back to July. Furloughs for thousands of state employees scheduled to begin Jan. 1 could be postponed until July if a COVID-19 funding bill moving through Congress provides Hawaii with millions of dollars in COVID-19 aid, taking some pressure off of an already strained state budget. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Lawmakers React to Governor Ige's Budget Proposal. Anticipating a $1.4 billion per year shortfall over the next two years, Governor David Ige is proposing a $15 billion per year budget to the State Legislature. KITV4.

Gov. Ige Announces Proposed Budget Cuts. Governor David Ige has released his proposed state budget for lawmakers to consider in the 2021 legislative session. Ige says the two year spending plan reflects the difficult decisions forced on the state by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ige eyes steep budget cuts to avoid furloughs. Gov. David Ige’s proposed budget for the next two years recommends sharp cuts to state programs in order to make up for a $1.4 billion shortfall over each of the next four years. Tribune-Herald.

Governor Unveils Budget Calling For “Sudden, Sharp Reductions”.
Governor David Ige held a news conference today, unveiling his Fiscal Biennium Budget 2021-23 to the public. The spending plan includes reductions in both the operating and capital improvements program budgets in the next two fiscal years, as the state anticipates a $1.4 billion shortfall each year of this two-year period. Big Island Video News.

Governor Ige’s Biennium Budget 2021-23 Reflects “Sudden, Sharp Reductions”. Governor David Ige today unveiled his Fiscal Biennium Budget 2021-23 which includes reductions in both the operating and capital improvements program budgets in the next two fiscal years. Maui Now.

Gov. David Ige's 167-page budget in brief can be found here.


Ige is ‘hopeful’ federal relief will help to defer or reduce planned furloughs. The governor said Monday he is “hopeful” that a federal coronavirus relief package that could send as much as $1.7 billion in aid to Hawaii will help to defer or reduce planned furloughs of most state government workers. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii To Get Millions To Help With Rent Relief, Vaccine Distribution And More. The bill includes millions for unemployment assistance, child care, education and other programs. Civil Beat.

Hawaii could get $2.5B in federal relief funds. The massive $900 billion coronavirus pandemic relief bill passed Monday by Congress includes at least $1.7 billion in Hawaii funding that U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said is not enough, but is temporary help in the current crisis. Star-Advertiser.


Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives In Hawaii. Half of the 12,000 doses in the state’s first shipment from the drug company will be distributed to neighbor islands. Civil Beat.

More doses of coronavirus vaccines arrive in Hawaii, many slated for neighbor islands. Hawaii received nearly 30,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine today, as neighbor island hospitals began immunizing health care workers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii gets 12,000 doses of newly-approved Moderna vaccine. The state Health Department said Oahu got 6,000 doses, while Maui, Hawaii and Kauai counties each received 2,000 doses. Hawaii News Now.

CVS pharmacists to launch mass COVID-19 vaccination effort at Hawaii care homes. Next Monday, Longs Drugs pharmacists will embark on an effort to vaccinate thousands of residents in Hawaii’s long-term care facilities for COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 21: 134 New COVID-19 Cases. The new cases included 104 on Oahu, 13 on the Big Island, 14 on Maui, one on Kauai and two Hawaii residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Oahu inmate infections to be removed from Oahu’s reopening metrics, Caldwell says. Oahu inmate infections will be subtracted from seven-day average case counts beginning Thursday to avoid snapping back to the more-restrictive Tier 1 of the city’s economic re-opening plan, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Inmates who get COVID-19 will no longer be added to Oahu’s daily case count. Inmates on Oahu who get COVID-19 will no longer be included in daily case counts as part of a bid to prevent the island for “snapping back” to Tier 1. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu inmates will no longer be counted in City’s COVID-19 tier count, says Mayor Caldwell. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says the City will begin to remove inmate positive cases from the tier count in hopes to help Oahu moves ahead with more reopenings. KHON2.


Hawaiian Homes Commission Airs Concerns Over Kapolei Casino Proposal. The commission will decide whether to send the proposal to the Legislature at a meeting on Tuesday. Civil Beat.

State lawmaker, tourism expert oppose DHHL casino in Kapolei. A plan to build Hawaii’s first casino is moving forward despite push back from some lawmakers. KHON2.

Kapolei casino seen as key to land trust’s future. Given the severe budget deficits expected by the state over the next several years, a plan to develop a West Oahu casino is key to avoiding the prospect of more Native Hawaiians waiting decades for homesteads and thousands dying without getting onto the land, according to an executive with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Star-Advertiser.

DHHL Pushes For Casino Gaming On Hawaiian Home Lands. DHHL is proposing a single, integrated resort property in Kapolei, Oʻahu on lands already designated for commercial use. Big Island Video News.

Police Commissioner: HPD Surveillance Of Medical Examiner ‘Raises Some Red Flags’. Honolulu Police Commission Chairwoman Shannon Alivado says Chief Susan Ballard must answer some tough questions about a 2019 operation that stemmed from a complaint from the mayor’s office. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Lava flows again inside Halemaumau Crater atop Kilauea Volcano. Flowing lava, the main draw of Hawaii’s historically most popular visitor attraction, reappeared Sunday night at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park after a more than two-year absence and produced a steamy show attracting crowds through Monday in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

First Kilauea eruption since 2018 draws hundreds of onlookers to HVNP. Hundreds of people visited the park throughout the day on Monday to see the huge plume after two years of inactivity. Tribune-Herald.

How To Safely View New Eruption In Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The National Park Service says all areas open to the public before the new eruption started remain open, but urge visitors to take certain precautions. Big Island Video News.

HVNP Remains Open Amid New Eruption at Kīlauea Summit. Volcanoes National Park has remained open since the eruption at Kīlauea Volcano Sunday evening. Big Island Now.

Eruption at Halemaumau Crater stabilizes, but lava lake continues to grow. An eruption that started Sunday night at Kilauea’s Halemaumau Crater has stabilized — at least for now. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Mitch Roth reacts to Kilauea eruption as he begins his third week in office. According to Roth, the main concern right now is the added attraction on the island during the pandemic. KITV4.


Hawaii gets vaccine shipment. Hawaii received its first shipment of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Real estate boom: West Hawaii real estate sales reach 15-year high. Driven by a surge in demand for residential homes, property sales in Kona reached a 15-year high in October and November, marking a significant rebound from a pandemic-induced lull that started in April. According to statistics compiled by Kona Realtor Gretchen Osgood, sales are up 59% over last year’s combined October-November totals. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island Considers Banning Pedestrians On Road To Waipio Valley. Opponents say closing the road would prevent people from using public lands. Civil Beat.


Maui Woman Arrested for Alleged Violation of Mask Mandate. Maria Maither, 56, of Nāpili was arrested at around 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. Complaints relayed that Maither and other employees at a business, located at 5095 Nāpilihau Street were not complying with Hawaiʻi’s statewide mask mandate. Maui Now.

Affordable apartment project breaks ground. Lahaina’s 89-unit Kaiaulu O Kupuohi slated for a May 2022 completion. Maui News.

Report: Maui homes snapped up last month. Median hits $800K or more for fourth time this year. Maui News.


Doctors receive first COVID-19 vaccines on Kaua‘i. Vaccine distribution has started on Kaua‘i with the first supply arriving on island Monday afternoon. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i’s food banks get help from the community. Garden Island.


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