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When a Hawaii inmate dies at any of the state's jails or prisons, the state Public Safety Department is required to provide a report to the governor withing 48 hours. A legislative proposal would require that same report be made available to the public and a copy given to the inmates' family.

Catherine Cruz / HPR

Economic recovery ahead of the inauguration; Reality Check with Civil Beat: State owes feds $700 million for unemployment benefits; Marking the anniversary of the Hibiscus Drive Shooting

Economic recovery ahead of the election 

Farragutful/Wikimedia Commons

Improved public access at the state Legislature; Priorities from the Hawaii Senate; Reality Check with Civil Beat: Audit slams Hawaii Agribusiness Development Corp.; Hawaii Island doctor shortage worsens

Hawaii State Legislature

State lawmakers are taking a hard look this session at some of the long-standing issues contributing to the spread of the coronavirus in Hawaiʻi’s jails and prisons. According to the latest data from the state Public Safety Department, nearly half of Hawaiʻi inmates have contracted COVID-19 while behind bars.

State Labor Director; House Finance Outlook; Reality Check: Remote Learning Initiative; Outrigger Hotels

State Labor Director

daveiam/Flickr / CC 2.0 license

Much of the state legislature’s business during the upcoming five month session will be conducted remotely, which is already creating technical challenges.

daveiam/Flickr / CC 2.0 license

Gambling on Hawaiian Home Lands, greater burial protections, and OHA election reform are just some of the top Native Hawaiian issues up for debate among state lawmakers this year. Whether these proposals advance or even get a hearing depends on each chambers’ Hawaiian Affairs committee. But what if this committee lacks native Hawaiian legislators? 


Ryan Finnerty / HPR

Hawaii Governor David Ige says his proposed two-year spending plan reflects the difficult decisions forced on the state by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pictures of Money / Flickr
Pictures of Money / Flickr

State lawmakers are due back in session June 15th after passing a spending plan for the state last week. But there is still work ahead as key players try and sort through what to expect when it comes to money coming into our tax coffers and money from the Federal Government.

Kurt Edblom / Flickr

Thousands of acres of watershed land in the West Maui Mountains are up for sale and state lawmakers are considering buying the property. 

Senate President Ron Kouchi; Governor on Covid-19; Princess Kawananakoa's Financial Status in Question; Tim Wu on Net Neutrality

Ryan Finnerty

Opening day at the Hawaii State Legislature; Striking findings from Pew Research Center's 2019 studies; Recycling challenges on Maui; Bringing wasted down to zero

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is asking the Legislature for more than $40 million this year to deliver homestead lots to qualified native Hawaiians.

Ryan Finnerty

Although we are still months away from the 2020 Hawaii legislative session, lawmakers are already looking at ways to limit the use of electronic smoking devices.

Casey Harlow / Hawaii Public Radio

A former University of Hawaii regent plans to sue over what he calls an unconstitutional reduction of the university’s governing board. State lawmakers cut the number of regents by more than 25 percent in the 2019 legislative session.

Wikimedia Commons

State lawmakers are scheduled to wrap up their 2019 session in less than three weeks. Friday marked a critical deadline for any bills that are still alive, a process called Second Crossover. 

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Nolan Espinda, Gov. David Ige’s nominee to head the state Department of Public Safety, won’t get the backing of a key legislative committee.

Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii lawmakers are on the path to eliminating a decades’ old exemption on corporate taxes for a certain class of real estate company. Real Estate Investment Trusts, or REITs, were created in Congress in 1960 and their profits are exempt from taxes by the federal government and 49 states.

TeroVesalainen / Pixabay

HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers eager to gather tax revenue from the state's flourishing, yet mostly unpermitted, vacation rental sector on Tuesday passed legislation that would require websites like Airbnb to collect and pay taxes on behalf of short-term rental hosts.

Hawaii State Capitol

Today on Bytemarks Café, as we approach crossover in the legislative session there are several bills to keep an eye on. Burt will talk to Transform Hawaiʻi Government, and learn about bills to advance government data, establish a Chief Data Officer, and commit to an IT strategic plan.

The State Legislature is at the one-third mark of its 60-day session.  Today, lawmakers met to pass nearly one thousand bills to be sent to the opposite chamber for further consideration.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

 

Wikipedia / Public Domain

Around the country, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies seize millions of dollars’ worth of property every year. That property is then sold and used to expand the budgets of those police agencies. A recent Supreme Court decision may signal a change in how the process can be applied.

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Legalizing recreational marijuana is a hot topic across the nation. Hawaii already allows medical marijuana...is this the year it legalizes recreational use? HPR Reporter Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi posed that question to those at the 2019 Hawaiʻi Cannabis Expo.

The Conversation: Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

May 3, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

2018 Legislative Season Wrap-up; Farm Tour Flooding; Hawaiian Bird Symphony; Innovative Bike Designs

Trisha Kehaulani Watson-Sproat

February is Hawaiian language month in the state of Hawai‘i. Nearly 40 years ago, the Hawaiian language was recognized as one of two official languages in the state. While the Hawaiian language speaking community has grown, recent events in a Maui courtroom have led to questions about what it really means to have Hawaiian as an official language. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has this story.

The Conversation: Monday, November 6th, 2017

Nov 6, 2017
Kessler Air Force Base

Shortage of Certified Dialysis Centers; Electricity Rates Compared to Oil Rates; Pono Politics; Maui Brewing Co.

The Conversation: Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Sep 5, 2017
mrbrkly / Flickr

Legislative Factions; Performance Anxiety; Making Eye-Care Available

Kazuhiko Teramoto/Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons 2.0 License

The Transient Accommodation Tax or T-A-T is the buzzword of the week. At least it will be at the Hawai‘i State Capitol, where lawmakers are in special session to come up with a plan to finance the Honolulu rail project. HPR’s Ku‘uwehi Hiraishi tells us why this tax is so popular. 

Wayne Yoshioka

The Leaders of the State Legislature want federal officials to know they are committed to resolving the funding issue for Honolulu’s Rail Transit project.   But as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports legislative support will be limited.   

“Rail is a city project.  It is not a state project.  And it is the city’s responsibility to provide the financing to complete this project.”

House Speaker Scott Saiki made it clear.  The City is responsible for completing the rail transit project.   And, the State House and Senate leaders are committed to resolving the revenue stream issue.