2020 legislative session

Capitol.hawaii.gov

State lawmakers return to the Capitol today for what is expected to be the final three weeks of this year’s legislative session. Their main focus will be allocation $618 million in federal pandemic assistance.

U.S. Army Garrison - Daegu

The U.S. military is using inexpensive, simple procedures to check troops in South Korea for COVID-19 symptoms. Similar tools could help schools and hospitals at home.

 

wikipedia Commons
wikipedia Commons

State lawmakers will return to Honolulu to address a budget shortfall of roughly $1 billion. Legislators and staff will receive symptom checks, but no lab test for COVID-19.

Catherine Cruz / HPR

HONOLULU — A bill to prohibit foreigners from buying some homes in Hawaii was endorsed by state senators in an effort to make housing more affordable for local residents.

Senior Master Sgt. Burke Baker / U.S. Air Force

HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers are considering a large amount of public comment on proposed legislation to keep landfills from intruding on residential areas.

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The first meeting of a state House advisory committee looking at a possible downturn in the Hawaii economy in the wake of the coronavirus heard what many suspected: the impact is here and it's worse than projected.

“The uncertainty is just enormous as to how long the spread continues,” said Carl Bonham, executive director of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.

Ryan Finnerty

Tax revenue coming into Hawaii state coffers is now expected to be $48 million to $80 million less than previous estimates for the rest of 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus.

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Both chambers of the state Legislature have passed some form of a prohibition on the governor and county mayors earning income from employment other than their elected office.

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The idea of a carbon tax has broad support from economists and a version was already approved by the state Senate. If agreed to by the House and Gov. David Ige, it would become the first measure of its kind in the U.S.

Casey Harlow / HPR

Legislators are looking for ways to ease the cost of housing in Hawaii. One potential target they’re looking at: foreign investors.

Hawaii State Capitol

The Hawaii House of Representatives approved bills affecting taxes in specific areas and raising the state's minimum wage.

AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

How long it takes to get the coronavirus to run its course will make the difference between a short-term hiccup and serious economic woes, says a University of Hawaii economist.

Casey Harlow / HPR

Honolulu's first responders are asking state lawmakers to pass a package of gun control bills that they say could prevent incidents like January's Diamond Head shooting that left two police officers dead.

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More than two dozen bills at the Hawaii Legislature aim to increase the use of electric vehicles, but auto dealers and green energy proponents are supporting different approaches.

Richard Vogel/AP

A Hawaii state Senate committee has granted preliminary approval to a bill authorizing the sale of edible medical cannabis products.

Nick Yee / HPR

On this edition of Bytemarks Café, an update on Automatic Voter Registration. With the legislative session in full swing, Common Cause comes back on the show to discuss bills introduced this session that drive civic engagement, and why it's important.

Marcus Trapp from Pixabay

HONOLULU — A Hawaii legislator has proposed an expansion of the state's law allowing residents to use deadly force to defend themselves at their homes and businesses.

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HILO — Two bills introduced to the Hawaii state Senate seek harsher penalties for parents, spectators and athletes who assault or terrorize sports officials such as referees, umpires and coaches.

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Hawaii state legislators have preliminarily approved a bill that would create a commission to address issues concerning the LGBTQ community.

Citing the recent killing of two Honolulu police officers, a group of lawmakers wants to further restrict access to firearms and expand the power to require mental health treatment.

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Hawaii legislators on the House Agriculture Committee will consider several bills this week that would allow the commercial production of hemp and legalize the sale of hemp-derived products.

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A close look at the more than 2,000 bills under consideration at the Hawaii State Capitol reveals that some of those proposals don’t contain any language.

Ryan Finnerty
Ryan Finnerty

Despite a recent high-profile shooting that left two police officers dead and a series of violent robberies, some targeting elderly victims, Hawaii Gov. David Ige says he still believes Hawaii is a safe place to live.

Ryan Finnerty/AP

Gov. David Ige delivered his sixth State of the State address Tuesday, laying out details about efforts worked out with legislative leaders that aim to address Hawaii's high cost of living in areas that include housing and child care.

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Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is asking the state Legislature to extend a deadline that will allow the county to impose a general excise tax surcharge on business activities such as sales of products.

Audrey McAvoy/AP

Lawmakers opened a new session of the Hawaii Legislature on Wednesday with vows to address the state's punishingly high cost of living so families don't have to abandon the islands for cheaper places.

Audrey McAvoy/AP

Hawaii House and Senate leaders, with the support of Gov. David Ige, on Tuesday unveiled a long list of measures to boost housing, early childhood education and incomes with a particular focus on alleviating the struggles of Hawaii’s working families and poor.

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is asking the Legislature for more than $40 million this year to deliver homestead lots to qualified native Hawaiians.

Catherine Cruz / HPR

Problems abound but no single issue appears to have yet united Hawaii lawmakers as the opening of the 2020 legislative session approaches on Wednesday.

Travis Thurston / Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii’s chief economist told lawmakers on Tuesday that 24% of Hawaii homes were purchased by buyers from outside the state. The figure is even higher on the neighbor islands.

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