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State lawmakers consider homeland security office

By Anita Hofschneider

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:50 a.m. HST, Apr 19, 2013

State lawmakers want to create a homeland security office within the state Department of Defense to help prevent terrorist attacks in Hawaii.

Lawmakers met in a conference committee today to discuss the proposal. The House and Senate have already approved different versions of it but must choose one.

Sen. Will Espero says the committee plans to adopt the House version. He noted that the measure is appropriate considering the explosions in Boston this week.

The defense department says the bill would give its current efforts more structure and efficiency. Critics say the office would waste money and resources.

Espero says the committee needs to wait for approval from the budget committee before it can move forward with the bill. Lawmakers plan to revisit the proposal on Tuesday.

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