Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Minimum wage bill heads to Senate floor, Blangiardi signs commercial beach activity ban, Big Island council pans gas tax cut, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Minimum wage bill heads to full Senate for final vote. The state Senate Committee on Ways and Means on Tuesday passed a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $18. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now. Maui Now.

Proposed $30 million tax revenue shift aims to help protect Hawaii aina, waters. Some Hawaii lawmakers want to channel $30 million annually from state visitor accommodation taxes to benefit local natural resources including parks, beaches and marine habitat. A joint House of Representatives committee voted unanimously Tuesday for a bill that would do this through a proposed new commission, led by the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s CEO, by distributing the money via grants to nonprofit organizations and county and state agencies. Star-Advertiser.

Bill would allow police to arrest those who refuse to provide identification during a traffic stop. A bill moving through the Legislature would elevate the offense to a petty misdemeanor, giving police the power to arrest someone who refuses to provide his or her name, address, and proof thereof during a traffic stop. KITV4.

Are Lawmakers ‘Testing The Boundaries’ Of The Ban On Gut And Replace? Some wonder if a rewritten bill to fund Hawaii Tourism Authority and distribute $30 million in grants has run afoul of last year’s Supreme Court ruling. Civil Beat.

Senate Requests Study On Cost Of Mental Health Examinations.
A resolution up for a vote Wednesday asks the state auditor to study the benefits of mandating health coverage for mental health examinations. Civil Beat.

Commentary: A Line Forms To Replace Kai Kahele In Congress. If the congressman runs for Hawaii governor as expected, there are candidates eager to take his place in D.C. Civil Beat.

DOE announces high school commencement ceremony schedules. Following two years of virtual and hybrid ceremonies, this will be the first time all graduation events will be in person. Everyone attending must be fully vaccinated or provide a negative COVID test. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Mayor Rick Blangiardi signs commercial activity ban for Waimanalo beaches. Mayor Rick Blangiardi on Tuesday signed into a law a measure that bans all commercial activities, except those involving the film industry, on city-managed beach parks from Waimanalo to Makapuu. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Department of Planning and Permitting Director recuses himself from working on short-term rental bill. Department of Planning and Permitting Director Dean Uchida recused himself from working on the controversial short-term rental bill after guidance from the Honolulu Ethics Commission advised against his involvement, although they found it unlikely that he violated any of the city’s ethics laws. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Rail May Not Make It To Ala Moana, But Developers Have Already Cashed In. Landowners got lucrative zoning perks and fast-track approvals to build luxury towers in the busy neighborhood all based on rail. Since 2016, city leaders have granted special fast-track permits to a handful of major developers to help build denser, more walkable communities, assuming that Ala Moana Center would soon host a busy rail station with some 17,300 passenger boardings a day. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Female High School Athletes May Pursue Class-Action Case, Court Says. The case stems from a lawsuit filed on behalf of the students by the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii in late 2018 alleging gender inequities at Campbell High School on Oahu. It named the state Department of Education and the Oahu Scholastics Association as defendants. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Maui Now. KHON2.

Navy removes officer over handling of latest Red Hill spill. The Navy officer who oversaw operations at the Red Hill fuel storage facility was relieved of duty Monday after another fuel leak. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Council committee pans gas tax cut. Measure proceeds to public hearing despite negative vote.  The County Council is likely to stomp on the brakes on a resolution cutting the county gas tax 10 cents a gallon to help alleviate drivers’ pain at the pump. West Hawaii Today.

New trial date set for ex-cop in missing drug evidence case. It will be another 19 months before a former Hawaii Police Department officer will stand trial on charges stemming from a May 2019 indictment for allegedly stealing cocaine in 2014 from a police evidence locker in Hilo. West Hawaii Today.

Ige: Mauna Kea stewardship bill would ’end astronomy’ on Hawaii Island. The governor says he’s worried a much-debated Mauna Kea stewardship bill could end the $100 million astronomy industry on Hawaii Island and with it, the stalled TMT project. Hawaii News Now.


Maui council moves to settle lawsuit by visitor injured on Haleakalā bike tour. Maui County Council voted recently to settle a lawsuit that claims the county was negligent in allowing an unguided, unpermitted Haleakalā bike tour that left a visitor paralyzed from the waist down. Maui Now.

Maui County Is Seeking Its First Director Of Agriculture. The voter-created Maui County Department of Agriculture needs leaders. And the mayor is hiring. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Rep. Wildberger says she will not run for re-election or seek further political office in 2022. State House District 11 Representative, Tina Wildberger announced that she will not be running for re-election, and will not seek further political office for the 2022 election cycle. Maui Now.

Report: Maui home, condo median sales prices set new highs in March. Single-family home median sales price rose 19.5% year over year to $1,177,500. The previous record was set in January at $1.16 million. Maui Now.


Federal agents, police target fugitives and sex offenders in joint operation on Kauai. A joint operation between U.S. Marshals and Kaua‘i Police Department yielded three fugitive arrests last week. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Potential futures for COVID-19 on Kaua‘i told. State Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman was unequivocal when asked to forecast the future of COVID-19 on Kaua‘i during a Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce webinar Tuesday. Garden Island.

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