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Monday, February 2, 2009
February 2, 2009
By Andrew Walden @ 9:09 PM :: 7105 Views

Star-Bulletin to Legislature on Ceded Lands:  Back Down

... some state legislators are proposing to preempt the court ruling by banning such sales to protect native Hawaiian interests. The controversy more properly should be advanced to negotiations following congressional approval of Hawaiian sovereignty....

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Hawaii's public hospital system will undergo restructuring

The possible changes include:

• Authorizing public hospitals, such as Maui Memorial Medical Center, to become nonprofit or for-profit corporations to help attract private investment, expand service lines and reduce civil-service expenses.

• Creating a dual workforce in which existing public hospital workers would keep their state benefits but newly hired workers would be subject to new salary, work hours, health plan and retirement benefits negotiated with the Hawai'i Government Employees Association and the United Public Workers. System administrators believe that, due to attrition, more than half the workforce would be covered under the new rules after eight years.

• Allowing services such as housekeeping, maintenance and billing to be outsourced to the private sector to reduce civil-service costs.

• Giving the semiautonomous regional boards that help govern the system — instead of the Legislature — the authority to reduce hospital services subject to ratification by the system's board. The Legislature would still retain the option to reverse cuts in services.

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