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Monday, July 13, 2020
July 13, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:46 PM :: 863 Views

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COVID Count: 23 new cases out of 900 tests--3 deaths

Governor announces plan to delay reopening of tourism for at least a month

HNN: … During a legislative briefing Monday, Ige said he would be extending the 14-day mandatory quarantine for all trans-Pacific travelers through the end of August as the state continues to hammer out the details of how the testing program would work ― and ensure that visitors don’t slip through the cracks.

“We are preparing the emergency, supplemental emergency proclamation for specifically that,” Ige said….

SA: Gov. Ige to extend 14-day quarantine for trans-Pacific arrivals through August

read … Governor announces plan to delay reopening of tourism for at least a month

Ige Should Block Union Pay Raises

CB: … Hawaii’s economy, already brutalized by COVID-19, is in for worse times ahead.

Gov. David Ige said last week that more than 200,000 local residents have lost their jobs, and the state took in 25% less tax revenue in June as compared to the same month a year ago. Federal funds to help Hawaii stay afloat are drying up.

The Council on Revenues had previously estimated Hawaii is looking at a budget hole of $2.3 billion, something the governor and the Legislature have been struggling to patch.

“For that big of a loss,” Ige said, “we are looking at all of our options. Everything is on the table. This includes trying to find more money, and, unfortunately, considering potential cuts. Our planning and decisions will be based on facts and numbers. We are facing a challenging future.”

Our recommendation: start with rejecting $200 million in pay raises for public employees — $150 million of it from the general fund and an additional $50 million in federal and others funds. This is not the time to spend tax dollars on salary increases when the state is scrambling to make tough calls.….

read … Ige Should Block Union Pay Raises 

With 20% Unemployed, State Preps for Wave of Drug Addiction

KITV: … Substance abuse treatment centers here in Hawaii and across the country are preparing for the possibility of a surge in new patients as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff at the Sand Island Treatment Center say they are concerned people experiencing increased isolation caused by the pandemic may lead to a rise in substance abuse cases….

read … One of Hawaii's oldest rehab centers prepares for possible increase in patients due to COVID-19

Over 150 visitors have been sent home, VASH reports

KITV: … The Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii (VASH) says it has sent home 156 visitors since the COVID-19 Flight Assistance Program started on April 6.

Five of of the visitors were sent back on Saturday.

One quarantine violator was a Seattle woman, who sent back for not wearing a mask. She told VASH she had no plans to quarantine for 14 days in Hawaii, and no other resources….

read … Over 150 visitors have been sent home, VASH reports

Is YB Capable of Sound Fiscal Management?

SA: … Negotiations with the Legislature this year for a $25 million bailout went nowhere; now Young Brothers has petitioned the state Public Utilities Commission for a temporary emergency rate increase that would boost the company’s revenue by about $30 million.

The shipper will need to convince the PUC that the increase will be truly temporary, and that it is capable of managing itself back into solvency and good financial health. Those are tall orders….

read … Young Brothers seeks more help

New budget director’s campaign contributions show he was no stranger to politics

ILind: … Last Monday, the power Senate Ways and Means Committee voted 7-4 against the appointment of Craig Hirai, Governor David Ige’s nominee to head the Department of Budget and Finance.

But on Friday, the full Senate voted unanimously in support of Hirai, whose appointment will run until December 5, 2022.

Hirai has been serving as the acting Director of Finance.

His background is summarized in the Senate WAM committee report

Hirai was also registered as a lobbyist for the Hawaii Association of Realtors between January 17 and December 31, 2013. Previously he had been a member of the realtor’s Legislative Committee.

What the committee report doesn’t mention is that Hirai has also been a political player and a frequent contributor to political campaigns. Hirai has contributed a total of $36,650 to candidates between May 2007 and June 30, 2020, mostly Democratic legislative candidates or elected officials.

The majority of Hirai’s contributions were $250 or less, and were spread among 40 different candidates.

Hirai contributed a total of $8,750 to David Ige beginning with $250 in August, 2011, and including six contributions of $1,000 or more between 2014 and 2018….

read … New budget director’s campaign contributions show he was no stranger to politics

6 cases tied to a cluster at the Pearl City Nursing Home

HNN: … Officials say the cluster began when a staff member found out they tested positive on Thursday and immediately notified the facility.

Doctors were called to test all employees and residents on Friday, and testing efforts continued through Saturday.

Out of the combined 300 people at the facility, from staff members to residents, results showed two staff members and four residents have the virus.

“We did have one of the infected residents sent to the hospital, but actually already that person is being returned back sometime today (Sunday) because they are very stable,” Dr. Scott Miscovich of Premier Medical Group said….

read … 6 cases tied to a cluster at the Pearl City Nursing Home

Hawaii passes new gun control law restricting interstate commerce

TAG: … On Wednesday, the Hawaii Senate passed yet another pointless gun control bill. This time, the state is implementing a new requirement on soon-to-be non-residents, who will be required to report any firearms that they are permanently removing from the state. Failure to report the removal of firearms may result in a $100 fine….

read … Hawaii passes new gun control law restricting interstate commerce

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