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Sunday, January 8, 2023
January 8, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:57 PM :: 1913 Views

Hawaii Grade 'C' on Low Income School Funding Fairness

Most Expensive US Cities -- Honolulu 5th

Hawaii AG Asks Court to Allow Sex-Change 'Education' of 3rd-Graders

Tax Word Find

City Planning to INCREASE Property Tax Rates to Pay for Fattened HGEA, UPW, SHOPO Contracts

SA Editorial: … covering the obligations of already-negotiated public- worker contracts, and ensuring solid baseline city services, will take revenue.

(Translation: Tax hikes coming.)

The goal should be providing some form of tax relief to those who need it most, largely those of limited income now paying the base rate of $3.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. The other aim: capturing more revenue from those best able to afford it…

(Translation: Tax hikes coming.)

There is also the opportunity to collect the yield from a new revenue stream, the taxes that legal vacation-rental units will be paying. And there are other options, such as increasing the tiers of tax classification so that those at the top will pay more….

(Translation: Higher property tax RATES on top of the already increased property assessments.)

in the meantime, the (silly little) taxpayers themselves already have been talking up a storm. The city is looking for revenue to cover expected rising outlays for worker salaries and benefits…

(Translation: Tax hikes coming.)

read … Adjust the burden of property taxes

HGEA Job trust killing Sister Isle Health Care: Hefty subsidies continue for Hawaii’s state-run hospitals

SA: … Top officials with the state agency that oversees many of Hawaii’s neighbor island hospitals and long-term care facilities say there’s no current push to privatize more of its facilities even though the private sector could operate them more cheaply and efficiently, easing the hefty subsidies provided by state taxpayers.

In recent years, the transfer of three Maui County hospitals to Kaiser Permanente raised expectations that more state-run facilities could be privatized. But Dr. Linda Rosen, president and CEO of the Hawaii Health Systems Corp., which oversees the facilities, said there has been little interest from the private sector or regional boards to continue the trend….

The biggest expense for HHSC has been personnel costs, particularly fringe benefits for civil service employees. HHSC’s budgeted cost of fringe benefits as a percentage of wages is about 63% — double that of private hospitals, Rosen told lawmakers. Overall, personnel costs comprise about 80% of expenditures.

With that rate, Rep. Bert Kobayashi (D, Diamond Head-­Kahala-Kaimuki-Kapahulu) told HHSC that it’s “doomed to coming here year after year and asking for huge, huge operating subsidies.”

Rosen said the state subsidy would be even higher if Maui Memorial Medical Center, the island’s only acute-care hospital, and its affiliates in Kula and on Lanai, had not been transferred to Kaiser in 2017….

Rosen said that overall she believes the Maui transfer has been a success, but there still aren’t indications that other HHSC facilities are looking to follow suit.

“The other boards are not of that mindset, but part of it also is that there’s not any evidence that the private sector is eager to take over our hospitals,” she told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser…. 

Rosen said that Maui was more attractive to the private sector because Maui Memorial is the island’s only major hospital, thereby lacking competition, and it had a relatively high percentage of patients with private health insurance, which offers higher reimbursement rates than Medicaid and Medicare.

She said the private sector could likely operate other hospitals in the HHSC system at lower costs, boosting the profit potential, but operating rural health care facilities would still be a challenge….

BACKGROUND:

read … Hefty subsidies continue for Hawaii’s state-run hospitals

Tracking Government Reform Proposals In Hawaii

CB: … The standards commission, led by retired judge Dan Foley (so you might see it referred to as the Foley commission from time to time), did amazing work. The seven-member group was so top-notch and tackled so many different elements that I think the legislative powers that be might have been caught off guard. That’s what they get for appointing good people to take on an important issue.

The commission noted that after a series of scandals involving public officials, people perceive Hawaii to be in the throes of “a deep moral crisis.” Members worked much of the year holding public hearings and involving key civic and political leaders, and in December they presented House Speaker Scott Saiki with a 396-page report that included 31 proposals for reform.

Saiki has said he intends to introduce the proposals as bills to be considered by lawmakers…..

read … Tracking Government Reform Proposals In Hawaii

What is Ron Kouchi’s Darkest Secret?

Shapiro:  >> For Gov. Josh Green: “A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in.” — Frederick the Great

>> For Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke: “The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me.” — Ayn Rand

>> For House Speaker Scott Saiki: “I am only human, although I regret it.” — Mark Twain

>> For Senate President Ron Kouchi: “State legislators are merely politicians whose darkest secret prevents them from running for higher office.” — Dennis Miller …

read … Our New Year’s serving of chicken soup for the clueless

Kahele: A relatively new political face who just couldn’t put it all together

Borreca: … Kahele, however, is much more a case of a relatively new political face who just couldn’t put it all together….

But his term in Congress was marked with needless mistakes and fumbles. Kahele was questioned about flying part-time for Hawaiian Air while serving in Congress and supporting legislation that would help Hawaiian. He also voted by proxy 120 times, giving at least the impression that he was serving in name only. Also, an investigation was started by the Office of Congressional Ethics, because of Kahele “misused official resources for campaign or political purposes,” according to the agency which recommended that the House Ethics Committee probe further. No further action was taken….

Finally, in a move laced with political irony, Kahele was done in by misfiling his congressional political spending reports after he partially based his campaign on refusing to take campaign donations from lobbyists. That essentially left Kahele’s campaign for governor without the ability to use public funds after he condemned those who took corporate and lobbyists’ money.

With all that needless controversy, it was a wonder that Kahele managed to get even 14.7% of the vote in his Democratic gubernatorial primary, which was won by then-Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

Politics, of course, is the home of second chances, and Kahele could fashion a reason for a political comeback.

Unfortunately for Kahele, he holds a record that could not be called “the glory days,” …

read … Kai Kahele returns to Hawaiian Air from Congress

Kawika Crowley, Republican Congressional Nominee, Commits Suicide in Hilo

HTH: … The 71-year-old Hilo man who jumped to his death Wednesday from the Puueo Bridge in downtown Hilo was a colorful character who pulled off an upset win in the GOP primary election for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District in 2012 — while homeless — and co-wrote one of Hawaii’s most beloved songs.

David “Kawika” Crowley campaigned by sign-waving in Windward Oahu next to his white 1995 Plymouth van, which was both his bedroom and the storeroom for his painting and light carpentry business, earning him the nickname the “Homeless Handyman.”

The outspoken Crowley — a 1969 Hilo High School graduate who reveled in being a maverick — lost to the better-financed Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat who pulled off her own primary upset over former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann. Crowley was again defeated by Gabbard in 2014, when she was the incumbent congresswoman….

read … Man who leapt to death off bridge political candidate, co-writer of famous song

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