Grassroot Institute Testifies on Jones Act in Washington, DC
Hawaii v Trump Argued Before 9th Circuit Court
Ige Appointments: 5 HCDA, 1 UH Regent
After Decade of Litigation, Supreme Court Refuses to Order State to Repair Gold Coast Seawalls
Hawaii: Fewest Nurses Per Capita in USA
$2.4B Tax Hike: How They Voted
SA: …The 11-member committee voted 6-5 to pass out Senate Bill 4 unamended….
- Sens. Donovan Dela Cruz; SD22 – Next Election 2020
- Gil Keith-Agaran; SD5 – Next Election 2020
- Brickwood Galuteria; SD12 – Next Election 2018
- Michelle Kidani; SD18 – Next Election 2018
- Maile Shimabukuro SD21 – Next Election 2018
- Glenn Wakai SD15 – Next Election 2020
- Sens. J. Kalani English;
- Breene Harimoto;
- Lorraine Inouye;
- Kaiali‘i Kahele and
- Gil Riviere
Link: List of Senate Seats up for reelection in 2018
HTH: The bill likely goes to the full Senate today.
LINK: Bill scheduled to be heard by TRN/FIN on Wednesday, 08-30-17 1:30PM in the Auditorium.
PDF: Testimony on SB4 + Late Testimony
read … Target List
Rail: Oahu Tax Payers Don’t Want to Pay but Maui Reps, Sens Ready to Tax Sister Isles
MN: …Five of Maui County’s nine House and Senate members responded Monday afternoon to requests for their positions on the rail transit measure.
Former Speaker Joe Souki and West Maui/North Kihei Rep. Angus McKelvey said they would vote in favor of the measure….
Rep. Lynn DeCoite, who represents Molokai, Lanai and East Maui, was noncommittal Monday….
Kahului Rep. Justin Woodson said he has “strong reservations” and is “leaning” voting no….
Sen. Roz Baker, whose district includes the resort areas of Wailea, Kaanapali and Kapalua, said she is listening to her constituents and will be voting no…. (UPDATE: Baker voted AYE on 2nd Reading.)
(Sen Gil Kieth-Agaran already voted 'Aye' -- Sen. J. Kalani English voted 'Nay' in committee but 'AYE' on 2nd Reading.)
read … If Oahu Doesn’t Want to Pay, Maui Should pick up their Tab
Caldwell Continues to Play Heavy, Helping Legislators Distract Public While Raising Taxes $2.4B
HNN: …the Senate Ways and Means Committee narrowly voted 6-5 to approve the measure unamended. It will now be heard on the Senate floor in a second hearing Tuesday morning.
Public testimony wrapped up by late afternoon, and the highlight was Mayor Kirk Caldwell's renewed plea for more money than what lawmakers are willing to offer.
Lawmakers are calling their funding bill a breakthrough compromise to bail out Honolulu's rail project, but whether it has the support needed to pass remains unclear….
The deal would raise about $2.4 billion.…
read … Approved
Legislators Use Fake Audit to Make themselves Look Good While Raising Taxes $2.4B
HNN: …The rail funding bill calls for the Legislative Auditor to study these alternative routes and technologies.
It calls for a review of "the projected costs for each alternative route(s) and development option(s) for the Middle Street to Ala Moana segment of the Honolulu rail transit project ..."
(Question: Do you believe the Auditor’s report months or evan a year from now would cause HART to change its route?!)
"It will be cheaper but … but you won't have the efficient of an automated system,” said Krishniah Murthy, interim CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.
He said HART would have to hire people to operate the trains and purchase about 40 acres of land in town for a light rail maintenance yard. Light rail’s construction is more disruptive that heavy rail, he added…. (Translation: Light rai exists to be knocked down.)….
read … Fake Fake Fake
Schatz, Hanabusa: Caldwell is Full of BS
KHON: Two of Hawaii’s congressional delegates told lawmakers the state plan looks like enough money that the feds would likely be OK without any added stress test covered.
“I do not speak for the FTA but I will say this,” Sen. Brian Schatz testified, “based on my analysis of discussions between hart and the FTA, my read is that this revenue package is likely to be viewed as serious and sufficient. And on the specific question of the issue of the stress test, I can confirm that as far as I can gather, that it is not the practice of the FTA to make the stress test amount a financial requirement.”
