Hawaii State News, evening edition, 01 Feb 2019

Welcome to the Friday evening update from “Hawaii News Digest”–Hawaii Island News. Views expressed in this Hawaii News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.  Content provided by “Hawaii News Magazine”.

Accessed on 02 February 2019, 0145 UTC, Post 18358.

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9.9M visitor arrivals recorded in 2018
Hawaii welcomed another record number of tourists last year, just 45,452 visitors shy of a 10 million benchmark that had been anticipated before head winds emerged in the back half of last year. HTA released preliminary numbers Thursday showing that 2018 arrivals increased nearly 6 percent from the 2017 arrivals record. This is the 7th straight year of growth in the visitor industry. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.Airbnb criticizes state’s attempt to subpoena host records
Airbnb is pushing back against an attempt to find tax delinquents by subpoenaing 10 years’ worth of invoices, receipts and other records from the home-sharing platform’s island hosts, calling it an unprecedented, “massive intrusion” that violates state and federal law. Associated Press.

County mayors brief house and senate finance committee members
All four county mayors support the Governor’s plan to remove the Transient Accommodations Tax restriction. The mayors also supports the Big Island’s request for 155-million dollars for disaster recovery funding for the volcano eruption last year. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Minimum wage bills advance
House and Senate lawmakers advanced bills Thursday that would increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour for many workers in the years ahead and also would offer a tax credit to small businesses to try to cushion the impact of the wage increases on businesses. Supporters of the bills crowded the House and Senate hearing rooms, urging the increase to provide relief to working families that are struggling. Star-Advertiser. KITV.

12 senators sign on to legalized marijuana bill
The prospects are promising for the measure in the 25-member Senate, but Gov. David Ige opposes legalization. Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Chris Lee said “Legalization is inevitable. … The question is, how much and how quickly.” Civil Beat.

Ban on cigarette sales proposed
Hawaii could be the first state in the U.S. to ban the sale of cigarettes. Adults younger than age 30 could be legally prohibited from buying cigarettes in less than a year’s time, and all cigarette sales would be banned statewide in five years, under a bill by State Representative Richard Creagan. KHON2.

In wake of horrific crash, lawmakers look to strengthen DUI laws
Lawmakers on Monday will start hearing proposals aimed at cracking down on those who drink and drive. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, one out of every three traffic fatalities in Hawaii is alcohol-related. That’s the fifth highest rate in the nation. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.

Regents to UH president: Come back with a new plan for tuition

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents Thursday turned away the president’s proposal to reduce tuition across the statewide system. A spokesman said regents had questions about the impact on revenue, especially with a slowing economy. Hawaii News Now.

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Until next time,

Russ Roberts