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Monday, April 24, 2017
April 24, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:47 PM :: 1723 Views

Tracking Eleven Tax Hike Bills into Secretive Conference Committees

Don’t Compel Doctors to Promote State-Favored Programs

Vice President Mike Pence Visits Am Samoa

HB1580: Fake Ban of Gasoline and Diesel Vehicles Statewide

SA: More than 600 students joined activists at the state Capitol rotunda Thursday in support of a bill that sets a goal of having all ground transportation in Hawaii run on renewable fuel by 2045.

(UPDATE: HB 1580 died in Conference Committee.)

Students from Lanikai Elementary School, Wheeler Middle School, Sunset Beach Elementary School, Le Jardin Academy, Hongwanji Mission School, the School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability (SEEQS) and Island Pacific Academy joined Blue Planet Foundation, a Honolulu-based clean-energy nonprofit, as the organization worked to persuade lawmakers to adopt House Bill 1580….

HB 1580 passed out of a key Senate committee earlier this month. The measure provides “guidance” for a 2045 target but has no enforcement mechanisms. The bill sets an intermediate target of reducing sales of gasoline by 5 percent by 2025. The bill needs to be approved by House and Senate conference committees and then approved by the full House and Senate before going to the governor for his signature….

read … Make Tax Credit Millions by Pretending to Ban Gasoline and Diesel

Advocates had high hopes at the Hawaii Legislature, but some condo bills died and others were watered down

CB: Case in point: The first section of House Bill 1498 requires that the employment contract for the on-site property manager at a condo be available to unit owners upon request….

Clay is also happy that House Bill 832 would clarify that board members are violating their fiduciary duty if they break state law by not giving owners certain documents or refusing to go to mediation…..

For instance, Senate Bill 369, which states that boards shouldn’t retaliate against unit owners, would still place the onus on owners to go to court if they think they’ve been retaliated against, which can be costly.

And while Mower thinks it’s a good idea that HB 1498 would prevent people who are renting space in condos from serving on condo boards, she’s worried about another provision of the bill that she believes “gives more voting power to the board and simultaneously decreases resident unit owners’ voting power.”….

Rep. Roy Takumi said at a hearing Thursday that House negotiators have agreed to the Senate versions of HB 832 and HB 1498. He’s planning to present final drafts of those bills to the Senate negotiators Monday…..

House Bill 1499 remains a work in progress. It has several parts, one of which states that boards would not be able to demand that owners pay certain charges — like legal fees — if the owners dispute the charges and request mediation. The only exception is common-area fees…..

read … Watery Death

Biomess: Hu Honua ‘Green’ Energy at $0.21 per kwh – $435M out of Ratepayers Pockets

HTH: …The motion, filed Feb. 16 in U.S. District Court in Honolulu, asks in the alternative that the court suspend proceedings in the lawsuit until arbitration is completed. A hearing on the motion is set for 10 a.m. May 22 before Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright.

A settlement conference also is scheduled for May 18 and 19, according to court records.

Hu Honua’s suit claims HELCO declined an offer of 14 cents per kilowatt-hour to restore the agreement. That offer would have increased the annual payment to $2 million, but would have saved ratepayers $90 million through 20 years, according to Hu Honua.

The parties entered into a 20-year agreement in 2013 that called for HELCO to pay $1 million a year plus electrical costs of 21.5 cents per kilowatt for the first 10 megawatts, with a declining price scale for energy purchased above that amount….

The suit seeks treble damages for the $120 million dollars invested in the half-completed biomass power plant and $435 in lost profit….

The biomass plant, which faced significant delays because of the contractor and union jurisdiction disputes, was expected to go online in January 2016 with 21.5 megawatts of electricity, or about 10 percent of the island’s energy needs….

read …  HELCO seeks arbitration in Hu Honua suit

Rat Lungworm: Fear of Losing Tourism Squelches Public Health

CB: …Pressler held a press conference, telling reporters that, less than four months into the year, the department has already confirmed as many rat lungworm cases as it did in all of last year….

But Pressler was also quick to point out that the situation is nowhere near an “epidemic” level, stressing that “Hawaii is still a safe destination” for tourists. To hammer home the message, Pressler had a representative from Hawaii’s tourism industry sitting next to her.

In many ways, the episode illustrates what state officials have to navigate through whenever a public health crisis hits tourism-dependent Hawaii: As they go about sharing updates and educating the public about the risks, they tread carefully not to fuel any hysteria.

read … Should Hawaii Have Gotten Serious About Rat Lungworm Sooner?

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