Political news

Early Childhood Day at the Capitol

Mar 6, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

It was Early Childhood Day at the Capitol and pre-school students rallied for a number of bills before the legislature that impact them.  Children’s Action Network executive director, Deborah Zysman.

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.


Honolulu Mayor Rolls Out Proposed 2020 Spending Plan

Mar 1, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

Mayor Kirk Caldwell rolled out his $2.83-billion operating budget proposal today for Fiscal Year 2020, which begins July 1st.  He said real property and motor vehicle taxes are expected to bring in 120-million more but other taxes must go up to fund his spending plan. 

Wayne Yoshioka

The initial findings from O’ahu’s annual homelessness survey on O’ahu’s have been released.

Wayne Yoshioka

Government and private business partners announced stepped up security efforts in Waikīkī - the state's major economic engine.

Ala Wai Flood Project Funding Advances in Senate

Feb 26, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

State funding for the Ala Wai flood project is moving forward in the legislature, clearing a key committee today.

Affordable Housing Perspectives: Garboden and O'Toole

Feb 25, 2019

State lawmakers, along with the Governor, are attempting to increase the affordable housing supply for either rent or lease. But, what will work?


It was Video Game Industry Day at the State Capitol. But, there is one bill pending at the state legislature that is aimed at improving the lives of children who spend a lot of time on their electronic devices.

Mayor Caldwell Unveils 7-Point Pedestrian Safety Plan

Feb 20, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

The City and County of Honolulu is ranked the most dangerous city in the nation for seniors, ages 65 and older, being hit in sidewalks and for seniors at risk of being killed as pedestrians.  Mayor Kirk Caldwell unveiled a 7-point plan to increase pedestrian safety.

sylvar / Flickr

The full State Senate will vote on a proposal allowing the use of red light camera systems at island intersections.

Olelo Television

There are bills moving through the legislature in both houses that aim to tax currently exempt corporate businesses.

House Committee Advances Zipper Lane Tolls Bill

Feb 13, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

All House and Senate Bills with multiple committee referrals must reach their final committee by Friday. This is a “do or die deadline” for some bills.

House Budgetary Review Appears Slow and Cumbersome

Feb 12, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

The 2019 Legislative Session is almost at the 1/3rd mark but work on the State Budget appears to be moving slower than before.

Wayne Yoshioka

Honolulu City Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi will be introducing a resolution to conduct a forensic audit of the 8.6 billion dollar Rail Transit Project. She says this was her top priority after taking office last month.









Bill to Ban Aquarium Fishing Heard by Senate Committee

Feb 11, 2019
Prof. Gail Grabowski

A proposed bill to ban all aquarium fishing statewide had a hearing Friday.

House Health Committee Tables Anti-Abortion Bill

Feb 7, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

The first anti-abortion bill in 20 years was heard today by the state legislature in a standing-room only committee room.

Agriculture Day at the Legislature

Feb 6, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

It was Agriculture Day at the State Capitol today inside committee rooms and outside on display tables.

Legislature Considers Bills to Revamp TAT

Feb 5, 2019

State Lawmakers are considering legislation to revamp how tourism taxes are distributed to the counties. 

Wayne Yoshioka

A coalition of state lawmakers and community health organizations are pushing to outlaw flavored tobacco products in Hawai’i. 

Wayne Yoshioka

The State’s County Mayors briefed a joint session of the Senate and House Finance Committees today.

Hawai'i Legislative Keiki Caucus: Year of the Child

Jan 30, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

The state legislature is also focusing on Keiki this session.

Governor Signs Early Childhood State Plan

Jan 30, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

It’s shaping up to be the year of the Keiki or Child at the State Capitol.

Wayne Yoshioka

The dates for the Honolulu City Council District 4 Special Election were announced today.

Honolulu City Council District 4 Race

Jan 28, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

The upcoming Special Election for the Honolulu City Council District 4 seat has not been scheduled. But the candidates aren’t waiting to go back on the campaign trail.

Firearms Open Carry: Consequences for Hawai'i

Jan 24, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

Hawai’i’s firearms law was declared unconstitutional by a federal appeals court last year. That ruling is currently being appealed. But there could be change no matter what the final outcome in federal court.

Wayne Yoshioka

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in July that Hawai’i’s law to carry firearms is unconstitutional.  The State and Hawai’i County have petitioned the Court to reconsider.  In the first of two reports, HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka was granted an exclusive interview with the plaintiff in the case.

Wayne Yoshioka

The Governor delivered his State of the State address to the Legislature today.

Wayne Yoshioka

The Hawai’i Supreme Court heard oral arguments today on the District IV general election challenge in which Councilmember Trevor Ozawa had a 22-vote margin of victory over challenger Tommy Waters.  Attorney Thomas Otake, who represents 39 East O’ahu voters and Tommy Waters, an attorney who represented himself, argued that late votes were counted and mistakes were made.  Here’s an excerpt with Attorney Otake followed by Attorney Waters.

Teen Vaping Epidemic In Hawai'i

Jan 17, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

The use of e-cigarettes among high school teens in Hawai’i is two times higher than the national average, according to the latest surveys.  And, the state legislature will be asked again to tighten Hawai’i laws this session.

State Legislature Convenes for 2019 Session

Jan 17, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

The State Legislature convened yesterday for its Opening Day ceremonies.