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Hawaii State Budget Surplus

Some Hawaii taxpayers could get a $300 check from the state.

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

Accessed on 07 April 2022, 2202 UTC.

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Today's Hawaii News
Some Hawai‘i taxpayers could get a $300 check from the state
Lawmakers have reached an agreement to revive a proposal that would help to kick some of the state’s $2 billion budget surplus back to residents. The rebates are expected to cost the state about $250 million. Taxpayers earning less than $100,000 annually could receive a $300 tax rebate while those earning more than $100,000 could get a rebate of $100. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Firefighters get pay raise, HPD up next
Firefighters have been without a contract since July 2021. The president of the firefighters union said the new contract is a fair one. He added that police officers will likely get a similar deal when their contract is renewed. Officials said the extra money should help solve the ongoing staff shortages. KHON2.

‘Homesick’ Navy officer files lawsuit after being denied Hawai‘i gun permit
Two attorneys are hoping to change a Hawai‘i gun law after a Navy officer was forced to give up his personal firearms because he had sought psychological counseling after feeling depressed and homesick. The attorneys claim the state is using problematic language to deny people gun permits on the basis of mental health. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawai‘i Health Department confirms 3rd case of Legionnaires’ disease in Waikīkī
The Hawai‘i Department of Health confirmed an additional case of Legionnaires’ disease in a guest who stayed at The Grand Islander by Hilton Grand Vacations in Waikīkī. It’s a potentially deadly form of pneumonia that can be spread through inhaling aerosolized water droplets. DOH said water samples collected in March indicated potential for legionella growth within the building’s potable water system and that additional analyses are ongoing. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Surge of Japanese visitors expected, travel agent group says
A travel official expects to see Japanese visitors return to Hawai‘i this year at 40% of the pre-pandemic level. On Sunday, Japan also is expected to begin increasing the limit on daily inbound arrivals to 10,000, up from 7,000. The move allows more students and people with business in Japan to enter the country, although tourism to Japan still isn’t allowed. Star-Advertiser.

Photo: Aaron Yoshino
Best Places to Work in Hawaiʻi Celebration
Hawaii Business Magazine hosted its first in-person Best Places to Work celebration since 2019 on Friday, April 1 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. About 450 people enjoyed a great party, games, prizes and recognition of the best workplaces in the Islands… read more.
Murder suspect, son of Honolulu police officers, did not receive special treatment, Chief Rade Vanic says
There is no indication that a 19-year-old murder suspect, who is the son and stepson of Honolulu police officers, received special treatment after he allegedly shot and killed an 18-year-old man on Round Top Drive during a failed robbery March 18, interim Police Chief Rade Vanic told the Honolulu Police Commission on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Commission says Honolulu should fund defense for cops in Lindani Myeni killing
The Honolulu Police Commission approved a city-funded legal defense for the officers accused in a wrongful death lawsuit in connection with the fatal shooting of Lindani Myeni. The lawsuit alleges that the officers were negligent when they responded to a call about an alleged burglary and approached Myeni without lights or a siren on before shining a flashlight in his face on April 14, 2021. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

‘Nobody knows what’s going on’: Kalihi is transforming despite uncertainty about rail
Commercial property values have spiked along the rail line since the tax to build the project went into effect. But rail didn’t create that new value, local analysts say. Civil Beat.

The clock is ticking on the Waimānalo landfill in West Oʻahu. Here are the city’s options
The main garbage dump for the island is supposed to close by March 2028 and the city has to decide on a new site by the end of 2022, as ordered by the state Land Use Commission. The city’s Landfill Advisory Committee, which is charged with finding the new site, voted Monday not to recommend any of the proposed six locations. Hawaii Public Radio.

State’s first tiny home project addressing homelessness welcomes first residents
A ceremony to officially welcome new residents to Kama‘oku Kauhale, a tiny-home village for people experiencing homelessness, was held Wednesday in Kalaeloa. The homes cost about $500 a month to rent, although if a person is unable to pay, there are options for using city rent relief programs as well as other subsidies. Residents can live there as long as they want, as it is permanent housing. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Median price of single-family home on O‘ahu soars to new record high: $1.15M
The median price of a single-family home on O‘ahu soared to a new record high of $1,150,000 in March — a 21.1% increase from last year. Hawaii News Now.

Move to 4-day workweek allows O‘ahu’s most elite lifeguards to expand their reach
Since the change two months ago, the city’s rescue ski teams have been able to respond to nearly double the number of calls. Now there’s a push to put all of O‘ahu’s Ocean Safety lifeguards on the same schedule. Hawaii News Now.


Keeping Hawai‘i Healthy

As Hawai‘i begins to loosen Covid regulations, hear from our local healthcare leaders on the key issues affecting our state in the coming year… read more.

‘The details are frightening’: Results of Access to Care survey presented to council
The survey found that due to a lack of financial reimbursement and expensive living conditions in Hawai‘i, almost half of the physicians on the Big Island were considering reducing hours, leaving the medical field altogether or moving off the island. West Hawaii Today.

Council approves harsher penalties for owners of dangerous dogs
The Hawaii County Council on Wednesday passed a bill that would impose steeper penalties on owners of dangerous dogs. Under the bill, owners of dogs that maim or kill a domesticated animal, or cause bodily injury to a person, could be fined up to $1,000 and imprisoned up to 30 days. Tribune-Herald.

Waikoloa timeshare project wins council approval
Some 900 new timeshares are expected to be popping up at the Waikoloa Resort starting within five years, following County Council votes Wednesday approving rezoning that will do away with nine holes of golf and add affordable housing for workers. The project would feature 1,164 timeshare units and 25 single-family home lots on 183 acres currently part of the 18-hole Kings’ Course. West Hawaii Today.

John Kaohelaulii, a cultural practitioner on Kauaʻi, has been playing the Hawaiian strategy game kōnane since he was eight years old. | Photo: Christian Kahahawai
Cultural Practitioners, Advisors Help Educate Visitors About Hawai‘i’s People, Places, History and Culture

Cultural practitioners working in the tourism industry see their roles as integral to ensuring Hawaiian culture is perpetuated accurately and that visitors treat the Islands respectfully. But some practitioners say Hawaiian culture is more.
Mayor’s billion-dollar budget proposal includes new county department
The committee on Tuesday morning began its review of county departments under Mayor Michael Victorino’s record-setting $1.045 billion proposed fiscal year 2023 budget. It includes the county’s new Department of Agriculture, which is currently projected to have a nearly $1.4 million budget and up to eight employees. Maui News.

Maui Councilmember King proposes funding for wastewater solution in Māʻalaea
If approved, the proposed funding of up to $9.5 million will be used to construct a wastewater treatment facility for the Māʻalaea community that currently relies on 24 outdated injection wells. Maui Now.

KIUC touts lowest rate increase, at forefront of renewables
For the third straight year, Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative leads the state in renewables, reporting 69.5% of electricity production coming from renewable sources in its annual filing for 2021. Kaua‘i’s power generation mix for 2021 included 45% solar, 14% hydro and 11% biomass. Rooftop solar from residential and commercial members accounted for one-third of all solar generation. Garden Island.

Everything’s on the table as Kaua‘i writes its first climate change action plan
The plan aims to inventory the top climate change-related impacts the island expects to see and develop a framework for dealing with them — especially when it comes to things like protecting infrastructure, conserving fresh water for agriculture, saving rare native species and making room for rising seas.Civil Beat.

Click here to get your copy of Hawaii Business' March 2022 issue!
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