Saturday, July 20, 2019

STATEMENT BY THE HOUSE HAWAIIAN CAUCUS CHAIRMAN HOLT


Representative Daniel Holt, Chairman of the House of Representatives Hawaiian Caucus released the following statement asking Governor David Ige to rescind the emergency proclamation on Mauna Kea.
"The Hawaiian culture is one of aloha and respect. These values must be present in all that we do. It has become evident from the number of demonstrations across the State that the events on Mauna Kea impact all residents of Hawai‘i, whether or not they are of Native Hawaiian ancestry. 

"When an issue of this magnitude and sensitivity arises, it demands an approach of utmost care and understanding. We ask that Governor Ige immediately rescind the proclamation of emergency in order to de-escalate the situation and to allow space for the voices of Hawai‘i’s people to be heard. It is inappropriate to respond to peaceful protests with disproportionate force.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

CITY'S BULKY ITEM PICKUP FAILURE TURNING HONOLULU INTO A DIRTY CITY ON A BEAUTIFUL ISLAND


House Representative proposes State step in to solve problem
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – The City's pilot project for scheduled bulky item pickup throughout urban Honolulu fails to address the fundamental issues of illegal dumping. As residents work to adjust to the new system, violators continue to discard bulky items in public places.

"The program is clearly not working as evidenced by the piles of mattresses, rusting appliances, infested sofas and other trash growing daily on street corners, at public parks and even at our schools," said Representative Takashi Ohno. "This is not only an eyesore but a health and safety problem that is turning Honolulu into a dirty city on a beautiful island."
Ohno (Nu‘uanu, Liliha, Pu‘unui, Alewa Heights) said the City's system of requiring residents to make appointments for limited bulky items pickups does not solve the more serious problem of "hot spots" where trash regularly is piled in places with no one to hold accountable for the illegal dumping.
"Basic government responsibilities include keeping our communities clean and sidewalks clear for residents," Ohno said. "Right now, the government is failing in that regard."

Monday, July 15, 2019

REPRESENTATIVES MATAYOSHI, OKIMOTO TAKE PART IN DANIEL K. INOUYE LECTURE 'LEADERSHIP IN THE AGE OF POLITICAL CONFLICT'



July 16 event to be live-streamed, replayed on ʻŌlelo
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – The fifth and final Daniel K. Inouye Distinguished Lecture at the Library of Congress will feature political strategists David Axelrod and Karl Rove discussing leadership, public discourse, political parties, and campaigns in a changing world, in a conversation moderated by former White House correspondent Ann Compton.

The event, “Leadership in an Age of Political Conflict,” will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, in the Coolidge Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
Hawaiʻi Representatives Scot Matayoshi and Val Okimoto, along with other young lawmakers across the county, have submitted video questions for the discussion.
"Our country is terribly divided right now and part of that is due to people not talking to those with differing viewpoints," said Democrat Representative Matayoshi (Kāne‘ohe, Maunawili, Olomana). "Having friends across the aisle helps us to see that we agree on a lot of the end goals, even if we disagree about how to get there. As young leaders, we need to find a way to refocus on the goals and not waste time vilifying the opposition."
"As a member of the minority party in a blue state, it is important to have the voice of the people heard," said Republican Representative Val Okimoto (Mililani Mauka, Mililani, Waipio Acres).  "There are issues we agree and disagree on, but respectful dialogue with aloha is necessary to effectively serve and represent the people of Hawai‘i who may have differing points of view and opinions."

Thursday, July 11, 2019

NEW LAW INCREASES PARKING FINES ON STATE HIGHWAYS


Measure a 'game changer' for neighborhood road safety, less invasive tourism
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Thousands of people are drawn to the popular scenic areas on Kauai's north shore every day, but one long-standing problem has been too many vehicles illegally parked along state highways. This has caused gridlock, safety concerns, and numerous complaints according to Representative Nadine K. Nakamura (Hanalei, Princeville, Kīlauea, Anahola, Kapaʻa, Wailua).

HB 333 HD1 SD2 CD1, a bill introduced by Rep. Nakamura and signed into law July 5 by Gov. David Ige, establishes a new State Highway Enforcement Program. The bill also sets a parking violation surcharge in special no parking zones in addition to other penalties and fines for parking violations on State highways.
“This bill is the direct result of Hāʻena and Wainiha residents raising the concern about illegally parked cars taking over their community and causing health and safety issues," Rep. Nakamura said. "Adding a $200 surcharge to the existing parking fine of $35 will deter visitors from parking in the newly established 'no parking' zone."

