Hawaii Legislature 2017 Archives
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Hawaii Legislature 2017

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / JAN. 18
                                Sen. Ron Kouchi spoke during the opening of the legislative session.

Fold against adversity, just like the Legislature

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / JAN. 18
                                Sen. Ron Kouchi spoke during the opening of the legislative session.

Updated on  May 7, 2017 at 7:50 pm
Dear Youth of Hawaii, this is a letter from your state legislators if they actually wrote you a letter. Read More
ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Hawaii House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke, right, talks to reporters as Rep. Henry Aquino, left, looks on. Lawmakers approved a $28 billion spending bill that approves more money for homelessness programs than last year. But housing advocates say the amount of money set aside for affordable housing development is not enough.

Hawaii’s $28B budget a mixed bag on homelessness, housing

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Hawaii House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke, right, talks to reporters as Rep. Henry Aquino, left, looks on. Lawmakers approved a $28 billion spending bill that approves more money for homelessness programs than last year. But housing advocates say the amount of money set aside for affordable housing development is not enough.
Hawaii lawmakers voted Tuesday to spend $28 billion over the next two years in a budget that includes money for homelessness programs, improving school buildings and fighting rat lungworm disease. Read More
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Joe Souki resigned from his position as House Speaker. He is expected to be replaced by House Majority Leader Scott Saiki, according to House sources.

Souki resigns as House speaker in leadership shake-up

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Joe Souki resigned from his position as House Speaker. He is expected to be replaced by House Majority Leader Scott Saiki, according to House sources.

Updated on  May 4, 2017 at 2:55 pm
House Speaker Joe Souki has officially resigned from that post effective immediately in the aftermath of Wednesday night’s House leadership reorganization. Read More
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Gov. David Ige spoke at a news conference Wednesday at his office in the state Capitol.

Ige scorns special session for rail

JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Gov. David Ige spoke at a news conference Wednesday at his office in the state Capitol.

Updated on  May 4, 2017 at 9:00 am
Gov. David Ige rejected the notion Wednesday of extending the 2017 legislative session to try to salvage a rail-funding deal, calling it a “waste of time” if state legislators don’t already have an agreement in place. Read More
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                State Sen. Jill Tokuda, left, said Wednesday that she will be replaced as leader of the influential Ways and Means Committee. Donovan Dela Cruz, right, is her likely replacement, she said.

Tokuda out due to rail, Souki also to lose post

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                State Sen. Jill Tokuda, left, said Wednesday that she will be replaced as leader of the influential Ways and Means Committee. Donovan Dela Cruz, right, is her likely replacement, she said.

Updated on  May 4, 2017 at 8:58 am
House Speaker Joe Souki and Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Jill Tokuda are expected to be ousted from their positions of power today in an end-of-session leadership shakeup. Read More
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                State Reps. Henry Aquino and Sylvia Luke talked to the media Tuesday at the Capitol during lunch recess.

Dueling votes kill rail funding bill

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                State Reps. Henry Aquino and Sylvia Luke talked to the media Tuesday at the Capitol during lunch recess.

Updated on  May 3, 2017 at 12:31 am
Honolulu’s financially strapped rail project faces an even more uncertain future now that a controversial 11th-hour funding deal has crumbled in the state Legislature. Read More
STAR-ADVERTISER / DEC. 31, 2016
                                The start of HART’s mass transit rail line in East Kapolei along Kualakai Pkwy. State lawmakers are still scrambling to craft a deal that would bail out Honolulu’s cash-strapped rail project.

Fate of rail funding bill in limbo as lawmakers float new proposals

STAR-ADVERTISER / DEC. 31, 2016
                                The start of HART’s mass transit rail line in East Kapolei along Kualakai Pkwy. State lawmakers are still scrambling to craft a deal that would bail out Honolulu’s cash-strapped rail project.

