Thursday, January 20, 2022

Hawaii Legislature plans $18 minimum wage, $600M to clear Hawaiian Homes backlog as 2022 session begins, Kahele criticizes state coronavirus response, issues his own 10-point plan, state short long-term care beds, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy house republivans
Hawaii House 2022 opening day PC:House GOP

Hawaii House leaders vow to clear Hawaiian Home Lands backlog, raise minimum wage and decommission Red Hill. Leaders in the state House of Representatives set a high bar Wednesday on the Opening Day of the new legislative session by proposing $600 million to help clear the backlog of Native Hawaiians waiting to get into livable homes, raising Hawaii’s $10.10 an hour minimum wage to $18 and demanding the Department of Defense remove its fuel and tanks at Red Hill and decommission the system. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Maui Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Senate sets agenda in semi-virtual session. During the Opening Day floor session, Senate President Ron Kouchi reiterated and elaborated on previously stated legislative priorities for members to address this year, including ways to improve affordable housing, education, local food production, mental health care as well as alleviate homelessness and address the minimum wage. Star-Advertiser.

Opening remark
s from the state Senate and House for the 2022 legislative session. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Tourism Officials Are Seeking ‘Mindful, Respectful And High-Value Travelers’. The state tourism authority is asking the Legislature for funding to rebrand Hawaii and attract visitors who might volunteer to plant trees, clean beaches and care for taro patches. Civil Beat.

Mark Zuckerberg donates $50M to University of Hawaii to study impact of climate change on ocean. The University of Hawaii today announced a $50 million gift over seven years from billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, for research about the impact of climate change on the ocean. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Substitute Teachers Are In High Demand But Short Supply In Hawaii. As of Jan. 11, the Department of Education system had 3,922 substitutes, down from 4,738 in the 2019-20 school year. Civil Beat.

Staffing shortages leave scores of Hawaii hospital patients ‘waitlisted’ for long-term care beds. Health officials say there are approximately 150 “waitlisted” patients in hospitals across the state. That means the person needs to be in a nursing home or some type of skilled nursing facility but that there isn’t an available bed. Hawaii News Now.

In rare rebuke of state’s COVID response, Kahele offers 10-point plan to rein in surge. In a video and news release timed for the Legislature’s opening Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele issued a 10-point plan that he said will curb the ongoing COVID surge by encouraging more people to get boosted and by improving safety in the schools and workplace. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii sees 3,929 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 184,767. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 3,026 new cases on Oahu, 240 on Hawaii Island, 397 on Maui, 198 on Kauai, 20 on Molokai, 17 on Lanai and 31 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi may add booster to Safe Access O‘ahu plan. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi stopped short of announcing any policy changes Wednesday during a press conference with Hawaii’s hospital leaders, but implored residents to get tested and boosted amid the recent COVID-19 surge in omicron cases. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Personal injury firms prepare to sue Navy for water contamination. Former Hawaii Attorney General Margery Bronster has paired up with a mainland firm to seek compensation for Navy water users, marking the latest legal action taken in response to the Navy’s Red Hill water contamination saga. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

New HPD Website Streamlines Gun Registration on Oahu. Second amendment advocates will no longer have to make multiple trips to register a gun with the Honolulu Police Department. KITV4.

Cyberattacks’ impact lingers at Hawaii businesses. A month after cybercriminals shut down a third-party, cloud-based timekeeping system used by employees of The Queen’s Health Systems, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, city Emergency Medical Services workers and thousands of businesses and organizations nationwide, some supervisors continue to use manual record-keeping to track work hours and leave time. Star-Advertiser.

The state is partnering with the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement to provide $50 million to help homeowners. The Oahu housing assistance fund will offer up to $30,000 per eligible homeowner to help with mortgage, utilities, taxes and association fees. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Wastewater tops Roth’s legislative priority list. A measure privatizing or creating public-private partnerships to handle wastewater projects is Mayor Mitch Roth’s top priority for the 2022 legislative session that started Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Kupuna relish return of senior activities. Kamana Senior Center has officially welcomed kupuna back to classes after 21 months of inactivity. Tribune-Herald.

Parents plead with Big Island school sports league to lift ban on spectators. Hawaii County parents are pleading with Big Island Interscholastic Federation officials to change its ban on fans at school sports games. The rule went into effect on Jan. 4 due to the ongoing surge in coronavirus cases. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Pandemic still central to lawmakers’ priorities. Legislative session kicks off today with focus on housing, infrastructure, economy, other issues. From improving infrastructure to boosting health care training on Maui as well as addressing the ongoing effects of the pandemic, Maui County’s state legislators will have lots to handle this legislative session. Maui News.

Council aims to get handle on Maui downhill bike industry. Decades-old concerns over Maui downhill bicycling have been resurfacing in recent months, and many hope Maui County Council deliberations on the topic will help pave a new, safer path forward. Maui Now.

Workforce housing lottery for Hale Kaiola in South Maui set for March 4. The lottery will determine which successful applicants will secure one of the new housing units at the project site, which is planned for construction at the corner of Kaiola Place and ʻOhukai Road, a few blocks mauka from Mai Poina ‘Oe Ia’u and Kalepolepo Beach Park. Maui Now.

Submarine, ship, jet and balloon-type object off Maui, part of Naval exercise
. Maui Now began receiving reports from witnesses on Tuesday morning, of a ship with some type of floating object above it, about one mile offshore of Hoʻokipa, Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

Responders pull 2,000 feet of debris from entangled whale, but some remains. Federal and state responders have removed 2,000 feet of heavy-gauge line from an adult humpback whale first sighted off Brennecke’s Beach last Sunday. Garden Island.

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