MoneyRates.com on Hawaii’s Economic Health
Over the weekend, Dick Allgire of KITV News broke a story on a mainland financial source, MoneyRates.com, that listed the 10 best and 10 worst states for people to have an income that allows them to have a good standard of living. They took into consideration the average income, less the cost of living, and less the unemployment in the area. They did not consider the environment, such as natural beauty, climate and other non-economic considerations.
According to their ratings, Illinois ranked as the best and Hawaii is number 50 as the worst. California was 47th worst.
What it is saying is that for the amount of money earned, the cost of living is high in Hawaii compared to the mainland and there is inflation no one is talking about.
American Legislative Exchange Council will release a report in the coming days, Rich States, Poor States, in conjunction with Smart Business Hawaii and Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, which will lower Hawaii’s ranking from 39th worst. Hawaii is regularly ranked at or near the bottom of the list of several mainland organization rankings of the 50 states.
Shortest Hearing Ever?
One of the fastest hearings took place yesterday afternoon at the Hawaii State Legislature.
The Senate Tourism Committee, headed by Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, was to consider confirmation of Craig Nakamura to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
Nakamura was ill, his doctor would not allow him to appear, and he had all supportive testimony. The hearing took less than a minute and was over before Hawaii Tourism Authority Director Mike McCartney entered the room to testify in support. Nakamura was confirmed.
Up until this point, Sen. Kalani English, who heads the Senate Transportation Committee, was known for his early start, rapid fire, to the point hearings.
This is in contrast to some House and Senate chairs who start their hearings late and drag them on unnecessarily with banter.
8 Bills Signed into Law
Governor Neil Abercrombie this afternoon enacted into law eight measures that were passed out of the 2011 Legislature.
“When bills reach my desk for signature, it is the culmination of hard work and sometimes vigorous debate by lawmakers,” said Governor Abercrombie. “The measures that I have enacted so far are bills that benefit the public in various ways. Constituents can be assured that their senator or representative is doing his or her best to work on their behalf.”
Governor Abercrombie today signed the following bills:
Senate Bill 27: Removes long-term care insurance from the definition of “accident and health or sickness insurance” and related terms within the insurance code; removes reference to insurance fraud statute
Senate Bill 35: Amends section of motor vehicle industry licensing act to reflect updated statutory cross-references and make non-substantive technical amendments
SB 124: Exempts an insurer from prohibitions on cancellation or nonrenewal of a motor vehicle insurance policy; provided that the insurer offers a replacement policy that offers the same or better coverage, terms, or conditions at a lower price through an affiliate or subsidiary
Senate Bill 704: Exempts certain third party owners and operators of on-site renewable energy systems from regulation as public utilities by the public utilities commission
Senate Bill 1273: Authorizes the Insurance Commissioner to enforce consumer protections and market reforms relating to insurance of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Senate Bill 1346: Amends definition of “renewable electrical energy” to include, beginning 1/1/15, customer-sited, grid-connected renewable energy generation
House Bill 1087: This measure amends section 353-61, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to delete the Hawaii Criminal Justice Association from the panel to nominate members of the paroling authority since the association no longer exists
House Bill 1622: Requires the construction of a state law enforcement memorial in the capitol district, provided private funds are solicited and used for the construction of the memorial
For more information on these measures and other legislative bills, please visit http://capitol.hawaii.gov.
A total of sixteen measures have been enacted thus far. The Governor has until July 12, 2011 to sign into law all measures that are passed out of the state Senate and the House of Representatives. The Legislature adjourns on May 5th.
Photos of today’s bill signing can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilabercrombie/sets/72157626579955314/
Clear Channel’s KHVH News Radio, Hawaii Reporter Launch News Cycle
Hawaii Reporter has launched a partnership with Rick Hamada, host of the morning drive time show, on KHVH News Radio 830 AM.
Tune into the show Monday through Friday, at 7:20 a.m. to hear the top news reports of the day from Hawaii Reporter editor Malia Zimmerman on News Cycle.
KHVH News Radio is a Clear Channel Radio station. Hamada has been hosting his own popular morning show on this station for two decades.
See more about Hamada and his show here: http://www.khvhradio.com/pages/rickPersonality.html
Japan’s Troubles Addressed at Hawaii Legislature
The House and Senate will convene Tuesday, April 26, in the House chamber at noon for a joint session to hear from the Japanese counsel on the situation in Japan.
Since the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, more than 27,000 people are dead or missing and the country has suffered an estimated $300 billion in damage.
Last week, the Japanese government has approved a $49 billion spending package to build infrastructure, construct temporary housing for 100,000, clean up debris and raise the levis. The country is considering tax increases and bonds to raise capital to cover the damage.
Private donations have been going to Japan via a partnership between the American Red Cross and the Japan Red Cross. The American Red Cross has pledged to raise $100 million for Japan Hawaii residents have been holding various fundraising events for Japan, also benefiting the Red Cross.