Capitol Watch — Hawaii Politics and Government { Stay up-to-date with Civil Beat's live blog about Hawaii politics and government.

Sen. Slom: Government Accountability Office to Investigate Hawaii Health Connector

civilbeat:

State Sen. Sam Slom, a Republican, says the federal Government Accounting Office will investigate the Hawaii Health Connector's use of $204 million dollars in federal grant monies. 

David Lewis, the GAO’s assistant director for the Office of Congressional Relations, told Slom yesterday that Hawaii will join six other states being investigated for their health insurance exchanges.

Lewis, according to Slom’s office, said the investigation will be focused on whether the Hawaii Health Connector “followed procedures relating to the use of federal funds as well as issues pertaining to security.”

Slom said, “the fact that the GAO does not usually take up issues referred to them by state representatives reflects the serious nature of the issues surrounding the Hawaii’s Health Connector, and its failure to act in a transparent manner.” 

image

Photo: Sen Sam Slom, left, and an aide. (Sen. Sam Slom)

—Chad Blair

Posted on

Mauna Kea Observatories Find Possible Habitable Planet

civilbeat:

From West Hawaii Today:

Two Mauna Kea observatories confirmed this week the discovery of the first potentially habitable Earth-sized planet found outside our own solar system.

“What makes this finding particularly compelling is that this Earth-sized planet, one of five orbiting this star, which is cooler than the sun, resides in a temperate region where water could exist in liquid form,” said Elisa Quintana of the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center, who led a paper on the discovery published in the current issue of the journal Science. Read more.

And here’s the latest in other neighbor isle gov’t, biz, culture and politics:

Councilors advance a MAUIWatch settlement

Stop! Kapaa traffic study ahead

Terez Amato to run for Sixth District Senate Seat

Fate of Hilo man accused of shooting police rests with jury

Tagging Kioea: Learning about Molokai’s rare shorebirds

Kapaa woman sentenced for sexual assault

Astronomers discover potentially habitable, Earth-sized planet

Eight Big Isle vendors submit waste reduction bids

No alternative at hand yet for cane burning — HC&S

Nakamoto appointed judge

Firefighters tackle brush fire in Kihei

Real estate sales increase in Puna

Maui police lieutenant: Cluster of fatalities all ‘avoidable’

Kikiaola harbor project gets go-ahead

Kilauea lava flow watched closely as it creeps northeast

Coast Guard suspends search for Japanese crewmember

image

Photo: The stars from Mauna Kea. (Matt Rafferty)

—Chad Blair

Posted on

On Tap at the Hawaii Legislature: April 17

civilbeat:

A selective list of bills, resolutions, hearings, briefings and events for Thursday at the state Capitol. Click here for more.

Conferences:

image

Photo: Hawaii state Capitol. (Civil Beat)

—Chad Blair

Posted on

Man Aims to Paddle from Hawaii to Japan

civilbeat:

From The Garden Island:

When 51-year-old Duke Kaneko of Nagasaki, Japan wants to connect with Mother Earth, he paddles — often hundreds of nautical miles at a time.

In fact, a voyage earlier this month on a six-man outrigger canoe took him and a team of paddlers from Maui to Oahu and on to Kauai. Each portion of the trip demanded more than 14 hours on the water, with one day of rest in between. Read more.

And here’s the latest in other neighbor isle gov’t, biz, culture and politics:

Expanded infertility coverage weighed

Former Lihue grocery store part of county campus reconstruction plan

Council committee endorses purchase of Kau coastal lands

Pilot explains West Molokai accident

Maui water talk focuses on sources — of funding

Blanchard tries to shake off rocky start to 2014

Bill authorizing bonds for Maui hospital to go to conference

Big Isle Ram sex-abuse case gets national notice

Fire chief seeks delay in ocean safety transfer

Hawaii Island bill targeting the homeless is postponed

Waterline repair to close Main Street

Hundreds of Hawaii homeowners affected by mortgage rescue scam

Physical, occupational therapy can help Kauai folks stay strong

CERT training offered on Molokai

No testimony offered on Hawaii County budget

image

Photo: One paddle, two paddle. (Thangaraj Kumaravel)

—Chad Blair

Posted on

It’s Kupuna Power Day at the State Capitol!

civilbeat:

The second-annual Kupuna Power Day at the state Capitol Rotunda runs from 9-11:30 a.m. today.

"It’s a fun-filled event bringing together more than 30 organization providing vital information for the health, safety and well-being for Hawaii’s kupuna," according to a press release.

