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May 28, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:50 PM :: 1358 Views

The Lone Ranger

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted May 27, 2023

GET on Health Care

Census: 11.5% fewer children as young families flee state

SA: … The U.S. Census Bureau’s demographic profile released Thursday shows there were 282,451 people age 65 and older in Hawaii, representing 19.4% of the state’s total population of 1.45 million. That’s a 45% increase from the number of residents in that age group who were counted in 2010, when they comprised 14.3% of the population, or 1 in 7 residents.

Meanwhile, the under-5 age group saw its numbers drop 11.5% during that same period, the data show. The under-18 population overall was down 1.5%….

Hawaii ranked seventh in terms of percentage of 65-and-older population; Maine had the highest share at 21.8%. And with a highest-in-the-nation life expectancy of 80.7 years, Hawaii had the highest percentage of residents age 85 and older at 2.6%, compared to 1.9% for the United States as a whole…

read … The aging of Hawaii is accelerating, 2020 census shows

State needs to rein in wild spending

SA: …  Government transparency in Hawaii took a hit this year when state lawmakers approved a state budget that burned through the state’s budget surplus and wildly exceeded the state’s constitutional spending limit — almost all at the last minute in conference committee and with virtually no public input.

Details on how the budget was cobbled together will probably never see the light of day, but what is certain is that the executive general fund budget now being considered by Gov. Josh Green contains $11.29 billion in spending, an increase of 23% over the previous year. Combined with other budget bills, state spending is poised to exceed the state spending cap by $1.6 billion, or 16%.

Hawaii’s Constitution stipulates that general fund spending should grow no faster than the state’s economy. However, the Legislature can legally exceed that limit by a two-thirds vote of each chamber, and that is what it routinely does….

the governor should use his line-item veto power to pare down the budget. Target No. 1 should be the $200 million “slush fund” that was appropriated to him to do with what he will, no strings attached….

read … State needs to rein in wild spending

Green to name new HTA board members: Freeze Out De Fries?

HTH: … Green spoke in measured terms Friday while answering a question about HTA’s future.

“I’m going to put new board members on the HTA board in the coming days,” he said. “We’re finalizing that list of names. There will probably be some change there.

“There also is going to have to be a decision about the executive director. That’s their prerogative, the board’s prerogative — but sometimes, change is needed.” …

“… sometimes, people have to change out at certain positions and move on to other careers. I have a feeling that John will probably move on. And I think that’s what they’re discussing right now at the HTA board level.”

Senate Bill 1522 and House Bill 1375 made it to conference committees but neither advanced. But the intent in the language of both bills were clear.

“Due to mismanagement by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the award of a $34 million contract for the marketing of Hawaii as a tourism destination to the United States major market area has been in a state of uncertainty since 2021,” the measures state. “This situation has been widely publicized and has demonstrated the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s noncompliance with the Hawaii public procurement code.”…

SA: De Fries’ job status up for HTA review

SA: Slight summer cool-down predicted for Hawaii tourism

read … Green to name new HTA board members; De Fries’ future uncertain

Green: Regent Abercrombie

SA: … Green also told “Spotlight” to expect “major changes” on Tuesday to the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, along with changes to the state Board of Education and Hawaii Tourism Authority board.

“I’m going to do something somewhat, I think, provocative but meant to change things a little bit, meant to light a fire under us to really bring extra attention to the capacity of our university. … Expect a super boost on Tuesday.”

Green suggested that he plans to appoint former Gov. Neil Abercrombie — a finalist — to the UH Board of Regents, but Green only identified the new regent by the initials “N.A.”…

Along with changes to the HTA board, which appoints HTA’s leader, Green suggested that a replacement is imminent for HTA President and CEO John De Fries after the Legislature failed to provide any dedicated funding in the legislative session that just ended….

Green also told “Spotlight”:

>> That he plans to cut in half the $1 billion that the Legislature budgeted for the state’s “rainy day fund” because updated Council on Revenues forecasts mean the state has $270 million less to spend and because the Legislature “overshot by a significant amount of money with projects.”

In “the coming weeks,” Green plans to announce that he will cut spending for individual “projects that just aren’t ready for prime time or have raised concerns by people.”

But he will protect “all housing projects, homeless projects, homeless serv­ices, education and climate response.”

>> He will be transparent on how he spends $200 million in discretionary funding appropriated by the Legislature.

