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State lawmaker talks Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority marketing contract, funding bill

Kelvin Kay
Wikimedia Commons

Board members of the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority had lots to talk about at a meeting on Thursday including a proposed funding bill that the governor included on his "Intent to Veto" list, and the U.S. marketing contract. Gov. David Ige announced Monday he plans to veto a bill funding HTA’s operations and instead use federal American Recovery Plan Act funds.

Also, the Hawaiʻi Visitors and Convention Bureau is challenging HTA’s recent decision to award a $34 million marketing and management contract to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. The protest has stalled the council’s timeframe to begin work and triggered a three-month extension of the HVCB’s current contract, which was supposed to expire on June 29.

The Conversation connected with state Rep. Richard Onishi, chair of the House Committee on Labor and Tourism, before the Thursday meeting to ask how we got here.

This interview aired on The Conversation on June 30, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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