Said Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, the event organizer, “Our population is aging and we need to continue to provide our kupuna with support so that they can live self-sufficiently. The silver tsunami is coming and we want to prepare all our residents for when that time comes.”

image

Photo: AARP Hawaii members at a Kupuna Care Rally, State Capitol, March 29, 2011.

—Chad Blair

Posted on

On Tap at the Hawaii Legislature: April 16

civilbeat:

A selective list of bills, resolutions, hearings, briefings and events for Wednesday at the state Capitol. Click here for more.

Hearings:

  • Senate Concurrent Resolution 73 Requesting the DOH to convene a task force to study the effects of the Red Hill underground fuel leak. (9:30 a.m., Room 423)
  • Senate resolutions regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault in the U.S. military. (9 a.m., Room 423)

Conferences:

Briefings:

  • Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection and Ways and Means will receive an update on Hawaii Health Connector. (9 a.m., Room 211)

image

Photo: Hawaii state Capitol. (Civil Beat)

—Chad Blair

Posted on

Hawaii Firefighters Back Abercrombie for 2nd Term

civilbeat:

The Hawaii Fire Fighters Association is backing Gov. Neil Abercrombie for a second term.

HFFA represents about 3,100 active and retired firefighters.

“Governor Abercrombie has stood by our side for over 40 years,” said Bobby Lee, HFFA president, in a press release today. “We first endorsed him in 1974. Since that time, he’s consistently supported us on labor issues and fire and public safety matters. There’s no one more qualified to  lead this state to a brighter future.”

Abercrombie faces state Sen. David Ige and possibly several other candidates in the Democratic primary.

Photo: Screen shot, April 15, 2014. (HFFA)

—Chad Blair

Posted on

Airlines Vie for Kalaupapa Service

civilbeat:

From The Molokai Dispatch:

The competition is becoming fierce between two airlines for the opportunity to serve the Kalaupapa community under a federal contract.

Makani Kai and Mokulele airlines are two of the four companies that applied for subsidies to provide regular flights into the small, isolated settlement. In a show of hands last week, 77 out of 78 Kalaupapa residents attending presentations by both airlines voted in strong support of Makani Kai, which has been serving the peninsula for the past two years.

Community members say they appreciate the personalized service that Makani Kai and its owner Richard Schuman provides. Read more.

And here’s the latest in other neighbor isle gov’t, biz, culture and politics:

Waipio group rejects bill

Accused con man considers run for Maui mayor

Kauai Fire Department proposes more overtime

Scott ex-boyfriend arrested in unrelated case

Bill would require Waikakuu Ranch project site inspection

Judge grants intervention in GMO lawsuit

Kahu Minnie Ka‘awaloa dead at 91

Maui Humane Society ad to arm public with ‘accurate information’

JROTC instructor has taken hundreds of students under his wing

Big Isle students organize drive for Typhoon Haiyan relief

2014 Molokai Earth Day

Connections fights for new campus

Richard’s Market on Lanai stops selling cigarettes, tobacco

image

Photo: Screen shot, April 15, 2014. (Makani Kai)

—Chad Blair

Posted on

Will Hawaii Become 23rd State to Enact Pro-Hemp Legislation?

civilbeat:

The state Legislature has passed Senate Bill 2175, also known as the “Hemp Bill.”

It authorizes the dean of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at UH Manoa to conduct a two-year industrial hemp phytoremediation and biofuels research program.

According to a press release from the House, twenty-two states have already passed pro-hemp legislation and, should the governor allow SB 2175 to become law, Hawaii will become 23rd state.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Mike Gabbard and championed by Rep. Cynthia Thielen.

image

Photo: Rep. Cynthia Thielen. (PF Bentley/Civil Beat)

—Chad Blair

Posted on

On Tap at the Hawaii Legislature: April 15

civilbeat:

A selective list of bills, resolutions, hearings, briefings and events for Tuesday at the state Capitol. Click here for more.

Hearings:

Conferences:

Briefings:

  • Senate Ways and Means will hear about the educational facilities improvement special fund and requests. (9:15 a.m., Room 211)
  • Senate Transportation and Ways and Means will hear from the DOT on CIP requests and federal funding. (10 a.m., Room 211)

image

Photo: Hawaii state Capitol. (Civil Beat)

—Chad Blair

Posted on

Controversial Bill Allowing Businesses to Scan ID’s Heads to Governor

civilbeat:

House Bill 2666, which would make permanent a law that allows businesses to scan a driver’s license or identification card to verify age “when providing age-restricted goods or services,” moved out of the Hawaii Legislature today.

