Political news

National Legislative Publication Picks Ukulele Bill #1

Apr 22, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

The National Conference of State Legislatures ranked Hawai’i number one for having the most interesting legislative proposal in the country.   It has nothing to do with the state budget … minimum wage increase or proposals to buy conservation land.  The number one topic in the national publication’s monthly magazine has to do with a bill naming Hawai’i’s official musical instrument.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka provides an update on that measure.     

U.H. Students Design Micro-Housing Units

Apr 21, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka / KHPR

Ending homelessness by providing affordable housing options for low income residents has been high on the list of priorities for Hawai’i lawmakers.   The U-H School of Architecture has stepped up to meet that challenge and is developing a number of designs that could be affordable for more people.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.    

Rail Transit Guideway Scheduled for Construction

Apr 17, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

Honolulu’s 5.1 billion dollar rail transit project is set to make a major push toward the city in the next few weeks as construction of the major guide-way system is ramped up and put into place.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.     

State Senate Update on Hawai'i Health Connector

Apr 16, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

The State’s Affordable Care Act Insurance Portal, the Hawai’i Health Connector, needs more money to stay in business next year.  As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, lawmakers were briefed today on the extent of the funding deficit which is in the millions of dollars.     

DOE Budget Moving Through Legislature

Apr 15, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

State lawmakers began deliberations today on the state budget in a joint Senate-House conference committee.   The largest state funding outlay – about one-third of total spending – goes to Hawai’i’s public school system.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.    

Kaka'ako Pump Station to be Renovated

Apr 14, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

Eight new high rise towers have been approved for construction in Kaka’ako, so far.  But, as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, two smaller projects have focused on restoring iconic structures in what is being dubbed as, “O’ahu’s 3rd City.   

Education Secretary Visits Waipahu High School

Mar 31, 2014

The U-S Education Secretary had a stopover in Hawai’i this weekend and visited O’ahu schools today before returning to Washington D.C.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka caught up with the nation’s top education administrator and filed this report.    

Wayne Yoshioka

There are 40 days left before the state legislature adjourns and most eyes are now focused on the state budget.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka caught up with key players in the government funding process and filed this report.     

Ukulele Not A Guarantee for State Instrument

Mar 26, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

Officially designating Hawai’i’s State Instrument is proving to be far more difficult at the State Capitol than many lawmakers ever anticipated.   As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, legislation is seldom easy and far from being simple.   

Wayne Yoshioka

According to the U-S Census Bureau, nearly 40 percent of all single family homes on O’ahu were built in 1969 or earlier, and could experience delays when remodeled or demolished in the near future.   But, there’s a bill making its way through the legislature that could change all that.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.   

A New Face to Support Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Mar 24, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

Supporters of medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawai’i brought a new face to the legislature.   As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, a House Committee heard that the medicinal value of marijuana is not just for terminally ill cancer patients.     

Legislature Addresses Autism This Session

Mar 20, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

Autism is on the rise in the U-S and Hawai’i.  The cost for local families and taxpayers … is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions and lawmakers are trying to address it. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.     

A Joint Development Project Proposed for Kaka'ako

Mar 19, 2014
Hawaii Community Development Authority

The Hawai’i Community Development Authority reviewed plans for another major development project in Kaka’ako yesterday…this one across South Street from the Circuit Court Building parking garage.   As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the latest proposal is a complex venture involving two commercial builders and the Honolulu rail transit project.     

GMO in Waialua: The Future

Mar 18, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

This week on HPR, we’re presenting a series we’re calling, “Genetically Engineered:  Beyond Emotion.”   The town of Waialua on O’ahu’s North Shore is home to a Biotech Farm which is adjacent to  a public school and a residential area.  In his second report, HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka talked to people about the road ahead for GMO and their community.

Read more about HPR's series on GMOs: 

GMOs in the USA

GMOs on Molokai

Dupont-Pioneer and its Waialua Neighbors

Mar 17, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

This week on HPR, we’re presenting a series we’re calling, “Genetically Engineered:  Beyond Emotion.”   In the first of two reports, HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka visits the town of Waialua on O’ahu’s North Shore, home to a large biotech farm located right next to a public school and residential area.

