Lawmakers Highlight Need for More Affordable Housing and Statewide Coordination at Informational Briefing with State and City Agencies

With the shortage of affordable housing options for the moderate income workforce, Hawaii lawmakers today held a joint Senate and House informational briefing to learn more about affordable housing needs in Hawaii. Senators and representatives heard from various government agencies to learn about the status of existing and planned affordable housing projects, and their plans to address the growing need for affordable housing as the state’s population and housing demands increase. “We convened this informational…

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Tranquility Base Day in Hawaii

This Sunday (July 20) will mark the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing in 1969, when Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans in history to walk on another world. This seminal event helped launch humankind’s first steps beyond Earth, and the State of Hawaii played an instrumental role in both training the Apollo astronauts for their historic mission (at multiple lava fields on the Big Island of Hawaii) and…

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Statement from Senator Espero

  On the Governor’s Veto of SB2589, Relating to the Transfer of Harbor Police to the Department of Public Safety Senator Will Espero, chair of the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, issued the following statement regarding Governor Neil Abercrombie’s veto of SB2589, relating to the transfer of harbor police from the Department of Transportation (DOT) to the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Espero introduced the measure.   “I am disappointed the governor…

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Statement from Senator Will Espero on the Release of $2 million for Improvements to Oahu Veterans Center

Senator Will Espero, chair of the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, issued the following statement today following the governor’s release of $2 million in capital improvement project funding for Oahu Veterans Center. “My colleagues and I in the Legislature worked to include funding in the budget for Oahu Veterans Center because the center serves as a much-needed gathering place for veterans and the surrounding community. “Our veterans served our nation with esteem…

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Senator Will Espero Calls Upon Governor To Convene Special Ad Hoc Committee to Address Prison Problems

The recent prisoner escapes and ongoing problems with Hawaii’s prison system has prompted Ewa Beach Senator Will Espero to call upon Governor Abercrombie to convene an ad hoc committee made up of experts, policymakers, and stakeholders to address the operational inefficiencies within the Department of Public Safety. The committee would be tasked with identifying strengths, weaknesses and opportunities to improve the operations of Hawaii’s prison system. In addition to the escapes, the Department of Public…

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Senate Looks into Inmate Visitation Hour Cancellations

This past Sunday, the Hawaii State Department of Public Safety (DPS) cancelled visitation hours at the Women’s Community Correctional Center in Kailua. Earlier this month, DPS also cancelled visitation hours at the Oahu Community Correctional Center and Hawaii Community Correctional Center. The recent cancellations of visitation hours prompted the Senate Committee on Public Safety and Military Affairs (PSM) to hold an information hearing to hear from inmate family members and the DPS to learn more…

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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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Compromise Leads to Legislature’s Approval of Over 135 Measures Ahead of Sine Die

Lawmakers pass fiscally responsible state budget bill supporting keiki, measures supporting kupuna and the environment, and flagship bills raising the minimum wage and funding the Turtle Bay Conservation Easement The Hawaii State Legislature approved more than 135 on final reading ahead of the adjournment sine die this Thursday, including the state supplemental budget, measures supporting kupuna and protecting the environment, and flagship bills raising minimum wage and funding the Turtle Bay Conservation Easement. The measures…

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Progress in Hawaii’s Prison System

The Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental Affairs and Military Affairs, and the House Committee on Public Safety held a joint informational briefing on the status of the implementation of the Hawaii Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) yesterday. Senators and representatives meet to hear  from the Council of State Governments Justice Center on the status of the State’s JRI. JRI is a data-driven initiative that aims to reform the criminal justice system by making it more…

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Solomon Supports New Laws Honoring Veterans and their Families

With a family of veterans, including a brother who lost his life during the Vietnam War, Senator Malama Solomon today attended the bill signing of HB2071 and HB1770 by Governor Neil Abercrombie in the ceremonial room to show her support of these bills.                 Photo Credit: Office of Senator Malama Solomon HB2071 designate the last Sunday in September as “Gold Star Family Day,” and HB1170 requires notation of…

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