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“Hawai’i may boost Medicaid payments to help patients access care.”

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

Accessed on 20 March 2023, 2200 UTC.

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Russ Roberts

Locally Owned, Locally Committed Since 1955
Today's Hawaii News
Hawai‘i may boost Medicaid payments to help patients access care
State lawmakers are considering boosting Medicaid reimbursement rates for health care providers in an effort to improve access to care for low-income residents who often struggle to find doctors willing to take their insurance. Star-Advertiser.

Cargo ships put Hawaiʻi’s fragile marine ecosystem at risk of a deadly coral pathogen
Since its first identification in Florida in 2014, stony coral tissue loss disease has earned a reputation as being deadly. Scientists suspect cargo ships could put places like Hawai‘i at risk for SCTLD because ships occasionally import invasive species to the islands. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawai‘i abortion protection bill heads to governor
A measure protecting health care workers who perform abortions across the islands, including procedures on women traveling here from out of state, passed out of both chambers at the state Legislature Friday and now heads to Gov. Josh Green’s desk for his signature. Star-Advertiser.

Why this Hawai‘i lawmaker’s job with a major construction company raises concern
State Rep. Micah Aiu works as an in-house lawyer for Nan Inc., a major construction company that competes aggressively for state jobs. Since last summer alone, Nan was awarded eight state contracts worth $325 million, according to state procurement records. Civil Beat.

Pilot program to return houseless people to the continent advances at the Legislature
A measure that would establish a three-year pilot program at the state Department of Human Services to help houseless individuals fly back to their families on the continental U.S. has progressed in the Legislature. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bill would legalize the sale of raw milk
Representative Mark Nakashima introduced the bill and says the measure aims to create greater food security for small communities. If passed, the bill will also allow the sale of raw goat milk for pet consumption. Maui Now.

State lawmakers seek to bolster school lunch program
State Senate Bill 154 would require the Department of Education to develop and implement a School Meal Subsidy Program to provide lunches for students who do not qualify for the National School Lunch Program. Tribune-Herald.

Gambling bills go bust in Legislature
Several measures that would have established a state-regulated gambling industry were introduced at the start of the legislative session this year, but all stalled out almost immediately. Tribune-Herald.

Bill removes power to suspend electronic media during emergency
A House Bill that would remove the ability of the Hawaiʻi governor, or a county mayor, to suspend “electronic media transmission during a state of emergency”, advanced in the State Senate on Friday. Big Island Video News.

Gov. Green considers nominations for intermediate court of appeals
Five nominees for Associate Judge for the Intermediate Court of Appeals have been announced for consideration by the State Judicial Selection Committee to Gov. Josh Green. Maui Now.

Hirono condemns proposed 50% cut in cost of living allowance for military families in Hawaiʻi
U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono highlighted Hawaiʻi’s high cost of living and emphasized her opposition to the proposed cuts to this allowance.  Maui Now.

School councils are supposed to be the local school boards in Hawai‘i. But they’re hit or miss
A key part of local school oversight and parent engagement is left largely up to individual schools, with wildly varied results. Civil Beat.

Kamehameha Schools quietly selecting new board trustee
Three finalists are being considered to join a board that oversees one of the world’s largest charitable trusts, with a net worth of $15.1 billion and holdings that include hundreds of thousands of acres and schools on three islands giving preference to Native Hawaiian children. Star-Advertiser.

Former Gov. Ige gets another lava tube award
The Big Island Press Club sponsors the awards. The Lava Tube dishonor is given for a lack of communication and keeping the public in the dark. Big Island Video News.

Hawaiian relics, including Queen Lili‘uokalani’s personal flag, to be returned
State Archivist Adam Jansen will be headed to New York later this month to bring Hawai‘i items from Bonham’s auction house home. One of the items is Queen Lili‘uokalani’s Royal Standard, her personal flag that flew over her Washington Place home on the day the Hawaiian Kingdom was overthrown. Hawaii News Now.

Photo: Aaron Yoshino
My Job Is Helping Patients Access Health and Social Services
Community health care professional Airleen Lucero works on the front line of medicine: outreach and education… read more.
Plans for $300M emergency base move ahead
A state agency spearheading the First Responder Technology Campus finalized an environmental impact statement for the project earlier this month, and many Hawai‘i lawmakers appear poised to appropriate $100 million to begin building an initial phase. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i Convention Center needs more than $15M quick fix for leaks
Gov. Josh Green has released $15 million in general obligation bonds so the Hawai‘i Convention Center can shore up a leaky rooftop terrace deck — but it’s just a temporary fix and costs for permanent repairs are projected to escalate over the next three years by at least 35% to $88 million. Star-Advertiser.

HPD urged to use recruit incentives and create Wai‘anae patrol district
County lawmakers are urging the city to create the long-planned Wai‘anae patrol district by finishing a half-built police substation and paying recruiting bonuses to officers who help fill uniformed vacancies that numbered 374 as of March 5. Star-Advertiser.

Navy works to repair wastewater plant amid more issues
State and military officials say they are working together to make repairs and improvements to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-­Hickam’s leaky wastewater treatment plant. Star-Advertiser.

Photo: courtesy of Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters

Doug Rogers of Moss Construction Recognized as 2023 Outstanding Union Builder of the Year

In less than a decade, under Rogers’ leadership, Moss Construction built partnerships with local companies that are addressing affordable housing and climate change… read more.

Kona Community Hospital Pharmacy needs funds to stay operational
The pharmacy at Kona Community Hospital needs an additional $2.3 million from the state Legislature to comply with federal regulations or risk closure, potentially affecting over 500 chemotherapy patients.  West Hawaii Today.

Military dignitaries from around the world make stop at Pōhakuloa Training Area on Hawai‘i Island
Nearly 30 foreign military attachés and their spouses visited U.S. Army Garrison Pōhakuloa Training Area and Kawaihae Harbor as part of a Headquarters Department of the Army sponsored tour of O‘ahu and the island of Hawai‘i. Kauai Now.

Photo: Getty Images
The Downtown Honolulu Parking Guide is Back
Need a parking space in the city for a month or just a day? Check our online guide, which includes locations, daily and monthly prices, and more information to find the right place at the right price... read more.
Maui Health employees vote ‘No’ in latest contract offer, strike to continue
Nearly 500 Maui Health System employees rejected the latest three-year contract offer. Represented by the United Public Workers AFSCME, Local 646, AFL-CIO, the employees had three days to ratify the fourth contract agreement with Maui Health. KITV4.

State takes control of grounded boat near Maui cultural site
The state is taking control of a 56-foot motorboat, Kuuipo, that has been grounded on the north side of the Lahaina Boat Harbor channel since earlier this month to prevent it from damaging the culturally significant Hauola Stone. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. KHON2.

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay opens after $300M overhaul
1 Hotel Hanalei Bay, which opened in February on Kaua‘i, aims to set new standards of sustainability for the luxury hotel market — an expensive quest that contributed to an investment approaching $2.1 million per room, among the expenditure highs for purchasing and transforming a resort in Hawai‘i. Star-Advertiser.

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