Hawaii House of Reps Forwards More Bills to Senate

The House passed today more than 180 bills including measures to implement a heat abatement program in Hawaii’s public schools and to fund construction and relocation of Oahu and Maui prisons.

Capital

House Passes Bills that Provide For Cooling Classrooms and Funding of Oahu and Maui Prisons.

To date, the House has sent over 350 bills to the Senate for its consideration, including measures that allow teachers to accept “gifted” support when traveling with students and that block pre-approval from HMSA for certain medical services.

HB 2569 HD2 authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and the use of funds from the Green Infrastructure Loan Program to implement cooling measures in public school classrooms, and requires the Department of Education to expedite the cooling of all public school classrooms.  The bill also requires the school system to produce as much renewable energy as it consumes by 2035.

The DOE currently spends approximately $62 million a year on electricity, gas and water services.  By installing more efficient lighting, natural ventilation and integrating innovative renewable technologies, such as solar panels and batteries to help power schools, the state could reduce electricity costs and improve student performance.

Another school-related measure passed by the House, HB1713 HD2, would exempt school employees traveling with students from the State Ethics Code rules relating to gifts, gift reporting and conflicts of interest if certain conditions are met.

Last year, the State Ethics Commission ruled that teachers could no longer accept “free travel” to accompany students on field trips across the state and to the mainland.  The bill allows teachers serving as a chaperone on non-publicly funded trips to accept gifted support.

HB2388 HD3 clarifies the governor’s authority to negotiate for the construction of correctional facilities and aligns environmental impact statement and assessment requirements as generally applicable requirements.  The bill appropriates funds for a new Oahu Community Correctional Center and relocating Maui Community Correctional Center.  It also requires a feasibility report on development of Oahu Community Correctional Center land.

House lawmakers also approved HB2740 HD1, which prohibits insurers from requiring pre-authorization of medical treatment or services that cause undue delay in a patient’s receipt of such treatment or service.  The bill specifies that insurers, not health care providers, are liable for civil damages for any injury to a patient because of undue delay.

The bill is in reaction to a new rule by the Hawaii Medical Service Association to use third parties on the mainland to approve diagnostic imaging exams in an effort to reduce unnecessary costs.  Doctors say delaying critical tests and could have harmful consequences for patients.

Other bills passing third reading by the full House today include measures that provide for housing, gun control, voting rights and fighting crime.

Higher Education

HB2240 HD2, establishes a green special fund within UH to reduce energy consumption and costs.  Requires the University of Hawaii to submit annual report to Legislature.

HB539 HD2 requires that the UH-Manoa Athletics Department have a separate program ID in the State Budget Act and requires that funds be transferred to the UH-Manoa Athletic Department for scholarship expenses.  The bill prohibits allocation of general funds to the UH-Manoa Athletic Department except for Title IX compliance and requires that UH-Manoa men’s teams collectively be fiscally self-sufficient.

HB1613 HD1 grants tuition waivers to students at community colleges who meet certain criteria. It initiates the waiver program as a pilot program in a county with a population of less than 100,000.

Housing and Homelessness

HB2293 HD1 enables the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation to create mixed-use developments in partnership with state and county departments and agencies.

HB2166 HD1 expands the low income-household renter’s income tax credit based on adjusted gross income, filing status and the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.

HB2647 HD2 establishes a Work for a Day Pilot Program to be administered by the City and County of Honolulu that provides homeless individuals with work opportunities.

Tourism

HB1850 HD1 allows transient accommodations brokers to register as tax collection agents to collect and remit general excise and transient accommodations taxes on behalf of operators and plan managers using their services.

HB1847 HD2 establishes the Sports and Entertainment Authority to coordinate and develop an entertainment and sports industry in the state, including oversight of the stadium and attracting local, national and international events, as well as developing state-of-the-art facilities for the benefit of professional, amateur and youth athletes.  It also establishes the Sports and Entertainment Authority Special Fund and allocates a portion of transient accommodations tax revenues to the Special Fund.  The bill repeals the Stadium Authority and transfers jurisdiction over stadiums and related facilities and the Kapolei Recreational Sports Complex to the Sports and Entertainment Authority.

HB2563 HD2 appropriates funds for the restoration of a continuous beach and multi-use infrastructure for public access along the Waikiki waterfront.

Energy

HB1851 HD1 Requires at least one of the three members of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to be a resident of a county other than Honolulu and receive per diem compensation.  It also allows commissioners to participate in PUC public hearings via teleconference and videoconference.

HB2085 HD2 aims to reduce and ultimately eliminate Hawaii’s dependence on imported fossil fuels for electrical generation and ground transportation by 2045.

HB212 HD2 establishes a nonrefundable income tax credit for taxpayers who purchase and install battery backup systems for solar energy systems.

HB2567 HD1 establishes “substantial net benefit” as the Public Utilities Commission’s standard for a transfer or assignment of an electric utility and specifies certain guidelines to address when examining whether a substantial net benefit exists.

Voting rights

To increase voter participation, HB1652 HD1 requires an affidavit on application for voter registration to be included with applications for driver’s licenses or civil identification cards and prevents the processing of an application for a driver’s license or civil identification card until the voter affidavit is completed or declined.