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

STATE CAPITOL TO HOST LIGHTS FOR LIBERTY O‘AHU


WHO:             Representative Tina Wildberger,
Partner organizations include The ACLU of Hawai‘i, The Legal Clinic, AAUW Hawai‘i, Hawaii J20+, Catholic Charities Hawai‘i, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawai‘i, LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Indivisible Hawai‘i, Americans for Democratic Action, Hawaiʻi Children's Action Network

WHAT:          Lights for Liberty vigil to end human detention camps


WHEN:          Friday, July 12
                        4-6 p.m.

                       
WHERE:       Hawai‘i State Capitol Rotunda
                        415 S. Beretania Street


Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – The public is invited to attend the Lights for Liberty O‘ahu vigil at the State Capitol being held in solidarity with hundreds of similar events nationwide to protest the inhumane treatment of children and migrants at border detention camps.
The event will include musical guests, spoken word performances, guest speakers, and tables with information about organizations who provide services to immigrants. Food trucks featuring varieties of ethnic cuisines will be parked nearby.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

STATEMENT BY MAUI REPRESENTATIVE MCKELVEY ON VETO OF TAX FAIRNESS LEGISLATION


Representative Angus L.K. McKelvey (West Maui, Mā‘alaea, North Kīhei) released the following statement on Gov. David Ige's veto of Senate Bill 301 - Real Estate Investment Trusts.

"As Chair of House Economic Development & Business Committee, which oversaw the measure, I’m very disappointed the Governor would choose to veto SB 301, which sought to create tax parity and ensure those who profit off our states natural resources pay their fair share. I disagree that this measure would have chilled the investment climate in the state of Hawai‘i when our very climate itself has and always will provide an attractive investment to those around the world.

"Paradise is our natural resource and if people are going to make money from it, then they need to pay their fair share. Other states tax the financial gain of their natural resources by outside entities and as such, this was much-needed revenue for much-needed tax relief, to

STATEMENT BY REPRESENTATIVE SAN BUENAVENTURA ON VETO OF FORFEITURE BILL


Rep. Joy A. San Buenaventura (Puna) released the following statement on the veto of House Bill 748 by Governor David Ige today.
"I introduced this bill to prevent the ongoing seizing and selling of assets from people that have been arrested but not convicted of a crime. I am very disappointed in this veto as are so many people and organizations fighting to protect the rights and property of our residents.
"This bill would have required a criminal conviction before law enforcement could forfeit property, and any forfeiture revenue would be directed into the state's general fund, not of into police and prosecutor's office budgets which is a clear conflict of interest.

STATEMENT BY MAUI REPRESENTATIVE MCKELVEY ON VETO OF MOLOKINI CONSERVATION BILL


Representative Angus L.K. McKelvey (West Maui, Mā‘alaea, North Kīhei) released the following statement on Gov. David Ige's veto of his bill to limit commercial permits at Molokini.

"I am very disappointed that my bill to limit the number of commercial use permits for the Molokini Shoal Marine Life Conservation District has been vetoed. HB 1133 would not only have been good for the environment and business but would also benefit tourism by making a visit to the shoal a better experience for visitors.
"Policy should be set by the legislature to allow for public input and transparency and not by the DLNR which chooses to hold limited public hearings and arbitrarily decide what standards to use. We are not in the business of cutting off the public from government. While there are concerns about the size of boats under the current permit system, nothing in this measure prohibits the DLNR from addressing this issue in rules pursuant to the statute being passed, as it should be. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

BILL TO REVITALIZE ALOHA STADIUM SIGNED INTO LAW


Measure will fund a new stadium and provide economic development for the area
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi
– A bill to dramatically revitalize Aloha Stadium by rethinking its use, management and the experience being provided for residents and visitors alike was signed into law today by Gov. David Ige.

