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Thursday, August 02, 2018
August 2, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:15 PM :: 763 Views

Free Hawai'i: Germaine Meyers OHA Endorsements

Senate Unanimously Confirms Jill Otake to Serve on Hawaii Federal Court

Mainland Animal Liberation Nuts Demand End to Aquarium Fishing

Gun advocates need to tread carefully, despite Young v. Hawaii victory

Hawaii Budget and Policy Center Releases Budget Primer    

HD43 Goes Automatic Democrat as Republican born in American Samoa told she's ineligible to run

HNN: A Republican state House candidate born in American Samoa has learned she's ineligible to run for office because she's not a U.S. citizen.

(Timoteo was the only Republican running to replace Andria Tupola in HD43.  The seat now goes automatically to the winner of the Democrat Primary Aug 11.)

Sai Timoteo said she didn't realize she wasn't allowed to vote or hold office.

She's running for the Leeward Oahu seat vacated by state House Rep. Andria Tupola, a Republican who is running for governor. Timoteo had served in Tupola's office and received her endorsement.

Timoteo's departure from the race means there are no eligible Republicans running for the seat.

It's unclear whether her name will remain on the ballot or whether the state Office of Elections will tell voters she's ineligible.

"Growing up, I learned about our freedoms and always thought I had the same right to participate in our democracy," Timoteo said, in a statement.

"I never knew my ethnicity as an American from American Samoa gave me second-class status and denied me rights that so many Americans take for granted on a daily basis.”

Doubts about her eligibility were raised by … Eric Ryan who said she also broke the law by voting for years….

Ostrov said in a statement, though, that Timoteo is a "lifelong American with a U.S. passport" but is being deprived "of her basic democratic rights because of discriminatory, colonial-era laws that give her second-class status as an American.”

If Timoteo is formally disqualified, there will be no Republican candidate in that House race.

"The Republicans in Hawaii need all the help that they can get. Andria Tupola's seat was one of the ones they've held, one of the few districts that voted Republican," said University of Hawaii political science professor Colin Moore…. 

WHT: Can non-citizens vote? Elections officials rely on affidavits to verify citizenship

CB: Lack Of US Citizenship Trips Up GOP State House Candidate

PDF: Office of Elections Letter to Timoteo

Background on Am Samoa Citizenship Issue:

read … State House contender born in American Samoa told she's ineligible to run

Kaiser wants to raise Obamacare rates by 40.8%

SA:  …After years of double-­digit rate hikes, Hawaii Medical Service Association is proposing a modest 2.7 percent increase for members with Obamacare plans in 2019, though Kaiser Permanente Hawaii is seeking to boost premiums an average 28.6 percent.

The reason for the huge difference in next year’s health insurance rates under the federal Affordable Care Act is unclear. The preliminary rate changes were made public Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The proposals are under review with final rates set to come out later this month….

In its filing, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. said it is seeking to raise premiums 18.8 percent to 40.8 percent due to changes in benefits from 2017 and 2018 for certain plans and “refinements in the application of the model used to develop pricing factors.”

As of December 2017, Kaiser covered 13,558 people who will be affected by the new rates, which begin on Jan. 1.

“The experience of this block of business has not been favorable, with claims costs exceeding premiums in 2017 by over 35 percent,” Kaiser said in the filing, adding that it collected $52.4 million in premiums, but paid $72.7 million in medical claims in 2017….

read … Obama: The Gift that Just Keeps on Giving

To create affordable housing, government should back off

SA: …As an appraiser who has valued real estate in Hawaii for more than 45 years, I am not surprised that a panel comprised almost entirely of government employees and people who make a living off the government dole should recommend more government spending on affordable housing (“‘No quick fix’ for shortage of affordable apartments,” Star-Advertiser, July 28).

I applaud one conclusion from the state-led panel’s report — “simply put, affordable housing is unprofitable” — but disagree entirely with the suggested remedy….