“One of the things that concerns us,” said Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, “is when we hear that ‘the FTA requires’ or ‘the FTA wants something.’ Know that what the FTA has indicated is that there is a time when they must evaluate the sensitivity of a financial plan to plausible adverse changes in key assumptions and to gauge the city’s capacity to accommodate those changes. That is what is called the stress test that you’ve heard so much about, but also know that the stress test doesn’t come into reality until you do a financial plan, and that is where we are now. So you don’t have to worry about it because you don’t have a financial plan to worry about, and what you have done, in my opinion, is to address the costs in a very systematic and logical manner.”
read … Helping Legislators Look Good While Hiking Taxes
Mufi: No TAT Hike
KITV: …"I want to go on record to say that our board and 2000 of our associates I've gone on record to strongly oppose the use of the Transient Accommodations Taxes (TAT) to fund the rail project," said Mufi Hanneman, CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association (HLTA).
Several testifiers in the tourism industry expressed strong opposition toward using TAT to bail out rail.
"We ask you on behalf of the 190,000 people in the state that are employed in the visitor industry to please be very careful with the use of the TAT," said Hanneman.
As the cost continues to balloon, Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (D- Moanalua) raised concerns about accountability and wasteful spending.
"120 pending change orders in addition to the 472 change orders, no the original initial amount for these jobs were $12 million, the change orders, add the change orders in and it adds up to double $25 Million," said Sen. Kim. …
read … No TAT Hike
House reorganization continues
ILind: …Choy and Tokioka’s removal from Finance was part of the committee reorganization spelled out in House Resolution No. 3. According to the status report, HR3 has yet to be offered. I have yet to go through it carefully to see if other changes are also included.
In other leadership changes, House Resolution 2, adopted yesterday, dumped Marcus Oshiro as Majority Policy Leader, and removed Ken Ito as Majority Whip. Check the link to see the new House leadership lineup….
read … House reorganization continues
Legislature needs to pay foster parents fairly
SA:After three years of vigorous litigation by the state, the DHS, Attorney General and governor agreed with foster parents to raise the monthly reimbursement for foster children’s expenses between $649 and $776, depending on the age of the foster child. If the state had adjusted the original amount to account for inflation, the reimbursement would be over $1,000. The settlement calls for only a 47 percent increase in the reimbursement from what it was in 1991, a modest amount given that since that time, inflation has increased by 92 percent and childcare costs have increased by 177 percent….
With the state’s record-setting budget surplus of $893 million, the state can easily afford to increase the reimbursements.
What it cannot afford is continuing on its current path of putting Hawaii’s already traumatized foster children at any further risk. It is hard to accept that the Legislature can find the time and immense funding to resolve an issue as divisive and costly as rail, but not the minimal time and funding required to protect its foster children.
Our Legislature should find a way to quickly resolve this issue so it does not continue to drag on for years in the courts while our state’s foster children suffer….
read … Legislature needs to pay foster parents fairly
No Need Tents: Homeless Can be Forced into Hard-Walled Structures at $9,500 each
SA: …The Moanalua-based church moved the igloo-shaped shelter from its grounds Saturday before the start of Monday’s special legislative session to give lawmakers and the public a close-up view of the dome that they’ve been reading and hearing about for more than a year ever since First Assembly of God shipped the first one in from Juneau, Alaska.
First Assembly of God, with the help of a handful of other churches, has 11 more of the $9,500, 12-foot-tall, 314-square-foot domes sitting in a shipping container on its Kahaluu property, waiting for its application for a city building permit to get approved, said Pastor Daniel Kaneshiro….
read … Real Solution
Star-Adv: Trump forces us to Investigate SNAP Fraud, Waste
SA: …a local store receipt showing that one recipient had accumulated more than $20,000 in unused benefits is raising eyebrows….
In response to Honolulu Star-Advertiser questions about the Aug. 7 store receipt, Keopu Reelitz, spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services (DHS), which oversees our SNAP system, said the accrued funds figure that appeared on an electronic balance transfer card was authentic, but called the case “unusual.” Let’s hope so.
While the case may well be an outlier of some sort, it should prompt DHS to swiftly organize a hard look at its system to further substantiate efficient administration of SNAP funds. Also, tighter scrutiny of benefits could help fend off a federal administration call for a systemwide overhaul aimed at reducing waste.
In its first full budget proposal, President Donald Trump’s team is seeking to shift 25 percent of SNAP’s cost, which is now entirely federally funded, to states. That would cost Hawaii an estimated $100 million a year…..
read … SNAP benefits need closer look
Anti- Sand Mining Lies Exposed
MN: A bulldozer operator, whom earlier witnesses said was moving sand without an archaeological monitor, testified Monday that he did not need one in the sand mining lawsuit against a Maui Lani developer.
Sam Miguel of contractor Honolulu Construction & Draying said he was screening stockpiled sand that had previously been monitored at the Maui Lani Phase IX site Feb. 22. He rebutted two witnesses who said in court last week that a bulldozer operator was moving sand from a large dune and later putting it on a platform without the required supervision of an archaeological monitor…..
read … Hype Busted Quicker Than Usual