The liquor commissions for Honolulu, Kauai and Maui testified in support of HB 2666, along with the Hawaii Food Industry Association and 7-Eleven Hawaii.

The state Office of Consumer Protection of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the city’s Department of Customer Services and the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii opposed the measure.

Some opponents raised the concern of potential identity theft “with lasting negative repercussions for individual victims,” as the DCCA stated in written testimony. However, DCCA told Civil Beat Tuesday, “This legislation is a definite step forward, and the Office of Consumer Protection will continue to take an active role in advancing protections for consumers in this area.”

Businesses like 7-Eleven testified that the bill will permit a business to scan ID’s of buyers of cigarettes or alcohol “if there is a reasonable doubt that the purchaser has reached the minimum age required for purchasing the age-restricted goods.”

image

Photo: Convenience. (Mike Mozart)

—Chad Blair

Posted on

Ban on Peeing, Pooping In Public Downtown May Be Extended

civilbeat:

The state House of Representatives today voted to extend the sunset date on a law that prohibits urinating and defecating in public in downtown Honolulu.

The law was set to expire Dec. 31 of this year but now faces a Dec. 31, 2016 deadline.

Six reps voted “no” on Karl Rhoads bill, which was amended by the Senate and now heads to the governor for consideration.

The bill has been praised by those who say the downtown area is rife with puddles of urine and piles of feces and opposed by those who say the law criminalizes homelessness.

A related measure, which would prohibit obstruction of paved public sidewalks, also passed.

image

Photo: Homeless at the Capitol. (PF Bentley/Civil Beat)

—Chad Blair

Posted on

Rep. Saiki’s Bill to ‘Reboot’ HCDA Heads to Governor’s Desk

civilbeat:

The state House of Representatives today passed an omnibus bill that “seeks to improve management, legislative oversight and public participation” of the Hawaii Community Development Authority.

The House voted to accept the Senate’s amendments to the bill; 17 representatives, including Calvin Say, Sharon Har, Richard Fale and Bob McDermott, voted “no.”

HB1866 will allow us to ‘reboot’ HCDA and allow it to refocus on its mission, provide greater transparency in its operation and decision making, and allow the public to have greater input in its deliberations,” said Rep. Scott Saiki, who introduced the bill.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has the option of signing the bill into law, vetoing it or, or allowing it to become law without his signature.

image

Photo: Rep. Scott Saiki.

—Chad Blair

Posted on

Rep. Fale To Announce Bid for Sen. Hee’s Seat

civilbeat:

State Rep. Richard Fale, a Republican, will announce his candidacy for state Senate District 23 at 10 a.m. today at the Eternal Flame Monument across from the Capitol.

The seat, which represents Laie, Hauula, Punaluu, Kaaawa, Waikane, Waialua, Waiahole, Haleiwa, Pupukea, Kahuku and Sunset Beach, is currently held by Democrat Sen. Clayton Hee.

Fale cites “growing concern from the community with the direction Hawaii is going as well as the way the community has been represented, particularly during the 2013 special session, as one of the main reasons for entering the race,” according to a press release.

The special session approved same-sex marriage legislation, which is now law.

Another Republican, former legislator Colleen Meyer, has pulled papers but not yet filed for the race.

image

Photo: Rep. Richard Fale. (PF Bentley/Civil Beat)

—Chad Blair 

Posted on

On Tap at the Hawaii Legislature: April 14

civilbeat:

A selective list of bills, resolutions, hearings, briefings and events for Monday at the state Capitol. Click here for more.

Hearings:

  • Senate Resolution 8 Urging the U.S. to support the Republic of China’s (Taiwan) participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (3:01 p.m., Room 225)
  • Senate Concurrent Resolution 88 Approving the selection of Danny Kaleikini to be inducted into the Aloha Order of Merit. (11:45 a.m., Room 312)

Confirmations:

  • Nominations to theIsland Burial Council, Islands of Maui and Lanai, and to the Hawaiian Homes Commission. (12:30 p.m., Room 312)
  • Nomination of Stan Roehrig and Thomas Oi to the Land Board, Edmund Aczon and Aaron Mahi to the LUC, and other appointments. (1:15 p.m., Room 225)

image

Photo: Hawaii state Capitol. (Civil Beat)

—Chad Blair

Posted on
Next » Archive