Thursday, April 15, 2021

Legislature seeks to curb governor's emergency powers, state could be without a schools superintendent for a year, Kaiser seeks takers for vaccinations on Oahu, more news from all he Hawaiian Islands

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Bill to limit governor’s emergency orders moves ahead as many want a return to normalcy. The measure would give lawmakers the authority to review the governor’s emergency orders after 60 days. It would also require the governor to justify any laws that are suspended by emergency orders. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige’s board picks grilled on how they would change tourism. A Senate committee on Wednesday advanced Gov. David Ige’s five nominees to the fill the board of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, but not before grilling them about how they planned to change the nature of tourism in Hawaii as residents express dread at the return of visitors to pre-pandemic levels. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Sees ‘Startling’ Increase In Number Of Children Facing Hunger. Even as benefits programs expand and school meal programs shift, food insecurity is expected to continue to grow in the islands. Civil Beat.

State income tax filing deadline is Tuesday. Hawaii is the only wage-taxing state not to copy the Internal Revenue Service and extend the due date. Star-Advertiser.

Reallocating money for tobacco cessation. A bill that will disassemble the state’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Trust Fund has passed through the Hawai‘i Legislature and is now headed to the desk of Gov. David Ige for a signature. Garden Island.

Program that helps visitors following trauma and tragedy faces deep cuts.
The Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii says it won’t survive past the summer if proposed legislative cuts become a reality. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Legislative bill leads to tussle over federal money for Hawaii public schools. A bill to require the Department of Education to use federal pandemic relief funds to prevent furloughs or layoffs of unionized classroom staff for two years is moving forward with backing from the teachers’ union. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Search For A New School Superintendent Could Take Nearly A Year. The state Board of Education’s transition committee proposed filling the role on a temporary basis to allow more time to search for a permanent hire. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Department of Transportation begins electrification with Tesla delivery.
The Hawaii Department of Transportation picked up its first electric vehicle — a white Tesla — on Tuesday as the result of an innovative service contract that is expected to help electrify its entire light duty fleet. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

April 14, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 72 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Wednesday, including 35 on O‘ahu, 17 on Maui, 16 on Hawai‘i Island, and four in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.

Oahu

Kaiser has nearly 2,000 open coronavirus vaccine appointments through Saturday in Kapolei. Kaiser Permanente announced that its location at the Kapolei Consolidated Theatre has close to 2,000 available COVID-19 vaccinations appointments from Thursday, April 15, through Saturday, April 17. KHON2.

Red light camera pilot program is moving forward on Oahu. Motorists who run a red light on Oahu might be caught on camera beginning late this summer under a new pilot program that will run for a minimum of two years, according to the Department of Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

Council OKs audit of HPD overtime costs amid ongoing scrutiny. The City Council has approved an audit of HPD’s overtime costs and why they continue to climb. Hawaii News Now.

In a turnabout for the city, mayor seeks $1M to remove Haiku Stairs. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s proposed budget, which is nearing approval in the City Council, includes $1 million to dismantle the stairway. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Commissioners redo fire chief vote: Kazuo Todd again selected to lead Hawaii Fire Department. The Hawaii County Fire Commission Wednesday set aside its March 10 selection of the Big Island’s next fire chief, opting to redo the vote in open session after questions were raised about how the vote was initially cast. West Hawaii Today.

‘Perfect storm’ of collective bargaining: County unsure of impact on 65% of budget. About 65% of the county’s $590.8 million operating budget goes for salary and wages, a figure that could increase as government negotiators undertake what Human Resources Director William Brilhante calls “the perfect storm” of collective bargaining, with contracts for all 10 of the county’s bargaining units ending June 30. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui’s March home prices tie record of $980,000. Maui County single-family home median sales prices in March tied the all-time high of $980,000 set in January, according to the latest report from the Realtors Association of Maui. Maui News.

It’s a balancing act for Maui businesses as the island adapts to an influx in visitors
. Businesses are back open and Maui’s West Side is bustling once again. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Kauai Police Chief’s Rising Star Began To Fall Last Year, Job Reviews Show. Kauai Police Chief Todd Raybuck spent the last two years building community goodwill and fixing problems within his department. Civil Beat.

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