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Hawaii Daily News Read

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Saturday, April 29, 2017
April 29, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:50 PM :: 1777 Views

Fake Methodology: Health Department Claims 11% of Hawaii HS Students are LGBTQ

Proposed revocation of Jones Act rulings for the offshore industry

Visitor Spending Up 12.3% in March 2017

HB209: Legislators Approve Massive Income Tax Hike on Small Businesses

SA: The measure must still pass the full House and Senate before it can be sent to Gov. David Ige for review. But the bill cleared its toughest hurdle on Friday by making it out of conference committee, where many measures die….

Under the bill, the upper 5 percent of income earners would also be taxed at a higher rate. The higher tax rate, which actually reverts back to what they were taxed in 2015, (among the highest in the nation) would apply to single filers with taxable incomes of $150,000 or more and joint filers with taxable incomes of $300,000 or more.

read … Income Tax Hike

Public Employee Contracts Cost $460M so Far

CB: The teachers union came to a negotiated settlement this week that includes a 13.6 percent pay bump over four years. The new contract was ratified by the membership Thursday.

Cost estimate: $323 million

Hawaii Fire Fighters Association:   One of the first unions to get a new contract was the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association, which as the name implies, represents firefighters, most of whom work for the counties.

An arbitrator awarded pay raises to firefighters of about 2 percent in each of the next two years along with salary step movements that will bump their pay higher.

Cost estimate: $275,000

Hawaii Government Employees Association: Several bargaining units of the Hawaii Government Employees Association — by far the largest union, public or private, in the state — also got new contracts.

Six of the bargaining units, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9 and 13, received two-year deals that generally provide for pay raises of 6 percent to 7 percent. The state will also increase its contribution to increasing health insurance costs.

On Friday, HGEA also announced a tentative agreement for bargaining unit 6, which includes 975 education officers. The agreement is a four-year deal and includes various pay raises of under 2 percent per year and salary step movements.

  • Unit 2 cost estimate: $2.1 million
  • Unit 3 cost estimate: $39 million
  • Unit 4 cost estimate: $3 million
  • Unit 6 cost estimate: $37.3 million
  • Unit 8 estimate: $11.1 million
  • Unit 9 cost estimate: $5.6 million
  • Unit 13 cost estimate: $39.7 million

A handful of union contracts have yet to be decided, including that of the statewide police union, the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers.

The state’s law enforcement officers as well as state and county ocean safety workers also have yet to receive a new contract.

KHON: Educational officers under HGEA’s Unit 6 to cast ratification votes on tentative agreement

read … $460M More Employee Expense

HGEA Principals strike 13.5% pay raise deal with state

SA: The union representing public school principals, athletic directors and other educational officers has reached a tentative new agreement with the state that provides for raises totaling 13.53 percent over the next four years, according to the Hawaii Government Employees Association.

The agreement covers about 900 public employees in HGEA’s Unit 6 and, if ratified by the membership, would run from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2021, the union said.

On Thursday, HGEA announced arbitration decisions that cover six other bargaining units covering about 27,500 public workers, which are binding agreements. However, the new tentative agreement involving Unit 6 is different because it is a negotiated agreement that must be ratified by the union members before it can take effect.

The union was holding ratification meetings for Unit 6 members Friday and today.

read … More Money

SB501: Mandatory Abortion Promotion Passes Conference Committee

SA: Senate Bill 501 would require the clinics to post information about where women can obtain health insurance if needed that will cover the full range of family planning, prenatal care and contraception.

Clinic officials have argued that the bill treads on their constitutional right to free speech and freedom of religion and have threatened to sue….

read … Mandatory Abortion

Victory: Internet Tax, Red Light Cams, TVR Tax, Mandatory Sick Leave – ALL DEAD

HNN: measures that were killed include:

  • SB704 - would have allowed internet travel companies, like Airbnb, to collect state taxes from rental operators. 
  • SB221 - would have authorized the use of cameras to catch drivers who run red lights. 
  • SB620 - would have required internet-based retailers to charge Hawaii customers a use tax.
  • HB4 - would have required certain employers to provide a minimum amount of paid sick leave to employees.

The plan to create an Airport Authority, a semi-independent agency that would've managed Hawaii's airports and handled all major contracting decisions, is dead.

The committee was waiting for comments from the Attorney General about the airport authority plan, but members say they never received them, so they chose to shelve the bill. ….

read …. Airport authority, internet tax among bills killed by state lawmakers before deadline

NextEra Payback from HECO: Senate Rejects Gorak

CB: Opponents see the rejection as payback against Gov. David Ige for opposing NextEra Energy’s $4.3 billion attempt to buy Hawaii’s utility.

IM: Hawaiian Electric Company staff, consultants, and lawyers, show up in mass, at every single energy event, including meetings, hearings, and conferences. But they were conspicuously absent from the nomination process, before the Senate Committee hearing, and during the Senate floor vote. 

Senate Statement: PUC NOMINEE GORAK NOT CONFIRMED BY SENATE

read … Senators Wanted NextEra

High Tides to be Used for Global Warming Propaganda this Summer

WHT: Hawaii is seeing unusually high tides that could continue through the summer.

Phil Thompson, associate director of the University of Hawaii Sea Level Center, said high tides are about 10 to 20 centimeters above normal, a trend that started following the end of El Nino.

Causes could include “thickening” in the upper ocean in the central Pacific due to certain wind patterns.

“There is more warm water in and around Hawaii,” Thompson said. “That causes sea levels to be a little higher.”

He said there have been a “couple periods” of this in the last year and a half.

Global warming might not be a direct cause, though higher sea levels would exacerbate these type of events, Thompson said.

“As sea levels rise you’ll get more of these big events,” he said.

In the past 10-20 years, Hawaii has seen sea levels rise about 3 millimeters a year, Thompson said.

read … Propaganda Opportunity

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