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Thursday, April 28, 2022
April 28, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:55 PM :: 1516 Views

Senate and House Money Committees Approve State Budget Bill

Visitor Arrivals Reach 85% of March 2019 Level

CD2: Retreads and Has-Beens Line Up

HNN: ... City Council Chair Tommy Waters has pulled papers for Congress.

“I am still strongly considering running should the seat be open,” said Waters, in a statement….

In another development, state Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole now says he’s not running for Congress and will run for his state senate seat. And former State Sen. Jill Tokuda, who was running for a crowded race for lieutenant governor, has confirmed to HNN her plans to run for Kahele’s seat…. 

CB: Waters, Tokuda File FEC Paperwork For US House Race  

SA: Interest in Rep. Kai Kahele’s congressional seat grows

Related: Laughed out of Hawaii, Kahele Slinks Back to Washington, DC

read … Retreads and Has-Beens

Inside The ‘Frantic’ Push To Shorten Rail And Keep Its Federal Funding

CB: … Neither the board that oversees rail nor the public have seen the latest so-called “recovery plan” – a new attempt by local transit officials to present a plausible path forward for a megaproject that has once again strayed over-budget.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Executive Director Lori Kahikina said in a meeting last week that her staff is working “frantically” to get it done ahead of the Federal Transit Administration’s June 30 deadline.

That hasn’t stopped HART board members from voting in favor of the consequential plan that they have yet to see, so that they can pass it along to the City Council in time to make the FTA’s drop-dead date.

On Friday, the board approved a resolution that supports the recovery plan “as we understand it” – which is how Chairwoman Colleen Hanabusa phrased it – based on the details that she and a select group of three other members have learned from HART staff in recent months.

“We are really strapped,” Hanabusa said of the severe time constraints to hold multiple votes on the board and council levels and then send the recovery plan to the FTA. “We knew we would be tight but we never expected to be in this position.…”

(CLUE: HART has ‘been in this position’ since 2015 when the feds cut off funding and started demanding a ‘recovery plan.’)

Natalie Iwasa, a legislative appointee to the board, called it “a concern” that no one’s actually seen the plan yet….

(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)

The recovery plan will be available to both the board and the public on Friday, according to an agency spokesman.

Once it’s done, it will be at least the third such plan produced by HART since 2016 amid rail’s repeated budget problems and construction setbacks.

Unlike the previous versions, however, this one is expected to seek FTA approval of major changes to the project’s scope and its decade-old $1.55 billion federal funding deal.

PDF: Feds Letter to HART Dec 21, 2021

BACKGROUND: 

read … Inside The ‘Frantic’ Push To Shorten Rail And Keep Its Federal Funding

HB1567: Legislators Agree on Plan to let Lots and Lots of Criminals Back out on Streets

CB: … State legislators voted Wednesday to advance a bill that would allow suspects accused of nonviolent misdemeanors and some felonies to go free without bail….House Bill 1567 would preclude anyone accused of a traffic offense, nonviolent petty misdemeanor, nonviolent misdemeanor or nonviolent class C felony from having to post bail….

Hawaii’s jails and prisons housed 155 people awaiting trial in misdemeanor cases as of Monday. Another 768 detainees were awaiting trial on felony charges. It’s not clear how many of them could be released if HB 1567 were signed into law right now….

Meanwhile, Today’s Crime News:

read … Hawaii Lawmakers Reach Agreement On Cash Bail Reform

HPD Officers Involved In Makaha Crash Want Public-Paid Attorneys

CB: … A contested case hearing will be held to determine if two HPD officers accused of causing a serious crash will get a city-funded legal defense ….

SA: Prosecutor declines to charge HPD corporal following domestic violence arrest in Kaneohe

read … HPD Officers Involved In Makaha Crash Want Public-Paid Attorneys

‘Huge Success’ Maui hospital system reducing reliance on funds from government

SA: … Maui Memorial Medical Center and its health care affiliates in Kula and on Lanai continue to struggle financially six years after the state turned over the cash-strapped hospital system to Kaiser Permanente in a bid to save the state tens of millions of dollars annually.

Maui Health, which operates the Kaiser-affiliated hospital system, says that the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered its push toward financial self-sufficiency, but that it has still realized savings despite the ongoing government subsidies.

“This has been a huge success for the state,” said Michael Rembis, Maui Health’s chief executive officer. In 2014, when Maui Health was still run by the state, it needed $38.3 million in government aid to shore up its budget. Rembis said that Maui Health has been able to reduce its operating costs, saving the state $69.5 million, since it took it over….

read … Maui hospital system still reliant on funds from government

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