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Unemployment compensation tax bill

The tax exemption would apply to payments, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, received by Hawaii residents between March 1 and December 31.

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

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Bill to exempt unemployment compensation from state income taxes advances
The Senate Ways and Means Committee unanimously approved the proposal yesterday. The exemption would apply to payments, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, received by Hawai‘i residents between March 1 and Dec. 31. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Here’s how tax increases are shaking out in the state Legislature
Senators moved to raise income taxes on high earners, and the House passed capital gains and inheritance tax increases. But whether those tax hikes finally pass this year will depend largely on what happens in Washington, D.C. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i offers more food stamp flexibility amid record participation
About 198,000 people are now enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. To keep up with demand, the state Department of Human Services upgraded its online enrollment system and added online grocery purchases. Hawaii News Now.

Gas prices are on the rise again
AAA Hawaii said gas prices spiked on the Mainland first and now are making their way to Hawai‘i. In past month, prices rose about 15 cents a gallon and could continue rising throughout the year, said an AAA spokesperson. KHON2.

Could tech companies help diversify Hawai‘i’s economy?
Lt. Gov. Josh Green said he thinks returning to pre-pandemic mass tourism would be detrimental to the environment and suggested incentivizing technology companies to relocate to Hawai‘i as a way to boost the economy. KITV4.

Kahele, Case divided on whether inmates should vote from prison
A failed amendment to a U.S. House bill that seeks to expand voting rights and reduce the influence of money in politics highlights some differences between Hawai‘i’s Democratic congressmen. Civil Beat.

BOE defers debate on superintendent’s contract renewal, as opposition grows  
Christina Kishimoto has called criticism of her leadership style “a distraction,” saying she needs to focus on more important issues. On Thursday, the teachers’ union urged the Board of Education to reject the new contract. Civil Beat. KHON2. Hawaii News Now. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Mazie Hirono memoir to be published in April
The book will chronicle her immigrant journey from Japan to Hawai‘i and all the way to the U.S. Senate. Civil Beat.

5 Steps to Being in Business with Your Spouse
Family relationships are often challenging, but especially when that family is in business together. And working with your spouse might be the biggest challenge of all, but… read more.
O‘ahu could move to Tier 4 if COVID-19 cases continue to drop
Honolulu’s seven-day rolling average of new cases was 23 on Thursday, with an average positivity rate of 0.9%. That meets one benchmark to move to Tier 4, which allows gatherings of 25 people, up from 10. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

DUI first-time offenders accept lesser convictions in an effort to reduce backlogs
Prosecutors and defense lawyers are turning to compromise to get cases moving through the courts. They have agreed on a lesser conviction for first-time DUI offenders. KHON2.

Median price of single-family homes on O‘ahu hits a new high: $920,000
The record comes as Hawai‘i’s housing market continues to experience strong demand amid low supply. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i lawmaker wants report on military seawall at ‘Ewa Beach
State officials have warned that a proposed underground seawall to protect the Marines’ Pu‘uloa Range Training Facility would cause massive coastal erosion. Civil Beat.

Surf equity bill for contests at North Shore parks advances
Citing a historical dearth of surfing competitions for women in Hawai‘i, Bill 93 was recommended for passage by the Parks and Community Services Committee and advances to the Honolulu City Council for consideration. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

How to Diversify Your Business

Gary Hogan of Hogan Hospitality offers a guide on how to get out of your business comfort zone. Here are a few tips for branching out and benefiting from diversification… read more.

State House approves resolution to develop new Mauna Kea management structure
The House of Representatives approved a resolution yesterday to form a working group that will develop a new management structure for Mauna Kea. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Caltech Submillimeter Observatory could be removed from Mauna Kea’s summit by 2022
Representatives of California Institute of Technology presented their decommissioning plans at a Tuesday meeting of UH’s Mauna Kea Management Board. Tribune-Herald.

$884K change order pushes up cost of Hilo roadwork
The rehabilitation work includes repaving, installing pavement markers, striping and traffic detectors along a 1.5-mile stretch of Kilauea Ave. Tribune-Herald.

Cinder cone left by Kīlauea’s fissure 8 gets a name: Ahu‘aila‘au
The 100-foot cinder cone marks the spot of the prolific and most prominent vent in the 2018 eruption. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Supporting Your Employees’ Financial Literacy

Companies are becoming more attuned to the fact that their employees’ financial well-being is inherently tied to their performance at work. Here’s how you can invest in your employees’ financial well-being..read more.
90-unit affordable rental project gets nod from county committee
Developers of the Kīhei project are seeking nearly $6 million from the county’s Affordable Housing Fund to help acquire land. Maui News.

Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority published its new visitor management plan 
The 2021-2023 Maui Nui Destination Management Action Plan is part of the authority’s strategic vision to manage tourism in a responsible manner. Maui Now.

Lāna‘i and Moloka‘i on track to open vaccinations to all residents 16 and up
More than half of residents on the two islands have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and shots will soon be available to everyone 16 and older, according to the state Department of Health. Hawaii News Now.

EPA slaps state with a nearly $222,000 fine for operating illegal cesspools on Kaua‘i
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has been fined $221,670 for operating seven large-capacity cesspools on Kaua‘i. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned this type of cesspool in 2005 because it can pollute water resources. Hawaii News NowMaui Now.
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