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Friday, March 5, 2021
March 5, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:47 PM :: 2423 Views

Rep Ohno: 'Give Me Money and I'll Show You How to Get Your Bill Passed'

UHERO: Recovery Poised to Accelerate

How 'Affordable' Housing rules often result in no homebuilding

Hawaii Gives 1.18 million syringes to drug addicts

Seven Cesspools: EPA Fines DLNR (again)

Hawai’i Proposes Banning Fossil Fuels by 2045

IM: … A State House bill -- HB111 HD2 -- asserts, "The purpose of this Act is to eliminate fossil fuels in Hawaii for electricity generation and storage.”

“After December 31, 2045, electricity generation facilities, except emergency generators, shall cease the use of all fossil fuels for the generation or storage of electricity.”

The Senate companion bill, SB 931, cleared all of its committee votes and is headed for a full Senate vote….

Another bill heading for final reading by the Senate is SB 243.

“The Hawaii natural energy institute of the university of Hawaii shall conduct a feasibility study on the State's ability to achieve its goal of producing one hundred per cent of the State's electricity from renewable energy sources by December 31, 2045; provided that if the current renewable energy standards are not achievable, the study shall determine an estimate of what percentage is realistically achievable by December 31, 2045.”

read … Hawai`i Proposes Banning Fossil Fuels After They Are No Longer Used

Here’s How Tax Increases Are Shaking Out In The Hawaii Legislature

CB: … As Hawaii lawmakers approach the midpoint of this year’s session, they are positioning a variety of tax increase bills for passage later in the session, just in case they are needed (opportune) …..

There is a bill to increase state income taxes, bills that would boost the state inheritance tax, and bills to increase the state capital gains tax. There is a proposal to suspend excise tax exemptions and increase the corporate income tax, bills to tax e-cigarettes, and bills to increase taxes on car rentals….

lawmakers have already dismissed some high-profile tax proposals.

The Legislature rejected Ige’s proposed sugary beverage tax — the bills never got a hearing in the Senate or the House — and a measure to impose a 10-cents-per-drink liquor surcharge appears to be failing in the Senate.

As lawmakers deliberate those tax increases, another key factor will be the assessment of the local economy by the state Council on Revenues, which is scheduled to meet Monday. The council is responsible for predicting state tax collections each year, and those predictions form the basis for the state budget….

read … Here’s How Tax Increases Are Shaking Out In The Hawaii Legislature

Hawaii unemployment compensation tax exemption bill advances

SA: …  A proposal to exempt unemployment compensation from state income taxes won a key approval on Thursday with the Senate Ways and Means Committee unanimously approving the measure.

The exemption would apply to unemployment compensation, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, received by Hawaii residents between March 1 and December 31 when the coronavirus pandemic caused widespread economic devastation. Unemployed workers who had state income taxes withheld from their unemployment checks would be able to have the amount credited against their overall state tax liability for 2020.

Hawaii taxpayers who have already filed their 2020 returns would have to file an amended return in order to recoup the payments.

Senate Bill 614 received overwhelming support from local labor unions and dozens of residents who submitted written testimony describing the economic hardships they’ve faced this year as businesses and schools shuttered and tourism was decimated.

More than 580,500 Hawaii workers filed unemployment claims in 2020, about half of the state’s working population….

Meanwhile: Hawaii Among States Taxing Forgiven PPP Loans

read … Hawaii unemployment compensation tax exemption bill advances

Blackmail: HSTA Operatives Admit Threat to Fire Kishimoto is Retaliation for Reopening Elementary Schools

HNN: … In extensive testimony Thursday, union leaders and educators called on the Board of Education to reject a new contract for Superintendent Christina Kishimoto.

During a board meeting, several teachers and principals criticized Kishimoto’s plans to return elementary school students for in-person learning.

“The directive to bring all students back to in-person learning for elementaries during the fourth quarter was announced last week to the public, without first seeking input from leaders,” said Derek Minakami, principal at Kaneohe Elementary School, in testimony to the board….

