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Capital Improvement Program

The state budget expanded by an unprecedented $1.2 billion this year. State expenditures will increase from $14.4 billion to $15.6 billion, an impressive 8 percent gain, in the next fiscal year. Included in the new budget is debt service on $2.7 billion in new funding for this year’s statewide Capital Improvement Program. Our senate district is easily the largest on Oahu, stretching from Kaneohe Bay to Kaena Point, through Schofield Barracks and Poamoho Camp to Kunia Camp. Of the nearly 300 public schools statewide, our children attend three public high schools, two intermediate schools and 15 elementary schools. We also have large tracts of state watershed, conservation and agricultural

The Airbnb Bill Fails, then Passes

The 2019 Legislative session roared to an exciting conclusion with three dramatic votes on vacation rental taxation in the final days, and a threat to kill 15 bills supported by the 12 Senators who dared vote against the “Airbnb Bill.” On the last week of conference committee, the Thursday and Friday floor sessions are held in the evening so that final action in the committees can proceed up to the last minute. On Thursday evening, a motion was made to reconsider disagreement with the House version of SB1292, a bill to require vacation rental hosting sites to collect taxes and pay them to the state. Although normally a quick, procedural vote, many of us spoke and voted against this motion t

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