Some $55 million to $60 million will go to the state Department of Education. More than $60 million will be used to fund tourism promotion and marketing contracts. And an unspecified amount will support “the university a little bit more,” Green said….

>> He expects to veto “a bill or two that took executive authority away during emergencies,” he said. “That’s not acceptable.”…

He hopes to see 12 to 25 more tiny-home “kauhale” to provide permanent housing for homeless people across the state.

Green expects the next one to go up on Middle Street after a new “medical respite” kauhale takes in its first homeless patients Wednesday.

Pulama Ola, as it’s called, took seven weeks to go up on a state Department of Health parking lot between The Queen’s Medical Center on Punchbowl Street and the governor’s mansion.

It came in at a cost of “well under $20,000 per tiny home,” Green said.

Green held up a dark T-shirt emblazoned with “YIMBY” — meaning “Yes in My Back Yard,” he said….

He hopes that Pulama Ola sends the message to residents across the islands that they, too, should welcome a kauhale to reduce homelessness in their communities.

“The costs of homelessness will plummet when we do this well,” he said. “Overall, people will be safer because there aren’t individuals, say, taking over a park, or they’ll be safer because someone perhaps isn’t doing drugs on the street or near a school.”…

CB:  That way we can watch Sen. Donna Mercado Kim start to squirm sooner rather than later. Another not-so-secret secret is that those two don’t get along.  The Sunshine Blog is dying to see what happens when Kim continues poking at UH, its budget and its president with her old adversary in position.

read … Gov. Green to cut ‘red tape’ to stimulate Hawaii affordable housing

Governors have been Pretending to do Something About Homelessness for 32 years

Borreca: … To highlight the urgency in helping the homeless, Hawaii’s current governor, Josh Green, used his first State of the State speech as the setting for his signature of an emergency proclamation on homelessness. He said the proclamation will streamline the construction of new housing and reduce red tape.

Hawaii’s governors may have a steely-eyed, fixed focus on the housing crisis, but they just don’t have anyone declaring victory.

Former Gov. Linda Lingle in 2005 assembled a housing task force bristling with housing hot shots from industry and government. In fact Nani Medeiros, representing Lingle’s office, was on that task force. This year, Democrat Gov. Green also appointed Medeiros to his housing task force. Both the cast of characters and the crisis remain.

Back in 1991, Gov. John Waihee was breaking ground on a series of state-subsidized homeless villages. Then, the median price of a home was about $345,000, and two-bedroom apartments rented for $1,000 to $1,500 a month. Today the median price in Honolulu is $779,000, with a less-than-600-square-foot apartment renting for an average of $2,233….

WHT: County park cleared of homeless encampment

read … Homelessness persists here, despite govs’ attempts

USA Boxing defends disciplinary actions stemming from unsanctioned Hawaii event

HNN: … Members of several boxing clubs in Hawaii are facing disciplinary action after they took part in what USA Boxing calls an “unsanctioned event.”

The organization’s local president said those rules are in place to protect the health and safety of the young competitors.

The dispute came to light this week after dozens of young Hawaii boxers and their coaches descended on the Kapolei headquarters of USA Boxing Hawaii, protesting the ban on fighters as young as nine years old.

“It was pretty scary because, you know, they were yelling and making the young kids that were with them also yell at us,” said Eiichi Jumawan, the president of USA Boxing Hawaii….

They thought I was the guy. And that’s why it as unleased on me.

But Jumawan said the decisions are coming from the national level of the organization.

“I have no authority or power to sanction anybody. I neither have the power to un-sanction them,” he said.

A letter from USA Boxing’s headquarters in Colorado warned members not to take part in an unsanctioned competition that took place on April 15. Members who took part could be suspended.

Some of Jumawan’s supporters said he’s been facing threats.

“We’re definitely going to show passion when we feel our kids was wronged, but in terms of threatening and whatnot, I’ve not heard any types of threats going out,” said Rylan Redona, the coach of Manawai Boxing….

Members of Manawai were at the April 15gth event. But Redona said the kids shouldn’t be the ones being penalized.

“Especially when they’re young -- nine, ten, 11, into their teens -- they’re going to do whatever their coach says,” Redona said.

He added that many of the young boxers were ready to fly to the mainland for a Junior Olympics competition just two weeks from now. But that trip is in limbo because of the suspensions….

read … USA Boxing defends disciplinary actions stemming from unsanctioned Hawaii event 

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