Thursday, April 28, 2022

Conference committee proposes record $8.7B state budget, minimum wage hike still undecided, Hawaii transitioning from pandemic emergency, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Lawmakers Lay Out A Record-Setting $8.7 Billion State Budget.
House and Senate negotiators also gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a $6 billion construction budget that funds new schools on Maui and Oahu. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Friday deadline looms for Hawaii lawmakers to raise minimum wage. Supporters rallied in events across the islands to urge lawmakers to agree on a final version by Friday. If they do not agree on terms, the measure will be killed. The sticking point has been how much the raises will be and how fast they will be implemented. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Lawmakers Reach Agreement On Cash Bail Reform. A measure to let people accused of nonviolent misdemeanors go free without bail will be put to a final vote in the House and Senate next week. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers adopt resolution apologizing for ban on Hawaiian language in schools. The state Legislature has adopted a resolution that apologizes to Native Hawaiians for a law that effectively banned the use of the Hawaiian language in schools. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i Supreme Court Diminishes the Power of Non-Compete Clauses. An employment attorney says the ruling, which follows a national trend, should persuade business owners and employers to review non-compete agreements.  Hawaii Business Magazine.

Mounting speculation about a Kahele run for governor triggers ‘grand chess game’. Freshman Congressman Kai Kahele isn’t talking about it, but there’s growing anticipation that he’ll run for governor ― and he hasn’t denied it. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii transitioning from COVID-19 emergency, but pandemic continues. Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday that the state’s response to COVID-19 is transitioning from an emergency mode to public health management. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawai‘i records 11 new coronavirus-related deaths, 3,370 new infections. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, jumped to 9.1%, up from 7.1% last week. It is the sixth week in a row that DOH has recorded an increase in the positivity rate. Star-Advertiser.


$96 million federal grant to replace Mokapu Elementary. The state is receiving a $96 million federal grant to help replace Mokapu Elementary School because of “capacity and facility condition deficiencies,” Marine Corps Base Hawaii announced this week. Star-Advertiser.

Prosecutor declines to charge HPD corporal following domestic violence arrest in Kaneohe
. Cpl. Roland Masao Kam, 49, was arrested April 17 on suspicion of misdemeanor abuse of a family or household member, second- degree unlawful imprisonment and interference with reporting an emergency or crime, according to the Honolulu Police Department. Star-Advertiser.

HPD Officers Involved In Makaha Crash Want Public-Paid Attorneys. A contested case hearing will be held to determine if two HPD officers accused of causing a serious crash will get a city-funded legal defense. Civil Beat.

One less candidate in the running for the next Honolulu police chief. The next step will be three days of testing, which starts on May 9. The commission expects to pick the next chief by June. KITV4.

Inside The ‘Frantic’ Push To Shorten Rail And Keep Its Federal Funding. Project officials stress that they’re still fully committed to getting rail to Ala Moana, but it’s still not clear financially how that would happen. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Meeting about PTA lease extension draws mostly opponents. The U.S. Army found few supporters at a Monday public discussion about whether part of the Pohakuloa Training Area should remain under Army control. Tribune-Herald.

Thirty Meter Telescope Project Names New Executive Director. Robert P. Kirshner succeeds Edward C. Stone as executive director of TIO, or TMT International Observatory LLC. Big Island Video News.


Panel pulls requirement for N. Kīhei affordable housing project so it can move ahead. Saying that a much-needed affordable housing project in North Kīhei shouldn’t be held up over county roadway requirements, Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday morning voted to pull the condition, allowing Hale Kaiola to move full-steam ahead. Maui Now. Maui News.

Maui hospital system still reliant on funds from government. Maui Memorial Medical Center and its health care affiliates in Kula and on Lanai continue to struggle financially six years after the state turned over the cash-strapped hospital system to Kaiser Permanente in a bid to save the state tens of millions of dollars annually. Star-Advertiser.

‘We Cannot Afford To Be Careless’: Lahaina Residents Want More Water Oversight. Locals are asking state regulators to do more to protect the supply of water for future generations. Civil Beat.


State grants $230M for Kaua‘i capital projects. The state budget that was approved Wednesday by a conference committee made up of representatives from both houses appropriated a historic $230 million for capital improvement projects on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

New Wainiha center design addresses community concerns
. Planners unveiled the Wainiha Community Resilience Center’s final design Wednesday, reviewing changes made since preliminaries were presented to the public two years ago. Garden Island.

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