Kishimoto’s contract expires at the end of July. She had been working on a one-year extension to a three-year contract inked in 2017.

During the meeting, Kishimoto clarified that the start date for in-person learning for all elementary schools students isn’t yet decided….

She said it won’t begin at the end of this month but sometime during the final quarter of the school year, which begins March 22….

“The DOE’s sales pitch to reopen schools is like the mayor in ‘Jaws’ saying the beaches are open and people are having a wonderful time,” said Justin Huighey, a teacher at King Kamehameha III Elementary School.

In the end, the Board of Education voted to postpone a vote on renewing Kishimoto’s contract to a later hearing…. 

UPDATE March 10, 2021: Hawaii schools superintendent Christina Kishimoto stepping down in July when contract ends

SA: No-justification-for-dismissing Kishimoto

WHT:  Back in class: West Hawaii schools to increase in-person instruction

SA: Principals-testify-against-retaining Hawaii-schools-superintendent

CB: Christina Kishimoto has called criticism of her leadership style “a distraction,” saying she needs to focus on more important issues.

read … Unions, teachers urge Board of Education to reject new contract for superintendent 

Proposed Office of Hawaiian Affairs towers in Kakaako gain ground in state Senate

SA: … A controversial proposal to allow the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to develop 30 acres of Kakaako oceanfront land took a key step forward in the state Legislature on Tuesday.

Three Senate committees approved SB 1334, which would lift a residential prohibition on six of OHA’s 10 Kakaako Makai lots and allow for residential high-rises on two of the agency’s parcels on Ala Moana Boulevard.

The Legislature banned residential development in the area 15 years ago after the community rallied in opposition to a proposal by Alexander &Baldwin Inc. to build two condominium towers.  ….

Tuesday’s joint meeting of the Senate committees on Judiciary, Ways and Means, and Water and Land was reserved for decision-making only, and there was no public testimony.

However, a hearing last month before the Senate committees on Hawaiian Affairs and Housing drew plenty of opposition. Testifiers said nothing has changed from when lawmakers banned high-rises in the makai region in 2006. They said it remains imperative to preserve public ocean access and the last coastal open space in the urban core of Honolulu. Otherwise, they said, the area is destined to become “another Waikiki.”

More than 3,000 people have signed an online petition opposing HB 1334 and its companion bill in the House of Representatives, HB 1267…

read … Proposed Office of Hawaiian Affairs towers in Kakaako gain ground in state Senate

House passes resolutions to form Maunakea management working group

HTH: … The state House of Representatives today passed a pair of resolutions calling for the formation of a working group to develop recommendations for the future of Maunakea governance.

The pair of resolutions, House Resolution 33 and House Concurrent Resolution 41 were introduced by Rep. David Tarnas, a Democrat representing North and South Kohala, following comments by House Speaker Scott Saiki that the University of Hawaii should be replaced as the manager of Maunakea….

In voting no, Rep. Gene Ward, an Oahu Republican said the resolutions are about TMT, which he called “the elephant in the room.”…

Only one Big Island House member, Rep. Jeanne Kapela, who represents Kona and Ka‘u, were among the five no votes on the resolution, but didn’t offer any floor comments.

HCR 41 was moved to the state Senate for its consideration….

Vogue: Anti-Telescope protesters make VOGUE Magazine (regressive leftism is a social climbing exercise)


read … House passes resolutions to form Maunakea management working group

Fishing for Campaign Contributors, Josh Green wants High-tech Tax Credit Scammers to Come back and Steal Another Billion

KITV: … Lieutenant Governor Josh Green told KITV4 he thinks returning pre-pandemic level tourism would be detrimental to the environment and suggested incentivizing technology companies to relocate to Hawaii as a way to boost the local economy (and not donate to Caldwell).

"There are computer science companies that would like to relocate here if we are willing to welcome a new industry... I spoke with one company that said they could bring 1,000 high-paying jobs here," Lt. Governor Green told KITV4.

