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Hawaii News

Homeless chief warns against bypassing rules

Gov. David Ige’s extension last week of his emergency homeless proclamation for the sixth time came a day after Hawaii’s homeless coordinator warned nearly 150 California officials about the dangers of bypassing normal requirements as they push for their own statewide emergency proclamation.

Ige’s original October emergency proclamation allows Hawaii officials to waive procurement and union labor agreements another 60 days — until Oct. 19 — to get projects to help the homeless online sometimes years ahead of the time it would normally take.

But Scott Morishige, Hawaii’s homeless coordinator, told county and city officials up and down California — from San Diego to San Francisco to Sacramento — in a Wednesday webinar that “the rules that are being waived exist for good public policy reasons,” said Phil Ansell, director of Los Angeles County’s Homeless Initiative who organized the webinar. “He said that although there’s an emergency now … it’s important for it not to become a long-term dependency. He was very candid about that.”

County and city officials in California have been joined by an online petition signed by 25,000 people and a resolution from California’s state Assembly urging Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a statewide homeless emergency that would play out differently in California, Ansell said Friday.

The primary hope is that an emergency proclamation would free up $500 million in a state rainy-day fund to help California counties address homelessness, Ansell said.

There is no talk in California about bypassing union contracts, but waiving procurement rules could be a result of a potential California emergency proclamation, Ansell said.

Hawaii officials have been overlooking normal bid procedures to get projects moving faster but Morishige said no labor agreements have been waived.

So far, Morishige said, 13 homeless-related construction projects have been sped up by Ige’s proclamations. And more than 4,800 people — including 1,353 island families — have received financial assistance to get them off the street or to stay in their homes, Morishige said.

Although the effects of a California emergency proclamation might turn out differently, Morishige’s comments were extremely helpful, Ansell said.

He emailed an audio clip of Morishige’s comments to 1,600 people who could not listen to the original webinar “because we thought it was so valuable,” Ansell said. “Scott’s presentation addressed the intent of the state of emergency, actions that have been taken, beneficial effects and how to assess the effects. He identified challenges and risks. He had really thought it through and had a lot of experience.”

Ansell added: “Hawaii is the only state in the union that has declared a homeless emergency. Therefore we thought information about Hawaii’s experience would be relevant to help maximize support for a California declaration.”

6 responses to “Homeless chief warns against bypassing rules”

  1. kekelaward says:

    Why Chief? The Indians you’re in charge of bypass the rules (Law) all the time.

  2. Allaha says:

    We do not follow rules of sanity any longer in this decaying immoral decadent society. As a consequence the number of humans with subhuman behavior is increasing daily. The homeless are just another very visible symptom.

  3. justmyview371 says:

    They should email it to Ige too since he is becoming a serial violated of the rules.

  4. dtpro1 says:

    Not sure what the declared emergency does? Does it allow the State to move from stop to slow? The state of emergency has not been effective at reducing homelessness. The homeless chief should worry more about the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of his department vice worrying about by passing rules that were done to assist his office improve the homelessness problem. Is he another Scott Nago?

  5. sanoname says:

    emergency proclamation should be stop drug house old & young mafia kids,.
    copy the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte may be more jail time since we are in Hawaii but be firm some house been around 40 years because they turn the law on to some drugs & money and they have friend or family working for law or informant to get away with breaking law how many more billions are we wasting people please speak out

    • sanoname says:

      Also gambling house and prison guards getting paid 5+k a month. gambling debt that leads to violence 7 death example maui less that a month old the profit they make on gambling debt the tax they are not paying we can built rail around the Island

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