UHERO: ‘Discriminatory’ HSTA Property Tax Plan hits Renters Hardest
Audit: Rep Kaniela Ing Does His Part to Hide OHA Corruption
Hawaii Attorney General to Sue Trump to Keep Muslim ‘Refugees’ Flowing Into Country
Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review
Hawaii: Trannies Drive Push to Legalize Prostitution
Kidani: I want to Double Your Property Taxes to Create Massive Union Slush Fund
CB: A Senate committee on Friday approved measures that would use taxes to help fund public education in Hawaii – but a House committee postponed making a decision on its version of the bills.
The bills are part of the Hawaii State Teachers Union’s proposal to have the Legislature put a question on the 2018 ballot that would seek voter approval of a constitutional amendment establishing a surcharge on residential investment properties and visitor accommodations to provide more funding for public schools.
The union’s proposal comes in the form of two bills: Senate Bill 686 and Senate Bill 683….
The bills were passed out of the Senate Committee on Education with amendments. They’ll now move on to the Senate committees on Ways and Means and Judiciary and Labor….
“I totally believe that we have to find a way to get the funding that we need for the Department of Education,” said Sen. Michelle Kidani, who introduced the two bills and chairs the Senate education committee.
SA: I will have to increase rent $400 a month and my tenant is a teacher
read … School Funding Bills Move Forward In Senate
Push to Hike E-Cig Tax
SA: …Gov. David Ige has pledged $10 million — $5 million each in fiscal years 2018 and 2019 — in his administration budget for the UH Cancer Center, following former President Barack Obama’s $1.8 billion legislation for new investments into cancer research.
Sen. Roz Baker (D, South Maui-West Maui) earlier committed to working with lawmakers to increase the e-cigarette tax; allow pharmacists to administer vaccines for the human papillomavirus, the most common sexually transmitted infection that can lead to cancer; and support a statewide cancer screening project.
Meanwhile a Native Hawaiian Health Task Force is lobbying for a minimum- wage hike and public dental benefits for low-income residents in an attempt to reduce health disparities among Native Hawaiians.
“Among Native Hawaiians we see higher prevalence of many risk factors commonly associated with cancer, including smoking, alcohol use and obesity,” said Lola Irvin, administrator of the state Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division. “In addition, we see lower rates of screening for certain cancers. This, in turn, suggests that Native Hawaiians are more likely to die, and more likely to die at a younger age from cancer than other race-ethnicities.” ….
read … Taxes are a Cancer
Legislators Take Another Run at Judiciary
SA: Suspicion is mounting — and so is the evidence — that members of the Legislature, perhaps unhappy with certain court rulings (which ones?), are trying to weaken the independence of Hawaii’s Judiciary through intrusive legislation.
Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald told the Star-Advertiser editorial board last week that the Legislature’s recent efforts to drastically change how the Judiciary operates “certainly are grounds for concern for us.”
Indeed. Last year, the Legislature considered ill-advised proposals that called for the election of judges; Senate approval to retain sitting judges; and a reduction in the amount of judges’ pensions. All of them failed. The Legislature did, however, reject nearly all supplemental budget requests proposed by the Judiciary.
This year, the Legislature is at it again. Bills in the House and Senate resurrect a proposal to amend the state Constitution to give the Senate final authority over whether a judge or justice is approved for a subsequent term, taking that role away from the Judicial Selection Commission….
The legislation (House Bill 1 and Senate Bills 328 and 673) purport to make the judicial retention process more transparent and accountable to the public — a worthy goal. However, the bills would re-establish the same danger of improper influences the commission was created to avoid….
read … Suspicion
Anti-GMO Hysterics Trying to Buy Politicians—But Voters Punish
HNN: Anti-GMO groups spent nearly $270,000, mostly during the 2016 election season….
"People with the most money are going to have the loudest voice, and it's going to be corrupting the entire system," said former state Campaign Spending Commission Director Bob Watada….
Political action committees Sustainable Action Fund for the Environment and the Hawaii Center for Food Safety spent more than $200,000 over the past two years.
"They've used that money to build a coalition. They've used that money to poll folks. They've used the money to engage in training," said Moore. "They're really politicizing voters who might not otherwise participate."
Former Kauai council member Gary Hooser, a GMO opponent, lost his re-election bid in November….
read … Corruption
Anti-Sunscreen? Hysteria Attracts Quacks, as Usual
KE: …Speaking of misinformed, Tsui's article attracted this comment urging people to use “mineral-based” sunscreens:
Just one drop of chemical-based sunscreen (the majority of sunscreens) is enough to kill coral within the volume of six olympic-sized swimming pools.
Uh, if that were the case then Hawaii wouldn't have any coral left. Still, the state House has advanced a bill to ban the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone in response to a study that linked it to deformities in coral larvae and an acceleration in the rate of coral bleaching.
In its coverage of the bill, The GardenIsland featured one of its regular sources, marine biologist Katherine Muzik, pushing raspberry oil, which she claims “has an amazing SPF 50 ... and it helps smooth wrinkles. It’s safe and organic.”
