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Hawaii News

Health exchange, beach erosion and Chinese tourism on agenda

  • administrator of the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands
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Hawaii lawmakers plan to tackle the state’s troubled health exchange, public-housing issues and a slew of resolutions this week at the Legislature. Most of the action will be in committee rooms as lawmakers take up bills passed by the other chamber.

One proposal would help the Hawaii Health Connector maintain its operations by allowing the organization to issue $28 million in debentures, a type of bond backed by the state. A similar proposal died in the House because of concerns about the funding mechanism and the dollar amount.

Now the Senate-backed proposal, SB 1028, is in the House. A joint panel of House committee members will hear the proposal Monday afternoon.

Here are a few other items coming up this week in the Legislature:

» Aloha for China. Hawaii has done a lot to cater to Japa­nese tourists, and some people say the state could do more to accommodate visitors from China. A Senate resolution would ask the Hawaii Tourism Authority to work with the hospitality industry to create a more welcoming climate for the growing market of Chinese tourists. SR 35 will be heard in a Senate committee Monday afternoon.

» Lurking bosses. A proposal to prevent employers from requiring their charges to provide logins and passwords to their social networking accounts has passed the House. The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor will hear HB 561 on Monday morning.

» Affordable housing. A House resolution would ask the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to work with the University of Hawaii to come up with a plan for the equitable distribution of affordable-housing units on Oahu. The House Committee on Housing will take up HR 110 Monday morning.

» Disappearing beaches. Lawmakers want to slow down the degradation of Hawaii’s beaches, and they’ve come up with a plan to use transient accommodation tax revenues to restore the shores. A joint committee hearing will take up HB 444 Monday afternoon.

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