House of Representatives updates sexual harassment policy
Hawaii’s House of Representatives has revamped its sexual harassment policy following pressure brought on by the #MeToo movement and resignation of former Rep. Joe Souki last year amid complaints by several women that he had made unwanted advances toward them, including sexual comments, touching and kissing. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. KHON2.KITV.
House harassment policy can be found here.
Critics: House sexual harassment policy doesn’t go far enough
They say the policy is a “good first step” that meets many national best practices, but it lacks an appeals process and requires secrecy even after cases are resolved. Civil Beat.
Long-expired high-tech tax credit still costing taxpayers millions
Even though the Legislature eliminated the High Technology Business Investment Tax Credit in 2009, taxpayers shelled out $16.3 million for the credit in 2016, the latest year for which data were available from the Hawaii Department of Taxation. Among credits for economic development, only Hawaii’s renewable energy and motion picture tax credits cost the state more. Civil Beat.
DLNR funds mishandled, audit finds
A multimillion-dollar state fund to acquire private land for conservation purposes has been poorly managed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, hampering its effectiveness, accountability and transparency, according to a state audit. The January report by Auditor Les Kondo also raised questions about whether state ethics and procurement laws were violated by the department. Star-Advertiser.
Question arises about vote on schools superintendent
The state Board of Education last month voted behind closed doors to extend Superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s contract by one year, but a question has arisen about whether the action was proper. The one-year extension was granted after board members evaluated Kishimoto, also behind closed doors, and gave her a rating of “effective” for her performance over the first half of the school year. Star-Advertiser.
Healing hemp without the high
Making cannabidiol, or CBD products, for people seeking natural pain relief and other benefits is a fast growing industry. CBD is one of dozens of cannabinoid chemicals found in marijuana and hemp plants. In the medicinal and recreational cannabis business, the THC chemical usually gets all the attention, but CBD is creating buzz because users says it’s just as beneficial, without the high. Hawaii Business.
Filmmaker settles lawsuit after Hawaii grants him tax credits
Tim Chey, producer and director of a historical drama about Hawaii’s Chiefess Kapiolani, said the office has awarded him 100 percent of the credits he sought. Chey had charged the state film office discriminated against him because it didn’t like his Christian-themed historical drama. Civil Beat.
Shutdown taking its toll on the state
As the partial government shutdown stretches into its third week, an analysis by the website Wallet Hub found Hawaii among the states most heavily hit. The Aloha State has nearly 22,500 federal employees, with some 2,700 of those employees working in agencies that are subject to the shutdown, according to a tally from the trade magazine Governing. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.