Political news

Chamber of Commerce Hawai'i Doubles Membership

Aug 1, 2017
Wayne Yoshioka

The Hawai’i Chamber of Commerce annual luncheon attracted nearly 800 attendees and marked a major milestone for the business advocacy organization.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Internal Strife in Hawai'i GOP

Jul 31, 2017

Political candidates contemplating running for elected office in 2018 will be allowed to file nomination papers in 6 months.  As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the Republican Party of Hawai’i hopes to is resolve ongoing internal issues by then.

Hawai'i Business Leadership Conference: Lessons for All

Jul 27, 2017
Wayne Yoshioka

The Hawai’i Business Leadership Conference attracted more than 600 attendees at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.  As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, there were many lessons for today’s and tomorrow’s leaders.   

Wayne Yoshioka

A joint legislative committee conducted a hearing on the status of federal funding for impoverished residents throughout the state. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.  

Wayne Yoshioka

The Hawai’i Department of Transportation is leading an effort to remove homeless encampments near major traffic corridors. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

House Speaker Saiki Update on Honolulu Rail Funding

Jul 24, 2017
Wayne Yoshioka

The State Legislature is scheduled to convene in Special Session next month to discuss continued funding for Honolulu’s Rail Transit System.  As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, legislative leaders remain hopeful they will be able to reach an agreement on a funding source. 

Wayne Yoshioka

A summer of resistance is the overarching theme to protest the Trump and Pence Administration in Hawai'i.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka attended a rally earlier this month and covered both sides of the story.

Wayne Yoshioka

More than 13-hundred people are taking part in the 3-day Hawai'i Conservation Conference in Honolulu this week.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka attended one of the sessions and filed this report.  

Wayne Yoshioka

City Lawmakers will be considering a bill next month that could require the installation of fire sprinkler systems in older residential condominiums.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Wayne Yoshioka

The devastating fire at the Marco Polo Condominium left 3 residents dead and more than a dozen injured, Friday.  As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, residents and lawmakers are now looking at requiring automatic fire sprinkler systems in all high rise condominiums to prevent another tragedy.

Defense Attorney: Kang Pushed to Commit Crime

Jul 14, 2017
Wayne Yoshioka

The Federal District Court in Honolulu did not approve the pre-trial release of the Hawai’i-based soldier charged with acts of terrorism.  But the soldier’s attorney requested and was granted a key motion.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Wayne Yoshioka

The state officially launched a multi-governmental initiative today to address drug abuse prevention in Hawai’i. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Wayne Yoshioka

The first-ever public-private partnership was launched today on O’ahu to provide permanent housing for homeless families.  The project took two years from inception to breaking ground. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Governor Signs Earned Income Tax Credit Bill Into Law

Jul 10, 2017
Wayne Yoshioka

A new law to provide relief to low income workers in Hawai’i was signed today.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.   

Governor David Ige signed House Bill 209 into law, establishing a state earned income tax credit.

“The intent of this legislation is to help Hawai’i’s low and moderate income families keep more of what they earn.  It’s currently estimated that the lowest income households pay 13 percent of their income to state and local taxes, while those in the top income brackets pay less than 8 percent.”

Wayne Yoshioka

The City and County of Honolulu is reviving a plan to build a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Ala Wai Canal.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Wayne Yoshioka

A plan to build affordable housing near major transportation hubs on all islands is being developed by the state.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Hawai'i GOP Divided But Eyes 2018

Jul 3, 2017
Wayne Yoshioka

The 2018 Primary Election is a little more than a year away.  Hawai’i Republicans are trying to organize for that election and win.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka attended a GOP meeting Saturday and filed this report.

Developers Push Back on Mayor's Affordable Housing Plan

Jun 29, 2017
Wayne Yoshioka

The Honolulu City Council is advancing bills with affordable housing mandates for developers.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka attended the hearing and filed this report.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell would like to require developers to build more affordable housing units and keep them affordable for 30 years.  He told members of the Honolulu City Council Zoning and Housing Committee that he wants affordable housing for lower wage earners.

“Where we’re focusing here is 120 percent Area Median Income (AMI) if it’s for sale; rental it’s 80 percent .  But you think, 80 percent AMI level for an

Wayne Yoshioka

AARP Hawai’i is conducting Caregiver Workshops throughout the state this summer.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka visited one of the sessions and filed this report.

Papahanaumokuakea National Monument archives

More than two dozen National Monuments are being reviewed by the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Commerce, including the largest U.S monument encompassing the Northern Hawaiian Islands.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Governor Has Signed 48 Bills Into Law

Jun 22, 2017
Wayne Yoshioka

The Governor is busy reviewing 230 bills passed by the Legislature this past session.   So far, he’s signed 48 into law including one that will help inmates.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

In 2015, an estimated 300 inmates completed their sentences and were released into the community.   Many did not have the basic documentation required for re-entry into society.  Governor David Ige signed House Bill 845 into law to correct that.

Wayne Yoshioka

Legislation to ban certain sunscreen chemicals in Hawai’i stalled in the final days of the 2017 session.  But, state lawmakers are already starting their push to pass the bills next year.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

The chemical, oxybenzone, is an active ingredient in many sunscreen products.  Evidence provided by PhD environmental researcher, Craig Downs, links oxybenzone to the killing of baby coral and eventually entire reef systems in populated areas worldwide.

Help For Those Who Are Elderly and Poor

Jun 20, 2017
Wayne Yoshioka

One in 6 residents in Hawai’i relies on Social Security benefits.  But as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, many of the elderly recipients live on the borderline of poverty and homelessness and need public assistance.    

“I live on less than 10-thousand a year.”

Barbara Armentrout receives 775 dollars a month in social security disability benefits.

“And it’s hard.  People don’t realize you’re one accident away from being on work comp, not having enough credits and getting on something for the rest of your life.  And then you have to live like that and it’s hard.”

Wayne Yoshioka

State lawmakers on a joint Legislative Housing Committee were briefed on a plan to build 2,500 public housing units in Honolulu. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

DLNR Smart Phone App: Help Conservation Enforcement

Jun 14, 2017

Citizens armed with smart phones are being enlisted to help State Conservation Officers enforce rules on all islands.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka explains.    

State Pesticide Rules Advancing to Board of Agriculture

Jun 13, 2017
Wayne Yoshioka

The State is in the process of updating its Pesticide Rules for the first time since 2006.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

TOD Legislation: Confusion at the City Council

May 25, 2017
Wayne Yoshioka

Honolulu City and County lawmakers are struggling to enact development rules around future rail transit stations. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Wayne Yoshioka

The Hurricane Season Forecast for the state was announced today.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka was there and files this report.   

Wayne Yoshioka

The Honolulu City Council is urging the formation of a Task Force to clear illegal homeless camps.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Vet Aid '17: Homeless Veterans Update

May 22, 2017
Wayne Yoshioka

The latest homeless point-in-time count indicates an increase among veterans on Oʻahu. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka talked to veterans and homeless assistance providers for this update.