However, that claim has been dismissed as "absolute nonsense" by medical experts, the Daily Mail reports. And the study on raspberry oil also seems to have been misinterpreted, with the product actually providing an SPF closer to 6.75 to 7.5….
read … Musings: Fib-Busting Friday
Energy ‘Green’: Hawaii Legislature Explores New and Exotic Ways to Give Money to Silicon Valley Billionaires
IM: The Governor has submitted bills (SB906 and HB1040) to clean up the definition of “Renewable Portfolio Standards”. As Life of the Land first pointed out, and then HECO and NextEra confirmed, under current state law, 150 percent of the electricity generated by HECO can come from renewable energy sources, while the utility continues to buy coal and petroleum based electricity. This is because current law has manipulated the mathematical definition of “percent”….
Transportation SB1186 and HB1580 establishes a goal to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of fossil fuels for ground transportation by 2045. SB1186 Referred to TRE, WAM. HB 1580. HB1580 Referred to EEP, TRN, FIN. Heard by EEP, decision making scheduled for Tuesday, February 7.
Buildings SB571 and HB1249 requires the state building code council to adopt net zero energy capability standards for new single-family residential construction. Requires all new single-family residential construction to be net zero capable by 2019. SB571 Referred to HOU/TRE, WAM. HOU/TRE has scheduled a public hearing on February 14. HB1249 referred to EEP, HSG, FIN.
Gas Company HB1253 requires gas utility companies to establish renewable energy portfolio standard for gas. Referred to EEP, FIN.
Biofuels SB 237 and HB1476 requires the department of agriculture to establish a two-year advanced biofuels pilot project to expand the use of biofuels in achieving the goal of 100 percent clean energy dependence by 2045. SB237 Referred to AEN/TRE, WAM. AEN/TRE has scheduled a public hearing on February 6. HB 1476 Referred to EEP, AGR, FIN.
Hydrogen HB1579 authorizes the issuance of special facility revenue bonds pursuant to part III of chapter 206M, HRS, and appropriates funds to the Hawaii High Technology Corporation for the purpose of constructing an electrolysis hydrogen production, storage, and dispensing facility to be managed by the Hawaii center for advanced transportation technologies. Referred to EDB, FIN. EDB heard the bill on February 3rd, and passed the bill with an amendment.
RPS Definition SB906 and HB1040 are the Governor`s bills. They amend the “renewable portfolio standard” calculation to more accurately reflect the amount of grid-connected renewable energy generation in Hawaii. SB906 referred to TRE/CPH, WAM. HB1040 referred to EEP, CPC
Plans SB434 requires the governor, DBEDT, and the Hawaii state energy office to develop a strategic plan that outlines benchmarks to achieve a one hundred per cent renewable energy portfolio standard. Referred to TRE, WAM.
read … Hawai`i Legislature Takes on Fossil Fuel
SunEdison: Billions Of Dollars In Taxpayer Money Hidden In Solar Scammer Bankruptcy
Seeing Alpha: Congressional investigators are examining the use of tax incentives for solar-power companies.
SunEdison has received "the vast majority" of a $1 billion credit line the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. extended to India.
SunEdison has been successful in bypassing Sarbanes-Oxley regulation that should be a tool to avoid a new Enron scandal….
Right from the beginning, government support awarded to SunEdison showed entanglement between Washington, D.C.'s political elite and SunEdison. This is a topic that has been discussed in several dockets submitted to this Chapter 11 case by shareholders….
read … Green Energy Scammers
10 violations, 2 firings on annual review of Hawaii Co Police Department
HTH: Hawaii County police misconduct continues to remain relatively low, with two officers fired and eight others suspended without pay last year, according to an annual report released Thursday.
The 2016 misconduct compares to the same number of suspensions and firings in 2015, and three firings and 17 suspensions in 2014….
One officer was fired after he modified the exhaust system of a vehicle subsidized by the county, and then lied about it to a superior officer inspecting his vehicle. A grievance action is still pending in the case.
Another officer was fired after he was arrested for second-degree assault while off-duty. The officer confronted a neighbor and threw him to the ground, causing significant facial injuries, according to the misconduct report that did not name the officer.
That officer, Jamie L. Harper, was acquitted of the charge in November after Kona Circuit Court Judge Ronald Ibarra determined after a bench trial that Harper suffered from a physical or mental disease, disorder or defect that resulted in him not having the capacity to have the particular state of mind for the charge filed….
Of the suspensions, one officer was suspended 11 days for untruthfully calling in sick, feigning illness and leaving the island for a matter not related to department business….
An officer was suspended a total of six days for two violations of uniform regulation, personal appearance and approved attire general orders, as was an officer who failed to conform with report writing procedures and preliminary investigation procedures. Another officer was suspended five days for violating report writing procedures.
Three-day suspensions went to other officers for violating report writing procedures and not submitting documents in a timely manner. One officer got a one-day suspension for failing to turn in evidence before the end of the work shift, and another for not having sufficient official mileage to draw fuel.
read … Hawaii Co PD