If one wants more development, one needs to make developing less risky. Currently, it can take years to get a project from a gleam in the developer’s eye to approval by the government and another year or more to completion.

What has been the government’s response? Tack on more restrictions and delays. Greater risk equates to a need for a higher profit. Requiring the developer to provide 30-40 percent “affordable” housing (remember, it isn’t profitable) means the developer must find ways to get compensating profit from his “market” units, driving up the cost of the market units or making luxury units the only dependable way of achieving the needed profit incentive….

read … To create affordable housing, government should back off

Hanabusa: I will Build Homeless Tent Cities Full of Chronics Everywhere

CB: … Gov. David Ige has taken a strong stand against tent cities, while Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa supports the concept of “ohana zones.” …. Hanabusa said those using ohana zones will most likely be the “chronics”….“It would be those people who have different challenges whether they be mental health issues, whether they be drug or alcohol,” she said….

SB 2401 requires the state to identify six sites on public land for temporary ohana zones, three on Oahu and three in each neighbor county….

read … Will The Next Governor Support Safe Zones For the Homeless?

Dopers to be driving a Cement Mixer Near You: Will Push for End to Marijuana Screening on the Job 

HNN: …Lawmakers are trying to figure out what new rules might be needed for the quickly growing industry.

The state says about 10,000 new patients have received medical marijuana cards in the past three years for a total of nearly 22,000 licensed users.

But what happens when they fail a drug test at work? (Schoolteachers, for instance.) Should they be protected from discipline?  (Bus drivers?) Or can employers fire them?  (Police officers? EMTs?)

That's one of several outstanding issues Hawaii lawmakers and cannabis leaders hope to clear up in the coming months.

"We're looking at people who are medical cannabis card carriers and also employed," said Senator Rosalyn Baker during a working group meeting at the State Capitol on Wednesday. "Any kinds other demographic...any additional research or help in that area, I think will be very useful to the employment group.”

Baker chairs the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health.

The working group, established from HB2729, will make recommendations to the legislature.

read … Dopers On The Job

Carpenters Union Burns $3 Million Pushing Hanabusa, Green

CB: Be Change Now, the latest super PAC created by the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters, has poured nearly $3 million into Hawaii’s 2018 primary election cycle, campaign spending reports released late Wednesday show.

Much of that cash is going to support U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s bid to become governor.

The group reported collecting exactly $3 million since Jan. 1 and spending $2.89 million on local candidates, including Hanabusa and state Sen. Josh Green’s bid for lieutenant governor, through July 27, according to filings with the state Campaign Spending Commission.

read …  Carpenters Union Pumps $3 Million Into Hawaii’s Primary Race

Hawaii’s limits on open carry of guns won’t change soon, former justice says

SA: It may be years before Hawaii sees changes to its firearms law following the July 24 ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that the state’s requirement for a license to openly carry a firearm in public violates the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment.

That’s the opinion of retired state Supreme Court Justice Steven Levinson, a Honolulu police commissioner. Levinson discussed the court’s open-carry ruling Wednesday at a Honolulu Police Commission meeting.

It will take at least a year in the likely event Hawaii County asks the 9th Circuit for further review and to have the case heard by an 11-judge panel, Levinson said.

The case would likely go up to the U.S. Supreme Court, and that could take another two years. In the meantime, “the judgment of the three-member panel is stayed, so the status quo stays in place,” he said.

Former law enforcement officer George K. Young Jr. of Hilo sued the state and state and county officials including the Hawaii County police chief in 2012, after the chief twice rejected his application for a license to carry a handgun.

The three 9th Circuit Court judges issued a 2-1 decision that the state’s law violated the Second Amendment right to bear arms, with Hawaii’s Richard Clifton the dissenting voice….

Related: Gun advocates need to tread carefully, despite Young v. Hawaii victory

read … Hawaii’s limits on open carry of guns won’t change soon, former justice says

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