Friday, February 3, 2023

Legislature advances wealth tax, Jason Momoa seeks higher film tax credit, Mink to be featured on quarter, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Jason Momoa
A ‘Wealth Asset Tax’ On Hawaii’s Richest Residents Advances In The Legislature. A key Senate committee gave preliminary approval Thursday to a measure that would impose a new tax on Hawaii’s wealthiest residents in what one senator described as an effort to reduce income inequality. It would impose a tax of 1% of net worth per year on taxpayers with assets of more than $20 million in assets in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Jason Momoa and his ‘Chief of War’ team throw support behind film tax credit bill.
Hawaii-born actor Jason Momoa can now add lobbyist to his titles. He’s supporting a bill at the Legislature to raise the tax credit cap for movie and tv productions. Hawaii News Now.

State Senate passes fix for felony charging rules. The state Senate passed a measure Thursday intended to address the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that preliminary hearings are not a lawful method for charging major felonies including murder. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Monetary fines for juvenile offenders could be eliminated in Hawaiʻi . Minors going through the court system can face fees and other monetary costs, but a proposal making its way through the state Legislature would eliminate those fines. Hawaii Public Radio.

Changes could be coming to the annual car safety check. One bill proposes to flat-out end safety checks, while another bill suggests changes by not requiring safety checks for the first five years of new cars. KHON2.

Senate advances bill that would protect out-of-state patients seeking abortions. The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services advanced two bills this week that could impact the safety and privacy of out-of-state patients who receive an abortion in Hawaiʻi. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiʻi is 1 of 10 states mulling cross-border rules to tackle teacher shortage
. The national teacher shortage has prompted lawmakers in 10 states, including Hawaiʻi, to suggest legislation that would get rid of relicensing requirements for teachers when they move across state lines — an oftentimes cumbersome and costly process of waiting periods, licensing fees, and expensive exams. Hawaii Public Radio.

Strategic plan outline for Hawaii’s public schools is OK’d.
  An ambitious first-phase framework for a new strategic plan for Hawaii’s statewide public school system that includes academic proficiency for every single student and qualified hires in every teaching position among its goals won unanimous approval Thursday from the state Board of Education. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Native Hawaiians are denied loans that other applicants get.
  Can the federal government underwrite mortgages for homes in Hawaii on a spot where there may be buried bombs from World War II? Star-Advertiser.

Late Hawaii U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink to be honored on commemorative U.S. quarter.  The U.S. Mint on Wednesday announced that Mink, the first woman of color to serve in U.S. Congress, will be honored in a commemorative quarter Opens in a new tab through the program. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

‘Eggflation’ Puts Hawaii Egg Prices On Par With Mainland Imports. Local layers are now racing to expand operations as the islands remain bird-flu free. Civil Beat.


FBI arrests ex-Punahou coach for alleged child sex crimes. A longtime girls’ basketball coach and educator, who settled civil suits accusing him of grooming and sexually assaulting his players in 2021, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation this morning. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Former U.S. Navy captain from Kailua sentenced in massive bribery scandal. Prosecutors said retired Capt. David Haas, 54, of Kailua, was among dozens of Navy officials who were bribed to help obtain defense contracts for a man known as “Fat Leonard” Francis. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s $2.85M settlement with Gerard Puana resolves all claims. The city’s $2.85 million settlement of a civil lawsuit with Gerard Puana, a victim in the Kealoha corruption and bribery scandal, is the final case of its kind filed by Puana against the city, officials say. Star-Advertiser.

Workers find coconut rhinoceros beetle breeding site in Oahu mulch pile. Some 3,000 traps have gone up around Oahu in an effort to track the spread of the invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle, an insect capable of destroying thousands of coconut trees. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Audit finds flaws in management of county’s affordable housing credits program. A report to the County Council released Wednesday by county Auditor Tyler Benner concluded the Office of Housing and Community Development had “inadequate internal controls” over its affordable housing credits program. Tribune-Herald.

Deputy Prosecutor With History Of Neighbor Problems No Longer Employed By County. County officials wouldn't say why Randall Albright is no longer with the office. Civil Beat.

Funds eyed for Pohoiki Boat Ramp restoration. A Big Island lawmaker is spearheading an effort to secure $40 million in state funding to reopen the Pohoiki Boat Ramp. Tribune-Herald.

Another setback for Ka‘u satellite dish project. At a meeting of the Windward Planning Commission, the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics was scheduled to make its case for a special permit to operate an array of 10 satellite dishes on a two-acre rural lot in Wood Valley. Tribune-Herald.


‘Election Day Heroes’: Maui County Clerk Has Not Been An Easy Job To Fill. The council extended its recruitment process last month after getting pushback from residents. The saga over who should serve as Maui County’s top election official and administrator for the council could soon come to an end.  Civil Beat.

Mayor visits site of diesel fuel spill at Haleakalā, Air Force plans update on remediation plan. Maui Mayor Richard Bissen, Jr. visited the site of large diesel fuel spill at the summit of Haleakalā to view the impacted site and receive an overview of the incident from Space Force personnel. Maui Now. Maui News. KITV4.


Two new FM radio stations launch on Kaua‘i.  Two of Kaua‘i’s FM radio stations have been revamped to target a younger audience and larger market. Hawaiian 107.9 has become 107.9 The X, an active rock station, and Sunny 101.3 has shifted to newer classics. Garden Island.

State Department of Health confirms Kaua‘i youth’s death a result of COVID-19. The deceased boy was under the age of 17, one of only six COVID-19 deaths in that age range across the entire state throughout the duration of the pandemic.  Garden Island.

‘Mr. Coco Palms’ who played with Elvis dies at 92. Kaua‘i singer and songwriter Larry Rivera, who performed with Elvis Presley at the famous Coco Palms resort, has died. Kauai Now.

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