(IQ Test: Do you believe him?)

Per the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were roughly 220,000 staying in Hawaii per night, spending more than $50,000,000 a day.

Lt. Governor Green said covering that ground wouldn't be an easy feat, but high-tech could help, and would like to see incentives for companies that could boost Hawaii's economy….

Realty: Audit: State Gave Away $1B Act 221 Tax Credits Without Verification of Eligibility

Secretive Subsidies, Tax Credits Make Hawaii 7th-Least Transparent in USA

Final Act 221: Hoku Plant Cut Up, Pieces Auctioned off

Maui-Based Scam: Hunter Biden Partner Secured Millions from Businessman with Reputed Organized Crime Ties

read … Could Tech Companies Help Diversify Hawaii's Economy?

State offers more food stamp flexibility amid record participation

HNN: … Nearly 198,000 people in Hawaii are now on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.

Hawaii has never seen numbers that high. Since February 2020, SNAP rolls in the islands have swelled by 30% ― or more than 45,000 people.

“We saw enormous numbers and enormous increases particularly in June and September, October,” said Brian Donohoe, who is administrator of the Department of Human Services’ Benefit, Employment, and Support Service Division.

He said the spike slowed in December. While there is still an increase each month, it’s more steady.

To keep up with the growing demand for help, DHS upgraded its SNAP enrollment system last summer and 90% of all new applications are now processed online. The other 10% are people who don’t have access to the technology so in-person or phone assistance is needed.

DHS also added online grocery purchases for SNAP members. They can use the Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, like debit cards, to make purchases for pick-up at select Walmart locations….

Walmart is currently the only retailer in Hawaii that meets the federal requirements, but DHS is hoping that can expand soon.

Donohoe said the system is not easy to set up.

“It becomes an an IT nightmare for a small company so they kind of tap out before they begin that’s the hard part,” he said….

read … State offers more food stamp flexibility amid record participation

Officials believe a Kakaako garage fire was started by trespassing homeless people

HNN: … Honolulu police said they believe the fire was started by homeless individuals in the area.

A nearby business owner said that the homeless have been a nuisance and that it has been a frustrating reality.

Nicholas Haigler said, “The foreign owners are currently absent. We tried to be in touch with them, we were working with HPD and the homeless outreach, and it seems like we’re getting nowhere. And then we see fires.”…

read … Officials believe a Kakaako garage fire was started by trespassing homeless people

Hawaii Governor Has ‘Concerns’ About Legalization Bill Advancing In Legislature

MM: … “I’d have to look at it. I do have concerns. Marijuana is still a Schedule I substance, which is highly regulated by the federal government,” he said. “Until that is changed, it is confusing for the public to think that it’s legalized here but, if they were to carry it beyond certain quantities, they could actually end up getting prosecuted and sent to prison for a very long time.”

“I am concerned about the fact that, until it is not a Schedule I substance, that any kind of effort to legalize marijuana might be misconstrued and create unintended consequences for the public,” he added….

read …, Hawaii Governor Has ‘Concerns’ About Legalization Bill Advancing In Legislature

Lanai and Molokai on track to make COVID vaccine available to all residents 16 and up

HNN: … More than half of Lanai and Molokai residents have received at least one vaccine dose and the shot will soon be available to eligible residents 16 and older, according to the Hawaii Department of Health.

DOH said the reason why the vaccine is rolling out faster on other islands is because of how vulnerable the communities are.

“We are protecting the people on Molokai and Lanai very quickly,” said DOH spokesperson Brooks Baehr. “And they’re getting the vaccine at a higher rate than other communities. It goes back to the fact that they don’t have a lot of hospital support.”

According to the DOH and the Lanai Community Health Center, opportunities for vaccination for all eligible residents 16 and up will be offered through a drive-in clinic….

WHT: Nearly 10% of Big Islanders fully vaccinated for virus

read … Lanai and Molokai on track to make COVID vaccine available to all residents 16 and up

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