LINK: Transcript of Interview
UPDATE: Bill 80 passed committee on Tuesday Oct 20, 2020, and is headed to the full council.
Grassroot Institute warns about attempt to regulate hotel rehiring
A City Council bill would require hotels to rehire laid-off workers according to a strict formula as the state's tourism industry recovers
News Release from Grassroot Institute, Oct 19, 2020
HONOLULU, Oct. 19, 2020 >> A bill that would interject the city into the personnel matters of Oahu's hotels in an unprecedented, legally questionable and likely harmful manner was the subject of testimony submitted today to the Honolulu City Council by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.
Bill 80 seeks to force Oahu hotels to rehire employees who were laid off subsequent to Gov. David Ige's emergency proclamations, which caused the state's tourism industry to collapse. Moreover, they would have to rehire those employees according to a strict formula based on an occupancy ratio.
The bill, introduced by Council member Tommy Waters "by request," passed first reading on Oct. 7 and was referred to the Committee on Executive Matters and Legal affairs, which will consider the measure tomorrow starting at 1 p.m.
Testifying on behalf of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, Joe Kent warned that, "By interfering in the personnel and business decisions of our local hotels, Bill 80 might end up hurting the industry and its workers more than it helps.
"It is not possible to reset the economy or the hotel industry to a pre-COVID state via legislative action," said Kent, the institute's executive vice president. "Moreover, enacting additional regulations on opening procedures is more likely to slow the recovery than speed it up.
"Given the uncertainty surrounding the future of tourism in Hawaii," he said, "local businesses must have the freedom and flexibility to approach reopening and re-staffing in the way that makes the most economic sense for them. If they are hampered by new regulations, they may have to delay their re-openings, open on a smaller scale, or even close their doors forever."
To read the institute's full testimony, please click on the button below.
>>> BILL 80 TESTIMONY <<<
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