Updated on  May 2, 2017 at 3:43 pm
State House and Senate lawmakers extended their fierce disagreement today over how to bail out the financially strapped Honolulu rail project, with senators proposing to extend the half-percent excise tax surcharge for rail for another decade, and the House rejecting that idea. Read More
STAR-ADVERTISER / DEC. 31, 2016
                                The start of HART’s mass transit rail line in East Kapolei along Kualakai Parkway. State lawmakers who are trying to resolve the fate of the Honolulu rail funding tossed a new idea into the mix this morning by proposing to increase the state’s hotel room tax to raise $1.3 billion to help fund both the rail project and public education.

Lawmakers tentatively agree on proposal to raise hotel tax for rail, education

STAR-ADVERTISER / DEC. 31, 2016
                                The start of HART’s mass transit rail line in East Kapolei along Kualakai Parkway. State lawmakers who are trying to resolve the fate of the Honolulu rail funding tossed a new idea into the mix this morning by proposing to increase the state’s hotel room tax to raise $1.3 billion to help fund both the rail project and public education.

Updated on  April 28, 2017 at 3:48 pm
House and Senate negotiators tentatively agreed this afternoon to a plan to increase the state hotel room tax to 12 percent to raise $1.3 billion to help fund both the rail project and public education. Read More

Rush is on at the Capitol to decide bills’ fates

State lawmakers scrambled to move dozens of bills ahead of a Thursday night deadline for gaining approval from key House and Senate negotiators on measures that don’t carry a price tag. Read More
Updated on  April 27, 2017 at 10:17 pm
STAR-ADVERTISER
                                Senate Bill 994, which would’ve given the Aloha Stadium Authority more power to redevelop the land parcel containing the stadium, died at the state legislature.

Bill empowering Stadium Authority dies

STAR-ADVERTISER
                                Senate Bill 994, which would’ve given the Aloha Stadium Authority more power to redevelop the land parcel containing the stadium, died at the state legislature.

Updated on  April 28, 2017 at 6:00 pm
A bill that would have given the Aloha Stadium Authority expanded powers to redevelop the 98-acre parcel containing the current stadium met a prolonged and somewhat surprising death today. Read More
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                This is the progress of construction of the HART mass transit rail line along Kamehameha Hwy. from Aiea towards Aloha Stadium, as it approaches and is about to cross the Aiea Interchange No. 4 next to the Aiea Cemetery.

10-year tax idea for rail falters

DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                This is the progress of construction of the HART mass transit rail line along Kamehameha Hwy. from Aiea towards Aloha Stadium, as it approaches and is about to cross the Aiea Interchange No. 4 next to the Aiea Cemetery.

Updated on  April 26, 2017 at 11:35 pm
Key state lawmakers gathered Wednesday to discuss a new plan to extend the Oahu excise tax surcharge for rail by another 10 years, but it isn’t clear whether the idea has the support it would need to win approval in either the Senate or the House. Read More
PHOTO COURTESY FOTOLIA/TNS
                                Women would be able to get birth control with no doctor’s visit if the measure lives.

Birth control bill to face final floor votes

PHOTO COURTESY FOTOLIA/TNS
                                Women would be able to get birth control with no doctor’s visit if the measure lives.

Updated on  April 25, 2017 at 11:08 pm
Women would no longer have to make a trip to the doctor to get a prescription for birth control pills or other forms of hormonal contraception under a bill that gained approval from negotiators in the House and Senate on Tuesday. Read More
STAR-ADVERTISER / 2010
                                A bill on the decriminalization of the possession of drug paraphernalia would reduce penalties to no more than $500. Marijuana buds are shown with a pot pipe.

Having a bong less of a big deal under bill agreed on by leaders

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2010
                                A bill on the decriminalization of the possession of drug paraphernalia would reduce penalties to no more than $500. Marijuana buds are shown with a pot pipe.

