COVID Count: 28 new cases out of 1,639 tests
Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review
COVID Legislature: "This will be a shell of a democracy"
DHS, OHA to Share Native Hawaiian COVID Data
Jobs Report: Lets Avoid Aggravating the Problem
Ige appoints Bennette Misalucha to State Senate until Special Election
HB1819: Legislature passes bill to legalize industrial hemp
Driving up Electric Bill: Legislature Bans Coal
DLIR Rejects 73,438 Invalid Unemployment Claims
Victorino: Maui Council Should not Bypass Charter Commission
Ige’s COVID Fake Out: After weeks of prepping for tourism’s reopening, hotels face the prospect of a costly delay -- Food Lines Form Again
HNN: … The state’s struggle to make a decision whether to move forward with a re-launch of tourism on Aug. 1 is leaving travelers in limbo — and could prove to be extremely costly for businesses that have spent the last month preparing to reopen….
hotels are busy preparing to welcome back visitors with a focus on providing a new standard of service that caters to safety.
But the excitement of reopening is being overshadowed by looming concerns that the reopening date could be delayed.
“If that date is going to change we’d certainly like to know sooner than later so we can make adjustments to our business cycle and to what we’re doing to ready ourselves and ready our staffing,” said Kekoa McClellan, spokesperson for the American Hotel and Lodging Association….
The organization represents more than 150 properties in the islands, and was among the business groups pressuring the governor for a decision that led to the Aug. 1 date.
McClellan says postponing the re-launch will put them further in the hole.
“There are financial implications to the industry preparing for the reopening,” he said. “When there is a delay there will be costs associated with it.”
Travelers also want answers.
In response to the governor’s statement Roman Gokhman tweeted, “If I need to cancel my trip just tell me.” He went on to say, “This is not a game show.”
Oahu resident Julie Folk said she had planned to return to Hawaii next month from Colorado, but found no place to get a test for travel purposes.
“I just wish you could ask the right questions of our government leaders there, to get them to fully disclose what’s going on. And give a plan. And I guess you can’t. If they won’t talk to you,” she said….
read … Elected Dilettantes
Live and Let Die: What Made it at the Legislature?
CB: … Some priority measures to protect the environment and expand access to preschool advanced but others to regulate Uber and Lyft and reform gun laws died at the last minute….
SA: Unusual Hawaii legislative session ends, but much work remains at Capitol
WHT: BLNR nominee Yuen reappointed
read … Hawaii Lawmakers Salvage Bills Despite Pandemic
Incumbents Maintain Money Advantage In Hawaii Legislative Races
CB: … Fifteen other lawmakers are also running uncontested this year, and most are sitting on significant amounts of campaign cash….
Of the 23 contested primary races in the House and the five in the Senate, the majority have incumbents who hold a money advantage in the races, according to a review of campaign finance data covering Jan. 1 through June 30….
Many have bolstered their campaigns with the support of lobbyists, who are often at work at the State Capitol influencing legislation. Other powerful interests include public and private workers unions, which have supported both incumbents and political newcomers alike.
Some of the top include the Hawaii State Teachers Association, which has donated $44,000 to campaigns of state and county politicians since January….The ILWU follows close behind with $36,000 in campaign donations. The Ironworkers Local 625 comes in next with $34,650….
Walter Ritte, a Native Hawaiian activist, has outraised Rep. Lynn Decoite, $39,000 to $16,000. Decoite’s campaign still has a slight advantage, however, with $29,800 on hand compared to Ritte’s $23,100. Ritte and Decoite are competing in the race for House District 13, which covers the islands of Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe and rural Maui.
While they’re both Democrats, their sources of contributions couldn’t be more different.
Ritte raked in $2,000 donations from Iwamoto, John and Susan Scarlett, owners of pharmaceutical and cancer research company Geron Corp., Ashley Lukens, of the Center for Food Safety, HSTA and Roseanne Barr….
CB: Amemiya, Alm Lead Campaign Money Races For Mayor, Prosecutor
read … Incumbents Maintain Money Advantage In Hawaii Legislative Races
Grim prognosis for state budget
SA Editorial: … As the state Legislature ends its historically difficult session today, the work for its next one is already piling up. And a great deal of it — trying to square up the state’s costs with its plummeting tax revenues — won’t wait.
There will be more private business failures and, in the public sector, cuts in the payroll will have to be among the options on the table.
Gov. David Ige started the week giving notice of the looming fiscal crisis, caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic shutdown that resulted. He cited the most recent projections that Hawaii will face a $2.3 billion shortfall in revenues for the next 12-15 months. Ige also acknowledged that, as the economy recovers, that budgetary hole could shrink….
Lawmakers have advocated a disingenuous strategy including tapping the rainy-day fund as well as the federal loans, one that avoided labor cuts. Further, they passed previously negotiated pay raises that had been delayed, averting a hard political choice and frustrating taxpayers surveying the economic ruin around them.
Hard budgetary choices have a way of catching up with politicians, though, even in an election year. Ige, not on the 2020 ballot, is about to start that painful process….
read … Grim prognosis for state budget
8,000 citations were issued for violating stay-at-home orders. They’re all entitled to jury trials.
HNN: … During the shutdown in March and April, behaviors like sitting on a beach or on a bench in a park were classified as misdemeanor crimes under the emergency orders.
And an estimated 8,000 citations were issued to those violating the rules.
Now, there’s increasing concern about how those citations could clog the already overburdened courts. Experts say fighting the citations could take years because the accused are entitled to jury trials.
Defense attorney Victor Bakke said instead of being a misdemeanor, violations “need to be something that people will respect and that the system can handle.”
Deputy Public Defender Jerry Villanueva said his office has heard from high school and college students who fear a pending misdemeanor crime will affect scholarships, access to a dorms or future jobs.
“People working in the government, military folks, if they get misdemeanors on their record that could affect their careers,” Villanueva said….
Honolulu’s acting Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto wants the statute changed.
“Not quite as harsh, so you don’t have all those rights to a jury trial. Let’s make it a petty misdemeanor,” Nadamoto said.
But only the state Legislature can do that — and would only impact violations of future orders.
It’s too late for the thousands of tickets already issued. Nadamoto’s office will have to negotiate to avoid the massive number of jury trials….
read … 8,000 citations were issued for violating stay-at-home orders. They’re all entitled to jury trials.
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