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Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Rail Tax Hike: Legislators Promise Special Session, but Cannot Agree on Date or Funding Mechanism
By News Release @ 1:33 AM :: 1800 Views :: Rail, Taxes

LEGISLATIVE LEADERS TARGET SPECIAL SESSION ON RAIL FOR JULY OR AUGUST

From House Democratic Caucus, June 19, 2017

Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi (Kauai, Niihau) and House Speaker Scott K. Saiki (McCully, Kakaako, Kaheka, Downtown) sent a joint letter to the Executive Director of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) advising the FTA of the Legislature’s commitment to convene a special session in July or August.

Although no specific dates have been set for the special session and no rail funding mechanism has been agreed upon, Speaker Saiki and President Kouchi said that, "after working with members of our federal delegation, it was deemed necessary and prudent to assure the FTA that the Legislature recognizes and understands the requirements under the Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) between the City and County of Honolulu and the FTA."

PDF: Link to Letter

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State lawmakers vow to hold special session on rail within next 2 months

From Senate Democratic Caucus, June 19, 2017

State legislative leaders have informed the federal government that they will hold a special legislative session within the next two months to deal with providing a funding mechanism for Honolulu’s over-budget rail transit project.

Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi and House Speaker Scott K. Saiki announced that they sent a joint letter to the Federal Transit Administration advising the agency of the Legislature’s commitment to convene a special session in July or August.

They said no specific dates have been set for the session and no funding mechanism has been agreed upon.

“After working with members of our federal delegation, it was deemed necessary and prudent to assure the FTA that the Legislature recognizes and understands the requirements under the Full Funding Grant Agreement between the City and County of Honolulu and the FTA,” according to a statement from Kouchi and Saiki.

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Mayor Caldwell statement on Hawai‘i State Legislature special session

Mayor Kirk Caldwell issued the following statement today:

“I’m pleased the Hawai‘i State Legislature will be going into special session this summer to address rail funding. I want to thank Senate President Ron Kouchi and House Speaker Scott Saiki for their leadership and their intent to provide the City and County of Honolulu with a dedicated revenue stream to complete the system to Ala Moana Center. The city and HART have provided lawmakers with the most current financial estimates about the project, and stand ready to assist them in their deliberations.”

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