Audrey McAvoy/AP

Hawaii House and Senate leaders, with the support of Gov. David Ige, on Tuesday unveiled a long list of measures to boost housing, early childhood education and incomes with a particular focus on alleviating the struggles of Hawaii’s working families and poor.

daveiam/Flickr / CC 2.0 license

HILO, Hawaii — The mayor of Hawaii County has identified six legislative priorities ahead of a scheduled meeting with all four county mayors to begin the regular legislative session.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Farmers and ranchers from across the state met with Governor David Ige and legislators today in an attempt to revive a contentious water rights bill. The group says without House Bill 1326, hundreds of Hawaiʻi’s farmers and ranchers would lose their access to water at the end of the year.

Hawaii State Capitol

In some states, one political party dominates even without a lift from gerrymandering. The most extreme examples are Hawaiʻi, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, all of which have legislatures controlled by Democrats.

Wikimedia Commons

The board of directors for the Thirty Meter Telescope is meeting this week to decide whether to extend its April deadline. More time would allow legal proceedings to play out but none of that may matter after today’s floor vote in the state Senate. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

There are now more payday loan stores in Hawaiʻi than there are 7-11s. The state’s growing demand for payday loans is no surprise given the high cost of living in the islands. But with interest rates as high as 459 percent, lawmakers are demanding greater regulation. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has this story.

Paid Sick Leave Being Considered by Legislature

Mar 21, 2017
Wayne Yoshioka

An estimated 43 percent of private sector workers in Hawai’i lack paid sick leave.   As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, state lawmakers are attempting to address this issue.

Legislative Update on Honolulu Rail Transit Funding

Mar 14, 2017

The state legislature is considering a bill to continue funding for Honolulu’s Rail Transit project.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka has this update from lawmakers.    

Hawai'i Legislature Convenes 2017 Session

Jan 18, 2017
Wayne Yoshioka

The Hawai’i State Legislature officially opened its 60-working day session today.    HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka was at the Capitol and files this report.

Governor's Budget Proposal Submitted to Legislature

Dec 19, 2016
Wayne Yoshioka

The Governor submitted his two-year budget request to the legislature today and his overall spending plan is up.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Wayne Yoshioka

State lawmakers were briefed today on the status of sexual assault kits that have not been tested and county plans to resolve the backlogs.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Legislature Funds Homelessness Programs and Services

Apr 28, 2016
Wayne Yoshioka

The State Legislature took up the issue of Homelessness as its top priority at the beginning of this year’s session.   And they have completed their budget recommendations for final approval by the full House and Senate.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Wayne Yoshioka

State lawmakers are considering a bill to plug the insurance gaps for drivers who use personal vehicles to haul paying riders.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Legislature Focused on Permanent Housing for Homeless

Feb 18, 2016
Wayne Yoshioka

More than 40 percent of Hawai’i’s homeless live unsheltered on neighborhood streets, parks, beaches or vacant properties.   But the state does not plan to spend more on shelters for this population.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.  

Industrial Hemp Measures Moving Through Legislature

Feb 11, 2016
Wikipedia Commons

There are a handful of bills dealing with industrial hemp before the state legislature this session.   Some lawmakers are looking at ways to help 675 Maui sugar workers who are scheduled to lose their jobs at the end of the year.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

The state agency responsible for improving the well-being of Native Hawaiians is asking the legislature to lift a decade-old funding restriction.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Lawmakers Briefed by Developers on Rental Housing

Feb 1, 2016
Rachel Elaine. / Flickr
Rachel Elaine. / Flickr

State lawmakers were briefed today on the major challenges developers face in building affordable housing for low income residents.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Tropical Conservation Biology Department, UH Hilo

The Dengue fever outbreak is currently grabbing all of the headlines in Hawai’i.  But as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports there’s a serious tropical disease that has no known cure, has spread across the state and has killed two since 2011.

Ivory Ban Supporters Brief Legislators

Dec 14, 2015
Wayne Yoshioka

The 2016 legislative session is a little more than one month away and a number of lawmakers say homelessness will likely take center stage. But other issues will be considered again next year, including banning ivory sales in Hawai’i. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Hawai'i Health Connector Update for Legislature

Apr 9, 2015
Wayne Yoshioka

Hawai’i’s healthcare insurance portal is under the gun by the federal government to fix its 8-million dollar funding shortfall.   State lawmakers were briefed today on the status of implementing the Affordable Care Act in the state.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Legislation Heading for Friday Deadline

Apr 6, 2015
Wayne Yoshioka

A legislative deadline is looming and supporters of a number of bills are rallying at the Capitol to let lawmakers know they want their measures heard and passed.    HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Hawaii Lawmakers Introduce Prison Reform Bills

Feb 4, 2015
Department of Public Safety
Department of Public Safety

State lawmakers are considering a handful of bills aimed at reforming Hawai‘i’s prison system. One would create and fund a pilot program that would hire part time workers to make sure weekend visitation days are fully staffed. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

Hawai'i Short 50K New Housing Units by 2016

Nov 12, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

State Lawmakers conducted a comprehensive briefing on Housing requirements state-wide today.  And, HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the shortfall is staggering.     

Town Square: A look at the legislature

Apr 24, 2014


The end is near...of the 2014 session. Neal Milner is back to look at what the legislature wrought - and what's still up for discussion in conference. Time to check your list to see how much of it made it through. 

DOE Budget Moving Through Legislature

Apr 15, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

State lawmakers began deliberations today on the state budget in a joint Senate-House conference committee.   The largest state funding outlay – about one-third of total spending – goes to Hawai’i’s public school system.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.    

Legislature Addresses Autism This Session

Mar 20, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

Autism is on the rise in the U-S and Hawai’i.  The cost for local families and taxpayers … is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions and lawmakers are trying to address it. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.     

Town Square: Crossover

Feb 27, 2014

Very soon, bills still alive will cross over from each side of the Legislature. Today on Town Square, political analyst and social scientist, Neal Milner, looks at the second act of Session 2014 and what we might expect from it. 

Wayne Yoshioka

A State House Committee today passed 4 of the 7 bills introduced this session to restructure the Hawai’i Community Development Authority.  This following a day-long hearing Saturday involving many Kaka’ako residents who wanted the state agency abolished.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.    

Wayne Yoshioka

The State had an $844 million budget surplus last year and the 4 counties are now asking the legislature to reinstate their share of tourism revenues.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.   

A look back at the 2013 legislative session with Neal Milner

May 2, 2013

Tra-la it's May and the 2013 legislative session is over. Tonight, Beth-Ann and political anaylyst Neal Milner take one last look at the Lege and how well this session helped to move Hawaii into the future. The good, the bad and the maybe.