HB1586 HD1 SD2 CD1, now Act 268, establishes the Stadium Development District comprising all state land under the Stadium Authority's jurisdiction. The bill authorizes the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) to facilitate the development of all state property within the District. The bill appropriates $20 million in general funds to develop the district for public use and authorizes the issuance of up to $180 million in revenue bonds and $150 million in general obligation bonds to build a new stadium.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

GOVERNOR SIGNS HOUSE BILL COMMITTING ADDITIONAL FUNDING TO RELIEVE RENTAL HOUSING CRISIS


Appropriation continues commitment of lawmakers to provide affordable housing
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi
– Providing affordable rental housing has been a top priority for Hawaiʻi lawmakers and with the signing of House Bill 1312 by Governor David Ige today, the state has move a step closer to that goal.

HB1312 HD1 SD1 CD1 authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and appropriates $50 million each in 2019 and 2020 into the Rental Housing Revolving Fund.  This is in addition to the $35 -$38 million from the conveyance tax that is placed annually into the RHRF, bringing the total appropriation to about $170 million for two fiscal years.
"By passing and signing this bill the Legislature and the Governor continue their resolve to address Hawaiʻi's affordable rental housing crisis for the whole spectrum of local households," said House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti (Makiki, Tantalus, Papakōlea, McCully, Pāwa‘a, Mānoa).

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

GOVERNOR SIGNS THREE WOMEN'S LEGISLATIVE CAUCUS BILLS


Measures address civil rights, prostitution offenses and domestic violence
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi
– Three bills supported by the Hawaiʻi Women’s Legislative Caucus (WLC) were signed into law today by Governor David Ige. The bills, part of a package of measures introduced by the group this past session, address civil rights (Title IX), prostitution offenses, and domestic violence.

"This year's package reflects a strong collaboration between the women's community and the legislature," said WLC co-convener Sen. Rosalyn H. Baker (South and West Maui). "We worked with many different stakeholders to create thoughtful solutions to pressing issues like women's health care, domestic violence and gender equity."
The bipartisan WLC, is comprised of women elected to the State House of Representatives and the Senate. Along with Sen. Baker, the other co-conveners for 2019 include Representatives Lauren Matsumoto and Linda Ichiyama and Senator Laura H. Thielen.
"Thank you to our women's caucus members and to our male colleagues for their support of our WLC package," said Rep. Ichiyama (Moanalua Valley, Salt Lake, Āliamanu). "Today is the fruition of many months of hard work and we are grateful for everyone's contributions."

LAWMAKERS, CITIZENS, POLITICAL GROUPS URGE GOVERNOR NOT TO VETO BILL THAT PREVENTS ASSETS BEING TAKEN FROM INNOCENT PEOPLE


House Bill 748 would allow asset forfeiture only after a criminal is convicted of a felony
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Lawmakers, concerned citizens and representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaiʻi and Young Progressives Demanding Action, gathered at the State Capitol today to ask Gov. David Ige to not veto House Bill 748 which prevents the seizing and selling of assets from a person arrested but not convicted of a crime.

HB748 HD2 SD2 would require a criminal conviction before law enforcement could forfeit property, and any forfeiture revenue would be directed into the state's general fund, instead of into police and prosecutor's office budgets.
Under current civil asset forfeiture laws, police can seize property suspected of being connected to criminal activity, even if the owner is never charged with or convicted of a crime.
Rep. Joy A. San Buenaventura (Puna), who introduced of the bill, said an audit of the Attorney General's Forfeiture Program in 2017 showed there are no rules in place to return assets to a person not convicted of any crime.
"Assets from innocent people have been taken and sold for 35 years. It is time to change that," said Rep. San Buenaventura. "This bill will make sure that assets are only taken away from criminals, not innocent people."

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

LEGISLATIVE BILLS TO PROVIDES FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS SIGNED INTO LAW



Measures expand HINET Program and continue successful Promise Program to help with tuition and basic needs
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – To offset the costs of a community college student's basic needs such as food and transportation, and paying for tuition, state lawmakers passed two bills last session appropriating more than $2.3 million in state funds to help our young people achieve their dream of a college education.


Governor David Ige today signed one of these bills, SB50 SD2 HD1 the Hawai'i Nutrition Employment and Training Program (HINET), into law during a ceremony at the State Capitol.

