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State Senate kills Casino Bill

State Senate Bill 1321, which would allow limited casino activity in Kapolei, has been “deferred indefinitely.”

Views expressed in this Hawaii State News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

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Locally Owned, Locally Committed Since 1955
2.19.2021
TOP STORIES
Senate panel kills final DHHL casino proposal
Hawai‘i residents won’t be seeing a casino on O‘ahu or elsewhere anytime soon. Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, chairwoman of the Hawaiian Affairs Committee, deferred Senate Bill 1321 indefinitely Thursday. Had it passed into law, the measure would have allowed the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to regulate limited casino gaming on lands in Kapolei. Civil BeatHonolulu Star-AdvertiserHawaii News Now.

UH to restore executive salaries as state’s budget situation improves
More than 200 executives will have their full pay restored after taking temporary cuts in November. Those making up to $200,000 a year took a 9.2% pay cut, while higher earners took an additional 11% cut on their salaries over $200,000. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

School board votes to keep pay hikes for special ed teachers and others, despite superintendent’s misgivings 
The state Board of Education voted yesterday to continue funding hard-to-staff areas with additional pay of up to $10,000. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
But Superintendent Christina Kishimoto says the DOE can’t afford pay boosts for the 4,000 teachers, which cost the state about $33 million. Hawaii News Now.

Sen. Mazie Hirono to chair subcommittee on military seapower
The U.S. Senate subcommittee oversees most of the operations and funding for the Navy and Marine Corps. Hawai‘i is a central hub for both. Civil Beat.

Honolulu, Maui lawsuits against oil companies will proceed in state court
Both counties are among dozens of jurisdictions that have filed suit against a long list of fossil fuel companies, seeking damages for the mounting costs of dealing with climate change. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Proposed luxury car tax would pay for EV infrastructure
House Bill 1142 would apply a 1% general excise tax surcharge on cars with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of more than $60,000. Hawai‘i Public Radio.

Could Hawai‘i’s gas-powered cars soon be a relic of the past?
Electric vehicles represent just 1% of all registered passenger vehicles, but their numbers in Hawai‘i are swiftly rising. Some  lawmakers are looking to make bold moves during this legislative session to help phase out gas-powered cars. Local auto dealers say they’re moving too fast. Civil Beat. Hawai‘i Public Radio.

Third case of highly contagious UK COVID-19 variant detected in Hawai‘i
Health officials say the B.1.1.7 variant was found in an individual on O‘ahu who was a close contact with another person who had contracted the variant. Lt. Gov. Josh Green is optimistic that variants can be controlled in Hawai‘i. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

HAWAII BUSINESS MAGAZINE
20 for the Next 20: Nathan Saint Clare
Nathan Saint Clare is a gifted architect with an international portfolio who prides himself on never being predictable. “Nathan’s a visionary,” says president and CEO of AHL Bettina Mehnert. “It’s easy to get absorbed in day-to-day details or big projects, but he always sees it in context… read more.
OʻAHU
Mayor Rick Blangiardi hopes to reward O‘ahu residents for good pandemic behavior
Next Wednesday’s daily COVID-19 update by the state Department of Health will determine whether Blangiardi moves the city to the less restrictive Tier 3 from the current Tier 2, which has been in effect since Oct. 22. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. KHON2. KITV4.

Police seize more than a dozen gambling machines, cash in Sand Island raid
Honolulu police raided an illegal game room on Sand Island Access Road near the intersection of N. Nimitz Highway on Wednesday night. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

SPONSORED BY HVCA
Tune in for the 21st annual HVCA Entrepreneur Awards

This year, the HVCA Entrepreneur Awards are going virtual! Tune in on February 20th at 7pm on KHON2 as we celebrate Hawaiʻiʻs rising entrepreneurs, including the announcement of the People’s Choice Startup of the Year honoree. Registration will enter you for giveaways leading up to the awards!
Register today >>

HAWAIʻI ISLAND
Council supports broadband plan; unanimous vote comes despite inclusion of 5G
A resolution passed by the County Council refers to 5G technology as an option for bridging the digital divide, but council members — most of whom had previously approved two resolutions attempting to limit 5G on the island — don’t see it as a conflict. West Hawaii Today.

UH, DOE employees to be vaccinated Saturday
About 2,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be administered to employees of UH Hilo, Hawai‘i Community College, the state Department of Education and other educational entities. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island’s drop in COVID-19 cases is not linked to less testing
Mayor Mitch Roth’s office says funding for testing has remained consistent even as inoculations increase. Big Island Now. KITV4.

HAWAII BUSINESS MAGAZINE
3 Ways to Drive Innovation at Your Business

In Hawai‘i, several Top 250 businesses make innovation a strategic focus and a way to streamline operations, cut costs and provide better experiences and products for employees and customers. Here is a look inside three of those innovative local companies..read more.
MAUI COUNTY
Inmate vaccinations to begin next week
Maui Community Correctional Center will start vaccinating inmates next week in an effort to control a COVID-19 outbreak, the state Department of Health said Wednesday. Maui News.

Mainland couple gives $400,000 to help Grand Wailea workers 
A mainland couple who frequently visits the Valley Isle donated $400,000 to the Maui Mālama Project to assist workers at the Grand Wailea Maui with rent and mortgage, utility, child care and other expenses. Maui Now.

KAUAʻI
Beach park camping for the houseless will end
Beginning next month, the county plans to suspend its Shelter in Place program, which issued permits to houseless individuals and families to live at county-owned beach parks. Garden Island.

Hawai‘i plans for post-pandemic tourism, starting with Kaua‘i
The state has released a new blueprint for redefining tourism in the post-COVID-19 era. The plan hopes to mitigate community concerns over traffic and overcrowding on Kaua‘i while maintaining the benefits from the state’s dominant industry. Civil Beat.

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