Read more about HPR's series on GMOs: 

GMOs in the USA

GMOs on Molokai

Hawai'i Aquaponic Products Conference, March 22nd

Mar 13, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

The State Department of Agriculture is taking the first step in developing large scale aquaponic farming, the fresh-water system that grows fish and plants, simultaneously.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka visited one of the largest aquaponic farms in Central O’ahu.  

Governor Announces Budget Prioritization Plan

Mar 12, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

The legislature passed the executive budget today, setting in motion deliberations throughout the Capitol on funding for the remainder of this year and next.  This on the heels of the Council on Revenues downward projection of economic growth.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.     

Exclusive HPR Interview with Rep. Faye Hanohano

Mar 11, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

State Representative Faye Hanohano says she is ready to move forward to do the work of the people.   That, after receiving a letter of reprimand from the House Speaker last week.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka has this exclusive interview with the lawmaker from Puna.    

More Military Living in O'ahu Communities

Mar 10, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

Military service-members in Hawai’i received a 14.7 percent housing allowance increase in January, which is a tax-free subsidy to help pay for housing in the civilian market.   As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, rental prices around Oahu’s largest base are on the rise and already beyond the reach of many low-income residents.    

State Legislature Convenes in Special Session

Mar 8, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

R101 (SESS1 of 5) Monday, October 28, 2013.  

The Hawai’i Legislature convened in special session today to consider a measure to grant marriage equality for same-sex couples.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka attended the proceedings at the State Capitol and filed this report.   

House Joint Committee Considers Amendments

Mar 8, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

R101 (SESS2 of 5) Tuesday, November 5, 2013.  

A Joint House Committee ended public testimony this afternoon on the marriage equality bill and is currently deliberating some changes before a full House vote as early as this evening.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Senate Overwhelmingly Approves Marriage Equality Bill

Mar 8, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

R101 (SESS3 of 5) Tuesday, November 12, 2013.  

The State Senate overwhelmingly approved the House version of the Marriage Equality Bill today, clearing the way for the Governor to sign it into law as soon as possible.    HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka was at the State Capitol for the vote.   

Governor Signs Marriage Equality into Law

Mar 8, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

R101 (SESS4 of 5) Wednesday, November 13, 2013.  

Governor Neil Abercrombie presided over an invitation-only bill signing ceremony at the Convention Center today.    The state’s chief executive signed the Marriage Equality bill into law following a two-and-a-half week special session.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.   

Department of Health Issues Marriage Licenses

Mar 8, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

R101 (SESS5 of 5) Monday, December 02, 2013.  

The Department of Health recorded 8 same-sex marriages before opening their doors this morning at 7:45.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka visited the Marriage License Office on their first day of new business.   

A Celebration of Ethnic Diversity in Hawaii

Mar 8, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

R102 (LUAU) Monday, October 7, 2013.  One out of four Hawai’i residents claims a multi-ethnic heritage, the highest proportion in the nation, according the U.S. Census Bureau.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka visited with one local family for a baby luau.

Communications Pacific

A Honolulu City Council Committee approved a plan to build a second luxury tower in Waikiki today, on the same block that another high-end building is already under construction.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.     

OHA Kaka'ako Plan Criticized

Mar 5, 2014

Representatives from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs went to the Capitol today to brief House members on their plan to build residential buildings in Kaka’ako Makai.  Instead, they received a strong recommendation from the committee chair to go back to the negotiating table with the Governor.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.    

Some Lawmakers Oppose Ukulele as State Instrument

Mar 4, 2014

State lawmakers considered more than 500 bills today before a critical legislative deadline, Thursday.  Proposed measures must be approved in the originating House in order to crossover to the other chamber for consideration.   As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, all bills have a long way to go and there are no guarantees, not even for the one of the most popular instruments in Hawai’i.

Consumer Protection Week Launched in Hawai'i

Mar 3, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

The state department charged with consumer protection in Hawai’i is reaching out to the public this week.  The regulators want you to know how you can guard against fraud and when it occurs to bring the culprits to justice.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.    

"Bachi" and the U.S. Senate Race in Hawai'i

Feb 27, 2014
Rosetta Stone

The primary election to determine which Democratic candidate will go on to fill the late U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye’s seat is just 160-days away. But can campaign donations and union endorsements overcome a culturally-based curse that is legendary in Hawai’i politics? HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka spoke to supporters and candidates about this curse and filed this report.