Governor reports on the progress of vaccines; UHERO provides an economic forecast based on latest tourism numbers; Reality Check: Lawmakers want return of "Gifts of Aloha"; New bill would attempt to discourage theft of catalytic converters; Regulation of electric scooters
Governor reports on the progress of vaccines
Governor David Ige joins us to discuss the state's progress in distributing vaccines. Among Ige's priorities are creating more access points for kupuna who can't reach the currently vaccination facilities and increasing the number of doses distributed to the state. Ige also talks about the critical reintroduction of international tourists to our economy, and whether or not new variants of the virus will hamper that effort.
UHERO provides an economic forecast based on latest tourism numbers
According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) statistics for the month of December, Hawaii saw a 75% decrease in visitors compared to the same month in 2019. Economist Carl Bonham, the Executive Director of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, has been using daily numbers from the HTA to calculate Hawaii's currect economic forecast.
Reality Check: Lawmakers want return of "gifts of aloha"
Recently, the Hawaii State Ethics Commission introduced rules that prohibit Hawaii lawmakers from accepting "gifts of aloha" — small gifts like pasteries or plate lunch. But lawmakers are pushing back against the new ban. Read Blaze Lovell's full story at civilbeat.org.
New bill aim to discourage theft of catalytic converters
Thefts of catalytic converters have surged across the country since the start of the pandemic. Representative Jackson Sayama has proposed a house bill that hopes to curb this trend. The bill would make theft of a converter a felony, and also hold recyclers accountable for who they buy the converters from.
Regulation of electric scooters
After the city's tumultous relationship with Lime scooters, a new rental company is staking a claim in Honolulu: Go X Scooters. Deputy Director of the Department of Transportation Services Jon Nouchi joins us to talk about how best to regulate the micro-mobility industry across the islands.