State Senate Adjourns Session Approving More than 240 Bills Including Key Measures that Improve the Lives of Hawaii’s People

Lawmakers remain vigilant throughout legislative session striking a balance on measures supporting keiki, kupuna, workers and environment The Hawaii State Senate today adjourned the 2014 session passing more than 240 bills that align with its initial priorities to make Hawaii a better place for everyone now and in the future through initiatives supporting Hawaii’s keiki, kupuna, workers and the environment. “The ability to compromise and work together is essential to making good laws that help…

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Senate Committees Hold a Hearing for a Bill Supporting Kupuna

The Hawaii Senate Committees on Human Services, Health, and Commerce and Consumer Protection held a hearing on January 30, 2014 on Senate Bill 2228, a bill that would support the elderly in our communities. The measure would address the need for new executive-level positions and provide funding for programs that maintain the health of our kupuna. Various state and county agencies, advocacy groups and individual citizens testified in support. Proposed by the Kupuna Caucus, the…

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Hawaii State Legislature to Receive Update on Implementation of Hawaii’s Insurance Exchange

Honolulu- The Senate and House commerce and consumer protection, health, and human services committees will be holding an informational briefing to receive an update from the Hawai`i Health Connector and various state agencies regarding implementation of Hawaii’s insurance exchange and other matters relating to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The briefing will be held on Wednesday, Oct 9, 2013, in Hawai‘i State Capitol Conference Room 329 at 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 1:30…

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Hawaii’s Electrical Rates to be Discussed

Honolulu —  The Senate Committees on Commerce and Consumer Protection and Energy and Environment will be holding a joint informational briefing on Tuesday, January 29 at 8:30 a.m. in the State Capitol’s Auditorium.   The purpose of this informational briefing is to receive information on factors that impact electric rates, the rate- making process and to identify potential solutions to reduce the adverse impacts of increasingly high electric rates on consumers statewide. As electrical rates…

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A Response to the Star Advertiser’s Foreclosure Report

Sen. Roz Baker Chair, Commerce and Consumer Protection The three-part “Foreclosure Special Report” published by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on August 5-7, 2012 pointedly focused on the critics of the State’s recently amended foreclosure laws (Act 48 and Act 182).  It did not, at any time, offer perspectives from economically distressed homeowners who actually stood to benefit from the consumer protections under the new law.  Those homeowners were the focus of the Legislature’s actions. In light…

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Maui Senators Appointed to the Integrated Resource Planning Advisory Group

Honolulu- The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has appointed Senators Roz Baker and J Kalani English as members to the newly created Hawaiian Electric Companies’ Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) Advisory Group. The Advisory Group was recently established by the PUC in response to the Commission’s Decision and Order on March 14, 2011 for a revised IRP Framework to govern energy resource planning by electric and gas utilities in the State of Hawai’i. The goal of IRP…

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Governor Signs Bills to Protect Hawaii’s Homeowners

On June 28, 2012 Governor Neil Abercrombie signed into law House Bill 1875, Relating to Foreclosures, and House Bill 2375, Relating to Mortgage Rescue Fraud Prevention. House Bill 1875 implements the 2011 recommendations of the mortgage foreclosure task force and other best practices, to address various issues relating to the mortgage foreclosures law and issues affecting homeowner association liens and the collection of unpaid assessments. The measure also makes permanent the mortgage foreclosure dispute resolution…

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Hawaii State Senate Confirms Maui Resident as Commissioner to the Public Utilities Commission

HONOLULU —  The Hawaii State Senate today voted to confirm Maui resident Michael Champley as commissioner to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).  Champley was appointed by Governor Abercrombie in September 2011 and began serving on the PUC on an interim basis immediately. His appointment was subject to Senate confirmation. Mr. Champley’s extensive professional experience in the energy industry, commitment to public service, and proven leadership throughout his career are all important characteristics that make him…

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State-Federal Mortgage Servicing Settlement to be Discussed

  HONOLULU – In reaction to a landmark state-federal deal with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses and fraud during the housing crisis, the Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection along with the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce will be holding an informational briefing to discuss the settlement terms and its conditions.  The briefing will be held on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 10am in conference room 229, at…

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Discussion of the Mortgage Foreclosure Task Force 2012 Report

On January 19, 2012, the Mortgage Foreclosure Task Force presented its report to the Senate Committee on Commerce & Consumer Protection and the House Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce during a joint informational briefing. The task force was created by the Legislature in 2010 by Act 162 to conduct an extensive analysis of factors affecting mortgage foreclosures in the state and to provide recommendations to the Legislature. The result of their work assisted in…

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