Welcome to the evening edition of Hawaii State News from Hawaii News Digest. Views expressed in this Hawaii News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents. Content provided by “Hawaii Business Magazine.”
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Possible Trump waiver to Jones Act watched closely by Hawaii shipping industry
The Trump administration is said to be considering a 10-year waiver to the Jones Act to allow foreign-flagged vessels to deliver natural gas to Puerto Rico, and possibly nationwide, creating the latest dust-up over the controversial century-old maritime law. Star-Advertiser.
A flurry of deal-making at the legislature as end of session looms
Hawaii lawmakers on Thursday moved on bills to tax short-term rentals, reform the bail system and require automatic recounts in close elections. But many controversial bills have been postponed until Friday, the last of conference committee in which to move legislation. Civil Beat.
Stricter DUI penalties may be on the horizon
The Legislature is set to pass a bill that would significantly stiffen penalties for drunken driving offenses, including making it a felony if a driver is convicted three times of driving under the influence within 10 years, a charge that carries the possibility of up to five years imprisonment. Star-Advertiser.
Lawmakers pass executive budget leftovers
State lawmakers agreed to $19.7 million of extra funds for positions and other programs at state departments over the next two fiscal years. The agreement reached Thursday in House Bill 116 is in addition to a $16 billion spending plan lawmakers approved in March. Civil Beat.
Funding construction projects passes
Hawaii lawmakers unveiled a state construction budget for the next two years that totals more than $3.4 billion in projects to be funded with state, federal and other funds, including injections of funding into affordable housing, airport projects and school construction. Star-Advertiser.KHON2.Big Island Now.
Internal affairs case opened into Public Safety Department’s head trainer
The Public Safety Department has launched an internal investigation on the head of training for more than 1,000 deputy sheriffs and corrections officers statewide. The investigation was started after a Hawaii News Now report on April 11 showed discrepancies on into Marte Martinez’s various applications for promotions within the department since 2013. Hawaii News Now.
State lacks jurisdiction to monitor impacts of HMSA’s changes, insurance division says
Some of Hawaii doctors say they are struggling financially under the Hawaii Medical Service Association’s new payment model, arguing it is exacerbating the state’s serious physician shortage and extending wait times for patients. Evaluating the impact of the changes has been difficult because the state doesn’t have the means to monitor the wholesale changes underway that potentially impacts an estimated 750,000 HMSA members.Hawaii Public Radio.
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