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State legislature releases record-breaking $8.7 billion budget.

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

Accessed on 28 April 2022, 2021 UTC.

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Today's Hawaii News
Lawmakers lay out a record-setting $8.7 billion state budget
House and Senate lawmakers on Wednesday unveiled a new state budget for next year that includes $350 million in funding for a new stadium at Hālawa, but no additional planning money for a new jail. The $8.7 billion budget is a record amount, and is about $400 million more than what Gov. David Ige asked for in his budget submitted to the Legislature last year. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Friday deadline looms for Hawai‘i lawmakers to raise minimum wage
Supporters rallied in events across the islands to urge lawmakers to agree on a final version by Friday. The sticking point has been how much the raises will be and how fast they will be implemented. The last minimum wage increase was four years ago to its current rate at $10.10 an hour, and supporters of the bill said that’s not enough to make ends meet. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i lawmakers reach agreement on cash bail reform
A measure to let people accused of nonviolent misdemeanors go free without bail will be put to a final vote in the House and Senate next week. Putting an end to Hawai‘i’s cash bail system has long been on the wish list of many criminal justice advocates who say bail unfairly impacts low-income individuals who can’t afford it. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers adopt resolution apologizing for ban on Hawaiian language in schools
The state Legislature has adopted a resolution that apologizes to Native Hawaiians for a law that effectively banned the use of the Hawaiian language in schools. Originally, a law in the 80s enforced the use of English in all public and private schools, and those who spoke Hawaiian faced consequences. Hawaii News Now.

Mounting speculation about a Kahele run for governor triggers ‘grand chess game’
Freshman Congressman Kai Kahele isn’t talking about it, but there’s growing anticipation that he’ll run for governor ― and he hasn’t denied it. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i transitioning from Covid-19 emergency, but pandemic continues
Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday that the state’s response to Covid-19 is transitioning from an emergency mode to public health management. Changes to expect include less emphasis on mass testing and infection control, and a greater focus on improving access to approved Covid-19 treatments and monitoring of future variants of the coronavirus. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Wayne Samiere, CEO and owner of Honolulu Fish Co.
Honolulu Fish Company: 2022 SmallBiz Editor’s Choice Award Winner – Food and Beverage
When Honolulu Fish Co. started, it depended on word of mouth and sold around 200 to 500 pounds of fish a week. Today it sells 50,000 to 60,000 pounds a week. Customers include local and mainland households, restaurants, hotels and casinos. “Our backbone is trust. I respect my customers and I want them to always believe in us… read more.
$96 million federal grant to replace Mokapu Elementary
The state is receiving a $96 million federal grant to help replace Mokapu Elementary School because of “capacity and facility condition deficiencies,” Marine Corps Base Hawaii announced this week. The 14.2-acre campus includes 12 permanent school buildings, most of which were built in 1960, plus 10 portable structures. Star-Advertiser.

Prosecutor declines to charge HPD corporal following domestic violence arrest in Kāne‘ohe
Cpl. Roland Masao Kam, 49, was arrested April 17 on suspicion of misdemeanor abuse of a family or household member, second- degree unlawful imprisonment and interference with reporting an emergency or crime, according to the Honolulu Police Department. Star-Advertiser.

HPD officers involved in Mākaha crash want public-paid attorneys
A contested case hearing will be held to determine if two HPD officers accused of causing a serious crash will get a city-funded legal defense. Civil Beat.

One less candidate in the running for the next Honolulu police chief
The Honolulu Police Commission announced that one of the eight candidates running for the next police chief has withdrawn his or her name. The next step will be three days of testing, which starts on May 9. The commission expects to pick the next chief by June. KITV4.

Inside the ‘frantic’ push to shorten rail and keep its federal funding
Project officials stress that they’re still fully committed to getting rail to Ala Moana, but it’s still not clear financially how that would happen. Rail leaders are presenting a “truncated project scope” to the Federal Transit Administration in order to secure rail’s remaining federal dollars. They’ll keep building toward Ala Moana using local tax revenues alone, without the help of the feds. But its unclear what the funding scheme for that would be. Civil Beat.

Photo: courtesy of Cades Schutte

Serving Hawai‘i: Cades Schutte LLP Celebrates a Century of Service

The Cades Foundation is one of the largest private funders of arts in Hawai‘i, and promotes education, the well-being of children, the arts, and health and human services. In celebration of its centennial and to honor its commitment to serving the community, the firm is doubling down on its pro bono and volunteer activities with the launch of their Hoʻokupu for 100 Initiative… read more.

Meeting about Pohakuloa Training Area lease extension draws mostly opponents
The U.S. Army found few supporters at a Monday public discussion about whether part of the Pohakuloa Training Area should remain under Army control. Opponents said the 23,000-acre lease should not be renewed, and that the Army also should vacate the remaining 109,000 acres of federal land. Much of the negative testimony came from ideological grounds, with several testifiers opposing U.S. military interventionism overseas. Tribune-Herald.

Thirty Meter Telescope project names new executive director
Robert P. Kirshner succeeds Edward C. Stone as executive director of TIO, or TMT International Observatory LLC. He’s known for his scientific work in the field of supernova explosions and their application to the measurement of the history of the universe. Big Island Video News.

Click here to listen to The Hawaii Business Podcast
Listen to The Hawaii Business Podcast

Join our host Unyong Nakata as we take you behind the scenes with some of Hawaiʻi’s most influential business and community leaders. We’ll focus on big issues impacting Hawaiʻi, its organizations, and of course its people – all with a unique perspective from each of our distinguished guests. Listen Now!
Panel pulls requirement for N. Kīhei affordable housing project so it can move ahead
Saying that a much-needed affordable housing project in North Kīhei shouldn’t be held up over county roadway requirements, Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday morning voted to pull the condition, allowing Hale Kaiola to move full-steam ahead. Maui Now. Maui News.

Maui hospital system still reliant on funds from government
Maui Memorial Medical Center and its health care affiliates in Kula and on Lana‘i continue to struggle financially six years after the state turned over the cash-strapped hospital system to Kaiser Permanente in a bid to save the state tens of millions of dollars annually. Star-Advertiser.

‘We cannot afford to be careless’: Lahaina residents want more water oversight
The state Commission on Water Resource Management is pushing to make the Lahaina aquifer sector, which supplies West Maui’s water, a “surface and ground water management area.” It’s the technical term that means, if future water supplies might be in jeopardy, state regulators can decide who can use water and how much they can take from wells and streams. Locals are asking state regulators to do more to protect the supply of water for future generations. Civil Beat.

State grants $230M for Kaua‘i capital projects
The $230 million for capital improvement projects on Kaua‘i  include improvements to Lihu‘e Airport and Vidinha Stadium. In all, 28 projects throughout the island received funding. Garden Island.

New Wainiha center design addresses community concerns
Planners unveiled the Wainiha Community Resilience Center’s final design Wednesday, reviewing changes made since preliminaries were presented to the public two years ago. The center, for emergency and community services, was conceived in the aftermath of the 2018 North Shore floods. Garden Island.

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