Hawaii State News, midday edition, 31 Jan 2019

Welcome to the midday edition of “Hawaii News Digest”–Hawaii State News.  Views expressed in this Hawaii News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.  Content provided by today’s issue of “Hawaii Business Magazine”.

Accessed on 31 January 2019, 1920 UTC, Post 18352.

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TOP STORIES
Early childhood plan signed into action
Governor David Ige signed the Hawaii Early Childhood State Plan today. Co-signers included UH, Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. This is a 5-year plan that covers pre-natal, to birth through age 8. The plan sets forth the foundation for a state-wide system that considers our children’s overall well being, safety, family partnerships, early care and learning. Hawaii Public Radio. KITV.

Here’s how public preschools could rapidly expand statewide
The goal of opening 300-plus pre-kindergarten classrooms could be reached more quickly if current school facilities are repurposed. But that expansion must be balanced with careful attention to building a “high quality” early learning system, education advocates say. Studies indicate preschool is a crucial step, given that 85 to 90 percent of brain development takes place before age 5. Civil Beat.

The number of unvaccinated kindergartners rose again last year
In the 2017-18 school year, some 518 kindergarten students at public and private schools in the islands got vaccination exemptions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just four of those exemptions were for medical reasons. Those who aren’t vaccinated make up just about 1 percent of all Hawaii kindergartners. Hawaii News Now.

House and Senate bills would soften new elder care home inspection law
Starting July 1, the state Department of Health is required to conduct annual unannounced inspections of nearly 2,000 care facilities for the elderly and disabled. Some lawmakers have proposed making it optional instead of mandatory. The law’s implementation has already been delayed three years due to a last-minute amendment. Civil Beat.

Bills introduced in the state Legislature might be the last straw for Hawaii
Six bills so far have been introduced that would, if passed, prohibit or otherwise limit the use and distribution of plastic straws. Tribune-Herald.

Bill to increase OHA’s share of public land trust revenue advances
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs would see its share of public land trust revenue more than double to $35 million under a bill advanced by a state House committee. OHA has been trying to increase its land trust allocation for nearly a decade but has run into political resistance. Last year a similar bill died in committee and in 2016 a Legislature-mandated committee tasked with negotiating the issue fizzled without the cooperation of Gov. David Ige. Star-Advertiser.KHON2.

Dan Kouchi won’t lobby father’s office
Dan Kouchi, the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii’s new assistant vice president for government affairs and alliances, will not be lobbying at the office of his father, Senate President Ron Kouchi. In order to avoid any perceived conflict of interest, Dan Kouchi “will not be advocating Senate president’s office, including any activities related to minimum wage,” said chamber President and CEO, Sherry Menor-McNamara. Garden Island.

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Until next time,

Russ Roberts

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