Here are today’s top Hawaii State News stories 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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Locally Owned, Locally Committed Since 1955
Senate revives vacation rental tax bill
The State Senate revoted on and passed SB 1292 by a margin of 13-12, using a Senate procedure known as a Motion for Reconsideration. The bill, already approved by the House of Representatives, now goes to Governor David Ige for signature or veto. On Friday, the Senate deadlocked in a vote on the bill, which requires short term rental platforms like AirBnb to collect state taxes, and it appeared to be dead.
Controversial reopening of Kuhio Highway is delayed
The state has postponed the reopening of a 2-mile-stretch of Kuhio Highway, which has been closed to non-local traffic for more than a year. The state DOT and Gov. David Ige had said that the road was on track to reopen May 1; however, a state consultant announced last night on Kauai community Facebook page that the reopening would be delayed.
Southern Airways announces new partnership with SkyWest
Skywest Inc. has acquired a minority equity interest in Southern Airways Corporation, the parent company of Southern Airways Express and Mokulele Airlines. The strategic investment by SkyWest Inc. is expected to enhance Southern’s recruiting capabilities. It would provide a career pathway that could lead to SkyWest, a regional giant, for Southern’s more than 200 pilots.
Company takes environmental approach to deconstruction in West Hawaii
One company on Hawaii Island has assumed a more macro view of recycling and in only a year has filled an entire baseyard with salvaged material from demolished structures. Re-use Hawaii is a nonprofit deconstruction business, and the only one of its kind, focused on reducing the single largest landfill waste stream in the state.
Plans for a new Navy dry dock leave ship repair industry divided
When it comes to industries with the potential to help diversify Hawaii’s economy, few have greater promise than the maritime industries, especially ship maintenance and repair. But a legislative initiative to help develop a new dry dock at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shows just how thorny it can be for the government to engineer solutions, even when the stated goal is a worthy one: to help protect good jobs, including high-paying skilled positions.
Overall, the Islands are often ranked as the healthiest state in America. But diabetes, excessive drinking, and other problems are on the rise and health outcomes are worse than …more
TODAY’S FACT, FIGURE OR PHRASE
“For the first quarter of 2019, Hawaii hotel room revenues fell by 4.7 percent to $1.13B compared to the $1.18B earned in the first quarter of 2018.”
– Hawaii Hotel Performance Report published by the Hawaii Tourism Authority
ANNOUNCEMENTS & UPDATES
Pacific Current opens Honolulu headquarters
Pacific Current, a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries dedicated to making long-term infrastructure investments in support of Hawaii’s sustainability goals, officially opened its headquarters in Honolulu at Pacific Guardian Center.
The Oahu Resource Conservation & Development Council will host the fourth annual Parade of Farms event Saturday May 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day-long event will showcase local farms and agribusinesses located in the heart of Waianae, providing a “behind-the-scenes” look into the business and lifestyle of local farming.
Improve the health of your employees with a quality health plan from Kaiser Permanente. Plans start at $286 – the lowest costing plan in the state for small businesses.* (Based on KP Gold 20 plan whose employees are 21-24 years old.)