  • This bill appropriates $910,000 ($455,000 for each of the next two fiscal years) to continue the HINET program and hire seven full-time instructional and student support positions.
  • HINET helps students cover the cost of food, transportation, books, and necessary tools.
  • HINET is a workforce and education training program offered to students who receive or are eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and are enrolled at least part-time at a University of Hawaiʻi community college in an approved program.
  • HINET staff work with students one-on-one to address their needs and goals, and match them with training.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

STATE BASEBALL CHAMPION NĀNĀKULI HAWKS TO BE HONORED BY LEEWARD LAWMAKERS


WHO:             Representatives Stacelynn K.M. Eli and Cedric Asuega Gates, and Senator Maile S.L. Shimabukuro


WHAT:          Honoring the coaches and players of the Nānākuli Hawks 12U Baseball Team


WHEN:          Wednesday, June 26
                        6:30 p.m.

                       
WHERE:       Nānākuli High and Intermediate School and Nānākuli Elementary School
                        Team practice area below the football field, next to the basketball court


Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – State Representatives Stacelynn K.M. Eli and Cedric Asuega Gates, and State Senator Maile S.L. Shimabukuro will present Congratulatory Certificates to the coaches and players of the Nānākuli Hawks 12U (12 years old and under) Baseball Team to celebrate their recent victory in the 2019 Hawaiʻi 12/70 Division Baseball Championship.
"We are so proud of these young athletes," said Rep. Eli (‘Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko ‘Olina, Kahe Point, Nānākuli, Lualualei, Mā‘ili). "They fought hard to earn this victory and are now going on to represent our state on the mainland."

Monday, June 24, 2019

STATEMENT BY HOUSE SPEAKER SCOTT K. SAIKI ON THE GOVERNOR'S INTENT TO VETO LIST


House of Representatives Speaker Scott K. Saiki released the following statement on the intent to veto list announced by Governor David Ige.

"The House Democratic Caucus will meet tomorrow morning to discuss the Governor's list.  We will also consult with the Senate leadership concerning the possibility of convening an override session if any bills are actually vetoed.

"If an override session is not held, any vetoed measures can be reintroduced in the 2020 legislative session. We will use this interim to address the Governor's objections to vetoed bills."

According to the Hawai‘i State Constitution, the Legislature may convene before noon on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, for the sole purpose of acting upon any such bill returned by the Governor.

On July 9, 2019, any measure passed during the 2019 legislative session that has not been signed or vetoed by Governor Ige will become law with or without his signature.

Friday, June 21, 2019

REP. SAN BUENAVENTURA TO HOST PUNA BOAT RAMP MEETING


WHO:             Representative Joy San Buenaventura
                        Robert "Bob" Masuda; First Deputy, State Department of Land and Natural Resources
                        Representative Chris Todd
                        Matt Kaneali'i-Kleinfelder; Hawai‘i County Council, District 5
Diane Ley, Director, County of Hawaii Department of Research & Development


WHAT:          Community meeting to discuss the Puna boat ramp

WHEN:          Saturday, July 13
                        1-3 p.m.

WHERE:       Sacred Hearts Church Pahoa
                        15-3003 Pahoa Village Road

Puna, Hawai‘i –Robert "Bob" Masuda of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources will take part in a community meeting Saturday, July 13 to discuss the Puna boat ramp study.  State Representative Joy San Buenaventura will discuss the 2019 legislative funding for the boat ramp.  County Council person Matt Kaneali'i-Kleinfelder and Director of Research & Development Diane Ley will be available to answer questions.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

REPRESENTATIVE MIZUNO NAMED CO-CHAIR FOR COUNCIL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS' HEALTHY STATES TASK FORCE SUBCOMMITTEE


Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Representative John M. Mizuno has been selected as a Co-Chair on a subcommittee of The Council of State Governments’ national Healthy States Task Force. The Task Force and subcommittees will convene on Monday, June 17 - 19 in Lexington, Kentucky.

The subcommittee's dedicated purpose is to develop a framework on the capacity, preparedness, and resiliency in healthcare access and delivery during and in the aftermath of a natural disaster or health crisis.

“The CSG Healthy States National Task Force will bring together a diverse group of state policymakers to explore ways states can best meet the challenges presented by the current health care system and leverage the revolutionary changes occurring in the health sector,” said CSG Executive Director David Adkins.

Mizuno (District 28 - Kalihi Valley, Kamehameha Heights, portion of Lower Kalihi) will co-chair the Capacity, Preparedness and Resiliency, or CPR, subcommittee. The subcommittee will examine case studies and review recent state responses to health crises, including ways to prevent and/or reduce the impact of health crisis through preventive care.