Politics

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Hawaii Lawmaker Pushes Expanded Role for Hydrogen Fuel

Feb 18, 2021
HNEI-NELHA

Hawaii’s ambitious energy goals are aimed at cutting the emission of carbon fuels into the environment, but solar and onshore wind will not get the job done alone.

Casey Harlow / HPR

Although Congress extended jobless benefits in late December, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ out-of-date computer system has created delays in processing certain claims.

Honolulu Has Third-Worst Finances Of Any American City

Jan 28, 2021
Wikimedia Commons

Oahu households would each have to pay an additional $30,000 in taxes to fully cover the City and County’s future obligations.

C-SPAN

In his annual state of the state address, Hawaii Governor David Ige outlined his vision for Hawaii’s post-pandemic future; what he called Hawaii 2.0.

Lawmakers Weigh Options For Closing Budget Gap

Jan 25, 2021
mrbrkly / Flickr

In his state of the state address on Monday, Governor David Ige is expected to outline a plan for solving Hawaii’s nearly $2 billion budget shortfall. That spending plan will have to be passed by the state legislature, which has several options to plug the hole.

Lawmakers Open Session With Skepticism Of New Taxes

Jan 21, 2021
Ryan Finnerty / Hawaii Public Radio

The main task facing state lawmakers this session will be to plug the $1.8 billion hole in Hawaii’s budget. Leadership signaled a reluctance to accomplish that through raising taxes.

Ryan Finnerty / Hawaii Public Radio

Wednesday marks the start of the 2021 session of the Hawaii State Legislature. Lawmakers are back in the capitol under increased measures for public health and physical security.

Chip Fletcher

While much of focus for the 2021 legislative session will be on responding to the health and economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, some state lawmakers are still pushing for policies to  address climate change.

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.

Economic Promise and Peril Awaits Hawaii in 2021

Jan 5, 2021
Ryan Finnerty/HPR

2020 was a tumultuous year for the local economy in Hawaii and the outlook for 2021 remains mixed and uncertain.

Flickr - Bytemarks Unemployment Office

The federal pandemic relief bill signed into law by President Trump provides extra financial benefits for Hawaii residents filing for unemployment insurance.

Ryan Finnerty / HPR

The future of a bill to deliver a second round of pandemic assistance spending remains unclear after President Trump expressed dissatisfaction with a measure passed by Congress this week.

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.

James Palinsad/Flickr / Creative Commons License 2.0

Hawaii likely has just a few remaining days to make use of emergency pandemic relief funds awarded to Hawaii by the federal government in March when Congress passed the $2 trillion CARES Act.

Lawmakers, Experts Call For Ige To Issue Mask Mandate

Nov 10, 2020
AP Photo/Marco Garcia

Economists, healthcare professionals, and elected lawmakers have all called for Governor David Ige to set statewide standards for the wear of masks.

Nick Yee / HPR

While the Democratic Party retained dominance in state politics, the results show that opportunities still exist for conservative candidates.

Wikipedia Commons

As youth vaping rates surged, a powerful state lawmaker repeatedly held up anti-vaping laws while accepting nearly $20,000 in campaign contributions from tobacco companies and lobbyists.

Kurayba / Flickr

As the number of Hawaii residents behind on rent climbs, a much-touted state program to help out-of-work residents cover their rent appears to be failing.

Hawaii Public Radio

Both Keith Amemiya and Rick Blangiardi say their top priority would be guiding Hawaii’s most populous island out of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have different approaches for doing so.

1st Lt. Angelo Mejia / DVIDS

The deadline to distribute $1.25 billion in coronavirus relief funds given to Hawaii by the federal government is roughly three months away, but most of that money has not yet been spent.

New Law Opens Up Hawaii For Driverless Vehicle Testing

Sep 18, 2020
Wikimedia Commons

Autonomous vehicles may soon be coming to Hawaii’s streets, but will still need a human operator for now.

C-SPAN

While negotiations over additional federal assistance to cities and states remain deadlocked, Hawaii’s chief executive says the state may be forced to furlough workers in the coming months if Congress fails to act.

The U.S. National Archives

On both Oahu and Hawaii Island, voters opted for outsiders of experience in contests to narrow down the field of candidates for county mayor.

Casey Harlow / HPR

The federal government’s $600 per week supplement to unemployment benefits officially expired last week. The benefit injected more than $100 million per week into the local economy.

Courtesy of Mufi For Honolulu / YouTube

Hawaii voters are casting mail ballots in primary elections for county, state, and federal offices. Oahu voters will be making their pick for the mayor of the City and County of Honolulu.

Casey Harlow / HPR

The former television executive argues that his three decades overseeing large broadcasters in Hawaii give him the experience needed to steer Oahu through the twin challenges of a pandemic and deep recession.

Daniel Ramirez / Flickr

State lawmakers concluded their regular business for 2020 on Friday with a much different set of priorities than when it began.

Hawaii House Democratic Caucus

Friday is the final scheduled day for the Hawaii Legislature’s 2020 session. It was hallmarked by social distancing measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Courtesy of Choon James for Mayor

 

Choon James has spent a lot of time in Honolulu Hale over the past 20 years, but never as a public official. The Singapore-born real estate broker has been a long-time advocate before the City Council on issues like land use. This year, she decided that was no longer enough.

Amemiya Mayor 20/20 Campaign Site

Voters on Oahu will elect a new mayor in 2020. HPR will be sitting down with mayoral hopefuls to discuss their top concerns and why they want the job.

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