hawaii state legislature

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State lawmakers are scheduled to wrap up their 2019 session in less than three weeks. Friday marked a critical deadline for any bills that are still alive, a process called Second Crossover. 

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Nolan Espinda, Gov. David Ige’s nominee to head the state Department of Public Safety, won’t get the backing of a key legislative committee.

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Hawaii lawmakers are on the path to eliminating a decades’ old exemption on corporate taxes for a certain class of real estate company. Real Estate Investment Trusts, or REITs, were created in Congress in 1960 and their profits are exempt from taxes by the federal government and 49 states.

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HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers eager to gather tax revenue from the state's flourishing, yet mostly unpermitted, vacation rental sector on Tuesday passed legislation that would require websites like Airbnb to collect and pay taxes on behalf of short-term rental hosts.

Hawaii State Capitol

Today on Bytemarks Café, as we approach crossover in the legislative session there are several bills to keep an eye on. Burt will talk to Transform Hawaiʻi Government, and learn about bills to advance government data, establish a Chief Data Officer, and commit to an IT strategic plan.

The State Legislature is at the one-third mark of its 60-day session.  Today, lawmakers met to pass nearly one thousand bills to be sent to the opposite chamber for further consideration.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

 

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Around the country, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies seize millions of dollars’ worth of property every year. That property is then sold and used to expand the budgets of those police agencies. A recent Supreme Court decision may signal a change in how the process can be applied.

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Legalizing recreational marijuana is a hot topic across the nation. Hawaii already allows medical marijuana...is this the year it legalizes recreational use? HPR Reporter Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi posed that question to those at the 2019 Hawaiʻi Cannabis Expo.

The Conversation: Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

May 3, 2018
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2018 Legislative Season Wrap-up; Farm Tour Flooding; Hawaiian Bird Symphony; Innovative Bike Designs

Trisha Kehaulani Watson-Sproat

February is Hawaiian language month in the state of Hawai‘i. Nearly 40 years ago, the Hawaiian language was recognized as one of two official languages in the state. While the Hawaiian language speaking community has grown, recent events in a Maui courtroom have led to questions about what it really means to have Hawaiian as an official language. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has this story.

The Conversation: Monday, November 6th, 2017

Nov 6, 2017
Kessler Air Force Base

Shortage of Certified Dialysis Centers; Electricity Rates Compared to Oil Rates; Pono Politics; Maui Brewing Co.

The Conversation: Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Sep 5, 2017
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Legislative Factions; Performance Anxiety; Making Eye-Care Available

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The Transient Accommodation Tax or T-A-T is the buzzword of the week. At least it will be at the Hawai‘i State Capitol, where lawmakers are in special session to come up with a plan to finance the Honolulu rail project. HPR’s Ku‘uwehi Hiraishi tells us why this tax is so popular. 

Wayne Yoshioka

The Leaders of the State Legislature want federal officials to know they are committed to resolving the funding issue for Honolulu’s Rail Transit project.   But as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports legislative support will be limited.   

“Rail is a city project.  It is not a state project.  And it is the city’s responsibility to provide the financing to complete this project.”

House Speaker Scott Saiki made it clear.  The City is responsible for completing the rail transit project.   And, the State House and Senate leaders are committed to resolving the revenue stream issue.