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Sunday, January 21, 2018
January 21, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:12 PM :: 3415 Views

U.S. Department of Education announces final approval of Hawaii ESSA plan

Small Business Tax Cut: Will Hawaii Legislature Conform?

The Hawaii error and liberal hysteria

SB2654: Tax E-Liquids, Ban Online Tobacco Purchases

Hawaii minority leader Rep. Andria Tupola enters gubernatorial race

HNN: "In a lot of states, a republican like Andria Tupola who's well qualified would really stir up the game….”

She says she's already raised more than $130,000 with a goal of $1.8 million by November….

Gov. Ige's campaign managers released the following statement on Saturday, as well:

“We welcome Tupola?s candidacy into the race. The people of Hawaii are best served by a healthy debate on the issues with differing political parties and viewpoints…..”

Tupola quickly rose in ranks after being elected in 2014. She's the House minority leader and at 37 years old, believes she's the next Hawaii Governor.

She prides herself in being the voice for West Oahu, but says her concerns transcend across all communities.

"Once you start working at the capitol you see all the pieces, then you realize there's some huge systemic issues in Hawaii," Tupola said. "I'm not going to guess about homelessness, I'm going to walk through an encampment. I'm not going to guess about affordable housing, I'm going to fly to the other islands and go to communities that feel their economically depressed and ask what their solutions are."

Tupola added state tax reform is necessary and doesn't believe party labels -- or President Trump's unpopularity in the islands -- will weigh her down….

KITV: State Representative Andria Tupola confirms run for governor  Tupola will make her official public announcement at an event on Saturday, January 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. at American Renaissance Academy, 91-1180 Midway St. in Kapolei. Details on LINK.

read … Hawaii minority leader Rep. Andria Tupola enters gubernatorial race

Can a failure of this magnitude really happen in this state, without anyone bearing the consequences?

SA: Primarily what’s been lacking is accountability. Can a failure of this magnitude really happen in this state, without anyone bearing the consequences? (Answer: Yes.) And will there be any faith of better performance going forward without a change in leadership at the agency?…

…there needs to be better direction at HI-EMA, someone at the helm the public can believe has better instincts than Miyagi has shown, with the capacity to anticipate possible problems…

read … HI-EMA needs total overhaul

State government, arguably the nation’s most inept -- low standards, complacency, turf warfare and butt-covering

Shapiro: …All because our state government, arguably the nation’s most inept, rushed to be first with a nuclear warning system, having no template to guide them. What could go wrong?

Quick calls to fire the guy who clicked the mouse missed the point.

We need to think bigger and fire the so-called leaders who preside over the culture of low standards, complacency, turf warfare and butt-covering that seems to cause nearly everything our local government touches — big or small — to go awry….

read … Missile fiasco further proof of officials’ ineptitude

Nuke Alert: Politicians Preen and Pander

Health care costs heading for eventual catastrophe—Solution? Another Tax Hike

SA: Hawaii health insurance premiums are projected to skyrocket to $14,000 per person and $42,500 for a family of four in the next eight years.

Massive rate increases for Hawaii residents will be unsustainable, with premiums doubling every 10 years and outpacing inflation and wages, Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito is warning. Health care costs took a 14.7 percent chunk of employee wages in 2015.

“We’re at a crisis point and people don’t realize it. We’ve really got to start focusing our attention to bending the cost curve,” Ito said. “The house is burning. We’re on the verge of cardiac arrest. That’s something that we really got to take to heart.”

The underlying problem is medical costs that are rising 6 percent to 9 percent a year, he said. Escalating costs resulted in rate hikes ranging from an average 5.9 percent to 24.1 percent for more than 360,000 Hawaii residents on Jan. 1. Monthly premiums average $650, or $7,800 per person per year.

“It’s taking more of your household income,” Ito said. “Wages are really being depressed because more and more is going to pay for health care premiums. Besides mortgages, health premiums are probably taking the biggest part of your budget. Health care costs are really impacting the entire state.”

Premiums totaled more than $7 billion and are set to increase by another $2 billion in several years…

The Insurance Division will lobby for legislative funding to study health care cost drivers and build a claims database that can be used to target the biggest issues in the community. Taxes on unhealthy products (Tax Hikes solve all problems) such as soda are also needed to raise awareness about its effects on the overall health of the population, Ito said…..

