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Monday, August 28, 2017
August 28, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:43 PM :: 2708 Views

Trump has the authority to modify existing monument boundaries

3 Things That Could Derail The Honolulu Rail Bailout

CB:When the Legislature takes up a $2.4 billion bill to bail out the struggling Honolulu rail project on Monday, the carefully crafted deal faces three main obstacles.

Two were almost sure to arise in the face of the proposed deal; a third surfaced late last week, accompanied by a flurry of dueling news releases and memos from Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and members of the Legislature.

Lawmakers are suspicious that Caldwell is trying to rake in more money from taxpayers than the project actually needs.

Hotel operators insist visitors will stay away from Hawaii if the price to stay here rises any higher.

And neighbor island political leaders say it’s just plain unfair to tap their hotels and visitors to pay for a train on Oahu.

Any of these issues could derail the rail bill when lawmakers convene on Monday to start what’s expected to be a five-day session….

CB: “Da talk is still goin’, goin’, goin’, not da train! Da bugga is still parked in da train barn in Waipahu.”

read … 3 Things That Could Derail The Honolulu Rail Bailout

Rail Skeptics Booted from House Finance Committee

SA: Two members of the powerful House Finance Committee were abruptly replaced Sunday in a partial House reorganization launched just a day before the start of a high-stakes special session to try to bail out the financially troubled Honolulu rail project.

State Reps. James Tokioka and Isaac Choy, who have both been publicly critical of House leaders’ proposals for funding rail, were notified by Vice Speaker Della Au Belatti on Sunday morning that they will no longer serve on the Finance Committee.

Choy (D, Manoa-­Puna­hou-Moiliili) contends he and Tokioka were removed to grease the tracks for the controversial rail bailout bill, and to minimize discussion and criticism of the measure this week.

“I think they want the hearing to go very, very smoothly and quietly without any debate or discussion, or any kind of thought,” Choy said.

The five-day special session of the state Legislature convenes today….

read … House reorganizes on eve of special session on rail

Rail Crooks Saved: Lawmakers Drop ‘Forensic’ Audit

CB:“The clearer the audit objective the better the audit report will meet the needs of the organization,” said Kahn….

John Woolley, deputy legislative auditor with the Washington State Legislature’s Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee, agreed. Woolley said the key is for lawmakers to clearly frame the questions they want the audit to answer.

“You’ve got to be very attentive to the way you phrase the question,” Woolley said. “What are you perceiving as a problem that’s driving this question?”

Rail critics had asked HART to conduct a forensic audit to figure out why costs had ballooned and whether fraud or malfeasance had occurred under HART’s watch.

The current bill does not require a forensic audit…. (See how this works?)

read … Audit

Pay ACLU Lawyers $75K to House Homeless in their Homes

HNN: Would you let a homeless person live in your backyard? What if you got paid to do it?

Honolulu City Councilman Joey Manahan is looking into what it would take to make that a reality.

The idea is simple: Provide homeowners with cash to build a rental unit in their backyard. The agreement requires the homeowner to rent the space to someone who is homeless. To jumpstart the process, permitting would be streamlined.

"We'd have to vet it through committee and council but you know what I'd like to do is introduce a resolution and discuss it and see if it's something that w are willing to do here," said Manahan.

It's a program Los Angeles County launched last week. There participants are given up to $75,000 to go towards construction. Others who already have a unit are eligible for up to $50,000 in subsides to bring it up to code.

(Great.  Lets start with the homes of ACLU lawyers.)

read … Could homeowners be the answer to Hawaii's homeless crisis?

Abercrombie Rants Raves Against Anti-Big-Wind Activist

CB:The former governor takes exception with how he was portrayed in a recent Community Voice about the Big Wind renewable energy project….

read … Hot Air

Liberals to Establish Think Tank in Hawaii?

SA: …plans are in the works to create a nonpartisan “Hawaii State Budget and Policy Center” at the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice to provide data to help guide policy decisions.

Hawaii would be the 43rd state to establish such a center in tandem with the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities….

read … Liberal Think Tank

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