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Officials ask for more money to finish Kona courthouse

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Hawaii Judiciary officials say they need more state funding to replace their outdated and unsecure Hawaii island court facilities, as well as to keep a program that aims to help young children whose parents are suspected of abuse and neglect.

Whether they’ll get those dollars remains to be seen.

In his annual State of the Judiciary address Wednesday at the state Capitol, Hawaii  Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald asked the Legislature for the remaining $55 million it needs to build a new, central Kona courthouse. He cited “severe security, logistical and operational problems” currently faced by the court in West Hawaii. The project has already received $35 million in state funds, he said.

Currently, the  Circuit Court on Hawaii island uses three separate buildings, including a former hospital and a former farm-and-garden shop for its Kona cases,  Circuit Court Chief Judge Ronald Ibarra said after Recktenwald’s address.

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