Welcome to a “Hawaii State News” update from Hawaii News Digest. Views expressed in this Hawaii News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents. Content provided by “Hawaii Business Magazine.” Accessed on 29 April 2019, 2045 UTC, Post 18805.
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Ala Wai Canal: Flood control project will do little to clean up the polluted waterway
Federal engineers could ease the impacts of its plan if it also worked to restore the local ecology, conservationists say. The agency says its hands are tied. Civil Beat.
Bill to increase minimum wage dies
While nearly all lawmakers wanted to increase Hawaii’s minimum wage this year, state House and Senate negotiators threw in the towel Friday afternoon. Concerns about different rates of increase and the impact to employer health care plans are what scuttled a deal. Civil Beat.Tribune-Herald.
Bill to tax REITs advances, vacation rental tax does not
Senate Bill 301, which would impose Hawaii’s 6.2% corporate income tax on real estate investment trusts, was approved unanimously by conferees last Friday. But another major tax bill regulating short-term vacation rentals, Senate Bill 1292, went down in a narrow defeat in a late-evening floor session. Civil Beat.
Lawmakers pass changes to state’s Assisted Community Treatment law
It may soon be easier for mental health professionals and the court to force chronically homeless people with severe mental illnesses into treatment. Mental health advocates say the way the ACT law is worded currently has kept hundreds of homeless people suffering from mental illness trapped on the streets.Hawaii News Now.
Red light cameras get green light
A proposed statewide red light detector system will first operate as a pilot program for at least a year. The purpose of the bill was to establish a photo red light detector systems program to deter motorists from running red lights. West Hawaii Today.
Gun group says it will sue if new law enacted
Lawmakers have approved a proposed “red flag” law for Hawaii that is designed to keep firearms away from people who may pose a danger to themselves or others, but the Hawaii Rifle Association says it will sue the state if Gov. David Ige signs the measure into law. SB 1466 would create a process that police or family members could use to petition Family Court for a protective order to prevent a person from accessing firearms if that person “poses a danger of causing bodily injury” to anyone, including himself or herself. Star-Advertiser.
Ag department likely to get hemp program
Senate Bill 1353, which awaits final floor votes next week, would align Hawaii with the 2018 federal Farm Act that legalized industrial hemp farming nationwide and removed hemp from the list of Schedule I controlled substances. Civil Beat.Tribune-Herald.
Hawaiian salt could evaporate under U.S. Food and Drug Administration ban
The FDA has issued a warning that the color additives used to make red and black Hawaiian salt, clay from Kauai and charcoal, are not approved as safe, thereby rendering the popular gourmet items illegal for sale. This predicament led local manufacturers of the two artisanal, premium-priced salts to seek assistance from state lawmakers for certifying the salts as safe to make them legal under FDA regulations. Star-Advertiser.
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