Thursday, March 28, 2024

Green projects rosier state budget, no ban on Maui vacation rentals; Senate advances $19B supplemental budget, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Rosier state budget picture projected by Gov. Green. Gov. Josh Green reassured the public and Hawaii’s Legislature on Wednesday that Maui wildfire response and recovery expenses shouldn’t overwhelm state finances. Star-Advertiser.

Governor’s spending plan for the State
. The governor’s latest spending plan for the State includes skipping a $300 million deposit into the state’s retirement and benefit trust fund. KHON2.

Hawaii Senate Committee’s Spending Plan Includes Hundreds Of Millions For Maui Fire Costs. Senators also gave preliminary approval to a $19 billion supplemental budget bill to pay for state government operations for the coming year year. Civil Beat.

State Digital Equity Plan approved. The Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration accepted Hawaii’s 293-page Digital Equity Plan on Tuesday after it underwent federal review. Star-Advertiser.


DPP launches more tech to speed permit process. To solve the months-long delay to obtain a building permit, the city Department of Planning and Permitting announced new technological initiatives it hopes will improve the speed at which the city issues them to the public. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Attorney for alleged victim takes stand in bribery trial against former city prosecutor. There were fireworks on day four of a bribery trial against ex-city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro and campaign donors from a high-profile engineering firm. Hawaii News Now.

EPA’s integrity is questioned for withholding Red Hill tests. In early March the Navy notified the Environmental Protection Agency that it had detected “unvalidated test results” finding high levels of total petroleum |hydrocarbons, or TPH, in water samples taken from an on-base school and a home in the Aliamanu Military Reservation — both of which had their water systems flushed. Star-Advertiser.

HECO apologizes after new safety measures leave thousands of Mililani residents in the dark.  Hawaiian Electric Company recently made changes to improve safety in areas with a wildfire risk, such as Mililani. However, for residents, that has meant more power outages within the last month. Hawaii News Now.

New Rule Helps Hawaii’s Agriculture Department Stop The Spread Of Little Fire Ants. The interim rules have been signed by the Department of Agriculture in a bid to curb the spread of the stinging ants on Oahu. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Merrie Monarch Festival clinches top spot in USA Today’s list of best cultural celebrations. The Merrie Monarch Festival has been voted as USA Today’s Best Cultural Festival in the nation. A panel of experts put together the list of 20 exceptional nominees. Hawaii News Now.

Legal battle brewing after house built on wrong HPP lot.
A woman who purchased a vacant lot in Puna was surprised to find out a $500,000 house was built on the property by mistake. Associated Press.

Hawai‘i Army National Guard Dedicates New Facility In Hilo.  The new Combined Support Maintenance Shop #2 facility at the Keaukaha Military Reservation was celebrated on Wednesday. Big Island Video News.


No need for ban on short-term rentals in West Maui, Gov. Green says. There will be no need for a ban on short-term rentals in West Maui to get the remaining 3,109 survivors of the Aug. 8 wildfires out of hotels and into long-term housing, Gov. Josh Green said Wednesday ahead of what could have been a moratorium starting Monday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Maui Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Maui to receive $35 Million in federal funding for senior housing. The Hawai’i Public Housing Authority will receive more than $35 million in federal funding to rebuild and restore federal public housing facilities that were damaged and destroyed during the Maui fires last year, according to a press release from senator Brian Schatz. Maui News.

How Much Should People Know About A School’s Safety Plan? The Department of Education is at odds with the teachers union and some Lahaina parents over how much information the public should have access to when it comes to safety plans. Civil Beat.


Community groups reach legal settlement with KIUC, state on West Kaua‘i hydro project. In a settlement reached between West Kauaʻi community groups, the State, and Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative, the utility has agreed to withdraw its environmental assessment and “finding of no significant impact” for its proposed hydro project called the West Kauaʻi Energy Project. Kauai Now.

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