Reality: Mental Health: Can Reform Solve Hawaii’s Homeless, Prison and Unfunded Liability Problems?

read … Thanks, Obama

After Taking Raise, Harry Kim asks Lege to Allow GE Tax Hike

WHT: Mayor Harry Kim on Friday sent the County Council a bill to raise the general excise tax by one-half percent to balance next year’s budget, while telling a state legislative panel the county exhausted its fund balance to pay for this year.  (NOTE: GE Tax hikes currently authorized only for transportation projects.)

Kim told state lawmakers the county took $20 million from last year’s leftover money, leaving just $89,000 in its fund balance while costs continue to rise for payroll and other county expenses. That’s despite hikes in property taxes and fuel taxes approved last year by Kim and the County Council….

The mayor added he was “damned embarrassed” on reading the morning’s newspaper and seeing he got a raise. Kim’s $30,581 raise was among big raises approved by the Salary Commission for 33 top officials.  (LOLROTF!)

“They ask us to help them and my suggestion is to go ahead and raise taxes,” Inouye said about county officials.

Kim told the panel costs outside his control continue to rise. Thanks to recent collective bargaining agreements at the state level, employees’ salaries and benefits now account for 62.5 percent of the $491 million county budget, he said.

Payments on bond issues from prior years account for 12.5 percent. A state-mandated increase in post-retirement benefits other than pensions, known as GASB-45, will bring next year’s county contribution to 15.35 percent of the general fund, compared to about 6 percent in 2006.

Hawaii County voters also passed a charter amendment that takes 2 percent of property tax revenues off the top to purchase land for preservation. Another 0.25 percent is taken to maintain those lands.

Kim, along with the other three county mayors and county council representatives from all four counties, asked the Senate Ways and Means Committee and House Finance Committee to restore previous allocations of the transient accommodations tax — collected on hotels and lodging of less than 180 days — to give the counties a greater share.

County mayors also asked the Legislature to give it more broad-based taxing authority, through HB 1664….

read … General excise tax hike mulled as county drains fund balance

Hawaii Law helps Child Molesters Escape Justice

SA: …The child told them she was at a friend’s Oahu home for a sleepover, and while everyone else was asleep, the friend’s father showed her a computer video of naked women dancing. One was performing oral sex, according to a police report.

The girl said the father asked her if she wanted to do what the women were doing. Disgusted, she told him no, according to the report.

The alleged incident happened just a few weeks shy of the girl’s fifth birthday in 2016….

The girl’s account, which included drawings of what she saw on the video, was credible enough that police arrested the man, a high-tech entrepreneur, on suspicion of promoting pornography to a minor. He was never charged.

Two of the reasons prosecutors cited in not charging the suspect centered on how Hawaii’s law is written regarding promoting pornography to a minor….

This wasn’t the first time the suspect, who is married and has young children, had been accused of sexually inappropriate behavior involving a minor.

Roughly three months before the girl’s parents reported him to police in June, another couple living in Nevada told authorities there that their daughter had been sexually molested on multiple occasions by the same man in Hawaii, also during sleepovers at the man’s home, according to a Henderson, Nev., police report obtained by the Star-Advertiser.

The family used to live in Hawaii….

Driven by the lack of a prosecution, the mother has started contacting legislators in hopes of getting the law changed.

One of them, Rep. Scott Nishimoto, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the girl’s case underscores the need to amend the law. He has introduced three measures, House bills 1850, 1851 and 1852, to revise the law….

Sen. Brian Taniguchi, the Senate Judiciary chairman, said he was open to considering a legislative fix but needed to hear from prosecutors and learn more about what changes may be needed.

Prosecutors likewise said they were open to a possible legislative fix but needed to do more research….

read … Justice?

DoE: Mindless Blither from Kishimoto

SA: …One of our greatest challenges as a large state agency is the perception (truth) that we’re a bureaucracy that is slow to change, focused on monitoring and compliance, and thus by definition anti-innovation. As an arm of government, we have fiduciary and statutory responsibilities, which are reflected in our legislative request (and make great excuses for failure).

Yet, any innovation found in the private and charter sectors are also found in the public sector (several decades later). In fact, public education has been and continues to be at the forefront of teaching and learning innovation (yes.  she really said that without laughing). The difference? Scale. Public education systems are tasked with educating all children, not just the children who choose our school or who pay tuition or who are the recipients of a scholarship.  (And we use this as our excuse for failure every time.) We do not turn away children when our seats are full. Our mission has been universal access to quality education — what we see as a fundamental right….

(Kishimoto was hired BECAUSE she says things like this.)

Best Comment: “To be honest, I've heard your words as a member of the student government back in the '60's.”

read … Mindless Blither

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