Updated on  April 25, 2017 at 6:24 pm
House and Senate negotiators agreed Monday morning on a bill that would decriminalize possession of drug paraphernalia, reducing the penalties for being caught with items such as a marijuana pipe or cigarette papers to no more than $500. Read More
COURTESY PHOTO
                                “I think, all in all, it’s a good budget.”
                                Kyle Yamashita
                                Representative of Spreckelsville-Upcountry Maui, on the budget’s new construction funds for the state Department of Education

Legislators greenlight $28 billion budget for operations

COURTESY PHOTO
                                “I think, all in all, it’s a good budget.”
                                Kyle Yamashita
                                Representative of Spreckelsville-Upcountry Maui, on the budget’s new construction funds for the state Department of Education

Updated on  April 25, 2017 at 6:24 pm
House and Senate lawmakers reached agreement on a new two-year, $28.4 billion state operating budget Monday that would increase state spending over this year’s level but would trim the overall budget somewhat from what Gov. David Ige originally proposed. Read More

U.S. ConCon resolution advances

Hawaii is close to joining a growing number of states urging Congress to convene a national constitutional convention — an event that, other than the original 1787 convention, has never taken place in U.S. history. Read More
Updated on  April 25, 2017 at 6:22 pm
COURTESY DAVID AQUINO / BLUE PLANET FOUNDATION
                                Jeff Mikulina, executive director of Blue Planet Foundation, spoke to students from seven schools Thursday at the state Capitol in support of reducing gasoline reliance.

Kids, activists rally for bill setting clean-fuel goal

COURTESY DAVID AQUINO / BLUE PLANET FOUNDATION
                                Jeff Mikulina, executive director of Blue Planet Foundation, spoke to students from seven schools Thursday at the state Capitol in support of reducing gasoline reliance.

Updated on  April 25, 2017 at 6:25 pm
More than 600 students joined activists at the state Capitol rotunda Thursday in support of a bill that sets a goal of having all ground transportation in Hawaii run on renewable fuel by 2045. Read More
STAR-ADVERTISER
                                State lawmakers are aiming to cut down on prescription painkillers abuse. Commonly prescribed opioids include such painkillers as hydrocodone and oxycodone.

Lawmakers tussle with bill to fight painkiller addiction

STAR-ADVERTISER
                                State lawmakers are aiming to cut down on prescription painkillers abuse. Commonly prescribed opioids include such painkillers as hydrocodone and oxycodone.

Updated on  April 25, 2017 at 6:24 pm
With addiction to prescription painkillers on the rise in Hawaii, state lawmakers prioritized legislation this session aimed at cutting down on abuse and making sure that health care providers counsel patients on the risks of opioid medications. Read More
COURTESY CAROL BROWNSON
                                Sean Smith, left, and Kale Taylor, pose for a photo with their son Charlie Taylor. Smith and his husband Taylor paid more than $20,000 in Hawaii for a fertility procedure when they decided to have a child using a surrogate mother. They did not know at the time that if they were a heterosexual couple, they might have saved that money.

Health care lobby pushes back on Hawaii LGBT fertility bill

COURTESY CAROL BROWNSON
                                Sean Smith, left, and Kale Taylor, pose for a photo with their son Charlie Taylor. Smith and his husband Taylor paid more than $20,000 in Hawaii for a fertility procedure when they decided to have a child using a surrogate mother. They did not know at the time that if they were a heterosexual couple, they might have saved that money.

Updated on  April 25, 2017 at 6:24 pm
Health care lobbyists in Hawaii are pushing lawmakers to kill part of a bill that would expand access to fertility treatments to same-sex couples who want to have a child. Read More

Bill on transparency at tourism agency is killed

Legislative measures to increase accountability and transparency at the Hawaii Tourism Authority are dead this session, but lawmakers have attempted an end run by asking the state auditor to deliver the agency’s 2018 management audit by the start of next session. Read More
Updated on  April 10, 2017 at 10:29 pm

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