The Conversation: This Year's Legislative Opening Looks a Little Different

Jan 20, 2021

Legislature convenes with increased security measures; Reality Check: Panel will evaluate State Auditor's performance; The Long View with Neal Milner: Building national unity; Hawaii's strategy to combat sex trafficking evaluated; Realities of the digital divide; Manu Minute


Legislature convenes with increased security measures

Credit Ryan Finnerty / Hawaii Public Radio


The Hawaii State Legislature marks the first day of its new legislative session with increased security and public health restrictions. HPR Government reporter Ryan Finnerty breaks down this unprecedented start.

Reality Check: Panel will evaluate State Auditor's performance

Honolulu Civil Beat's Stewart Yerton reports that House Speaker Scott Saiki has convened a panel to look into the State Auditor's office. Saiki cites concerns about missed deadlines and litigation between State Auditor Les Kondo and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Click here to read the full story at civilbeat.org.

The Long View with Neal Milner: Building national unity

Credit Ryan Finnerty / Hawaii Public Radio

Political analyst Neal Milner joins us on Inauguration Day to discuss how to rebuild national unity and heal divisions within communities. He recommends reading Mckay Coppins' "The Most American Religion," a semi-autobiographical essay about the cultural and political shifts taking place within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Hawaii's strategy to combat sex trafficking evaluated

Shared Hope International recently released report cards grading each state's efforts in combatting sex trafficking over the past ten years. Samantha Vardman, Vice President of the Institute of Justice and Advocacy for Shared Hope, tells us how Hawaii stacks up.

Realities of the digital divide

Credit Ilihia Gionson / Hiehie Communications

Even as more of our everyday lives take place online, roughly 10% of Hawaii residents do not have internet in their homes. High rates of unemployment over the course of the pandemic have forced many families to cut back and prioritize groceries and rent over home internet subscriptions. Families in low-income communities have also reported that low credit scores make them ineligible for free connectivity programs through telecom companies. Brad Bennett of the Kuauli Digital Opportunities Initiative discusses his organization's work in expanding access to computers in Hawaii's rural communities.



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