Political news

Casey Harlow / Hawaii Public Radio

A former University of Hawaii regent plans to sue over what he calls an unconstitutional reduction of the university’s governing board. State lawmakers cut the number of regents by more than 25 percent in the 2019 legislative session.

Sen. Mazie Hirono

Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono is leading an effort to ratify a 40 year old U.N. treaty establishing international rules for global maritime activity. The U.S. signed the pact in 1994, but Congress never gave approval.

Ryan Finnerty
Ryan Finnerty

Hawaii Governor David Ige on Monday announced he plans to veto a bill that would require short-term rental booking platforms to collect state taxes. The measure, S.B. 1292, was passed by the state Senate last month by a single vote.

Waters Wins Honolulu City Council Special Election

Apr 13, 2019
Ryan Finnerty

Tommy Waters is the apparent winner in the Honolulu City Council special election representing District 4 stretching from Waikiki to Hawaii Kai. The unofficial results show Waters drew 17,491 votes to Trevor Ozawa's 16,487, a margin of 1,004 votes.

Hawaii State Capitol

In some states, one political party dominates even without a lift from gerrymandering. The most extreme examples are Hawaiʻi, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, all of which have legislatures controlled by Democrats.

Hawai'i Infrastructure Report Card: D+

Mar 7, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

Hawai’i’s infrastructure received its first report card and more than half of grades were below passing. 

House Unveils Election Reform Package

Mar 6, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

The State House of Representatives unveiled its election reform bills that crossed over to the Senate.

Early Childhood Day at the Capitol

Mar 6, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

It was Early Childhood Day at the Capitol and pre-school students rallied for a number of bills before the legislature that impact them.  Children’s Action Network executive director, Deborah Zysman.

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.


Honolulu Mayor Rolls Out Proposed 2020 Spending Plan

Mar 1, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

Mayor Kirk Caldwell rolled out his $2.83-billion operating budget proposal today for Fiscal Year 2020, which begins July 1st.  He said real property and motor vehicle taxes are expected to bring in 120-million more but other taxes must go up to fund his spending plan. 

Wayne Yoshioka

The initial findings from O’ahu’s annual homelessness survey on O’ahu’s have been released.

Wayne Yoshioka

Government and private business partners announced stepped up security efforts in Waikīkī - the state's major economic engine.

Ala Wai Flood Project Funding Advances in Senate

Feb 26, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

State funding for the Ala Wai flood project is moving forward in the legislature, clearing a key committee today.

Affordable Housing Perspectives: Garboden and O'Toole

Feb 25, 2019

State lawmakers, along with the Governor, are attempting to increase the affordable housing supply for either rent or lease. But, what will work?


It was Video Game Industry Day at the State Capitol. But, there is one bill pending at the state legislature that is aimed at improving the lives of children who spend a lot of time on their electronic devices.

Mayor Caldwell Unveils 7-Point Pedestrian Safety Plan

Feb 20, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

The City and County of Honolulu is ranked the most dangerous city in the nation for seniors, ages 65 and older, being hit in sidewalks and for seniors at risk of being killed as pedestrians.  Mayor Kirk Caldwell unveiled a 7-point plan to increase pedestrian safety.

sylvar / Flickr

The full State Senate will vote on a proposal allowing the use of red light camera systems at island intersections.

Olelo Television

There are bills moving through the legislature in both houses that aim to tax currently exempt corporate businesses.

House Committee Advances Zipper Lane Tolls Bill

Feb 13, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

All House and Senate Bills with multiple committee referrals must reach their final committee by Friday. This is a “do or die deadline” for some bills.

House Budgetary Review Appears Slow and Cumbersome

Feb 12, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

The 2019 Legislative Session is almost at the 1/3rd mark but work on the State Budget appears to be moving slower than before.

Wayne Yoshioka

Honolulu City Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi will be introducing a resolution to conduct a forensic audit of the 8.6 billion dollar Rail Transit Project. She says this was her top priority after taking office last month.









Bill to Ban Aquarium Fishing Heard by Senate Committee

Feb 11, 2019
Prof. Gail Grabowski

A proposed bill to ban all aquarium fishing statewide had a hearing Friday.

House Health Committee Tables Anti-Abortion Bill

Feb 7, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

The first anti-abortion bill in 20 years was heard today by the state legislature in a standing-room only committee room.

Agriculture Day at the Legislature

Feb 6, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

It was Agriculture Day at the State Capitol today inside committee rooms and outside on display tables.

Legislature Considers Bills to Revamp TAT

Feb 5, 2019

State Lawmakers are considering legislation to revamp how tourism taxes are distributed to the counties. 

Wayne Yoshioka

A coalition of state lawmakers and community health organizations are pushing to outlaw flavored tobacco products in Hawai’i. 

Wayne Yoshioka

The State’s County Mayors briefed a joint session of the Senate and House Finance Committees today.

Hawai'i Legislative Keiki Caucus: Year of the Child

Jan 30, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

The state legislature is also focusing on Keiki this session.

Governor Signs Early Childhood State Plan

Jan 30, 2019
Wayne Yoshioka

It’s shaping up to be the year of the Keiki or Child at the State Capitol.

Wayne Yoshioka

The dates for the Honolulu City Council District 4 Special Election were announced today.