HB1654 HD1 allows a permanent absentee voter to receive ballots at an alternate address for elections within an election cycle and clarifies that certain conditions that normally lead to a termination of permanent absentee voter status do not apply if the voter resides in an absentee voter only area.  It also allows a voter to receive an absentee ballot by electronic transmission if the voter requires such a ballot within five days of an election, or when the voter would not otherwise be able to return their properly issued ballot by the close of polls.

Environmental Protection

Bills passed relating to the Navy’s Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility fuel tanks include HB2646 HD2, which creates a permanent fuel tank advisory committee to study, monitor and address fuel tank leak issues; and HB2165 HD2, which makes appropriations to the Department of Health to hire employees and consultants to install monitor wells, to monitor compliance with the Administrative Order on Consent, and to evaluate and remediate environmental damage from fuel leaks.

HB2517 HD2 adds county-certified cesspools within 200 feet of an existing sewer system to the definition of “qualified cesspool” for the purposes of determining eligibility for an upgrade, conversion or connection income tax credit.

HB1749 HD1 amends the goals of the Hawaii water plan to include the 100 per cent utilization of reclaimed water in all state and county facilities.

HB2200 HD2 authorizes the Board of Land and Natural Resources Chairperson to transfer public land trust funds to the Kahoolawe Rehabilitation Trust Fund.  Authorizes the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to expend public land trust funds for purposes consistent with those of the Kahoolawe Rehabilitation Trust Fund.

Agriculture

HB2501 HD2 allows for a holdover disposition of water rights previously authorized, pending approval for a lease renewal.

HB2657 HD2 provides reimbursements to Molokai farmers and ranchers for mandated food safety compliance audits and other related costs and appropriates moneys to the Maui Office of Economic Development to review and approve applications for the loan program.

Public Safety

HB2188 HD2 authorizes Hawaii Correctional Industries to sell products and services on the open market to the general public.

HB1902 HD2 replaces the offense of promoting prostitution in the first degree with sex trafficking to be classified as a violent crime.  It makes sex trafficking a class A felony and a strict liability offense if a minor is the victim of sex trafficking.  The bill expands the Department of the Attorney General’s Statewide Witness Program to include sex trafficking, provides victims with access to criminal injury compensation, and amends laws relating to civil liability for cases of coercion into prostitution.

HB1907 HD2 establishes the Sexual Assault Kit Tracking Program in the Honolulu Police Department, including requirements for submission of kits for testing, reporting information to state and federal DNA databases, obtaining consent prior to testing, and admissibility of evidence in judicial proceedings.  It also requires reporting on program implementation and kit testing backlog.

HB1580 HD1 appropriates funds for grants to maintain and expand the Weed and Seed Strategy, which is a collaborative crime fighting effort to reclaim, restore and rebuild communities.

HB1516 HD1 clarifies that the Internet Crimes Against Children fee is to be assessed against every defendant who is convicted of a misdemeanor or felony regardless of the nature of the offense.

Gun Control

HB2629 HD2 authorizes county police departments to enroll firearms applicants and individuals who are registering their firearms into a criminal record monitoring service used to alert police when an owner of a firearm is arrested for a criminal offense anywhere in the country.

HB2632 HD2 requires firearms owners who have been disqualified from owning a firearm and ammunition due to mental illness, including emergency hospitalization, to immediately surrender their firearms and ammunition to the chief of police.

HB1813 HD1 temporarily prohibits a person listed in the federal Terrorist Screening Database from owning, possessing, or controlling a firearm or ammunition and requires surrender or disposal of firearms and ammunition.

HB626 HD1 prohibits the actual physical possession of any firearm while consuming alcohol outside of the home, a temporary residence, or place of sojourn.  Establishes violation as a petty misdemeanor.

Veterans

HB2490 HD2 would exempt certain disabled veterans from county motor vehicle taxes and the state annual vehicle registration fee.

Labor and Employment

HB2606 HD2 establishes a retirement benefit incentive for public employees, otherwise eligible to retire, whose positions are subject to layoff due to the consolidation or abolition of functions, or the privatization of the functions of the position as a result of Act 103 (2015).  Sunsets on June 30, 2017.

HB2446 HD2 authorizes public employees facing position abolishment, reduction-in-force, or workforce restructuring to opt to receive either voluntary severance benefits or a special retirement benefit in lieu of exercising any reduction-in-force rights.

HB2122 HD2 increases maximum potential unemployment benefits for employees separated from service from 26 to 39 times the individual’s weekly benefit amount commencing on or after March 7, 2016. Requires terminated or laid off Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company workers to complete a training or retraining program to receive the maximum potential benefits.

Animal protection

HB1592 HD1 prohibits certain restraints and tethers that endanger or deny sustenance to dogs.

HB 2245 HD1 establishes the penalties for animal desertion as a petty misdemeanor and a fine of $1,000, but if the animal suffers death or injury, the fine increases to $2,000.

HB2502 HD2 prohibits the trafficking of protected animal species, with limited exceptions.

Other issues

HD2080 HD2 includes fuel cell electric vehicles in the definition of electric vehicles for purposes of parking exemptions, HOV lane use, registration, and required parking spaces in places of public accommodation.  Grants procurement priority for fuel cell electric vehicles for state and county vehicle purchases.

HB1736 HD1 renames the Kona International Airport as the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport.

HB1739 HD2 prohibits, subject to certain exemptions, employers from requiring, requesting, or coercing employees or potential employees to provide access to their personal social media accounts.

HB1753 HD3 requires the annual registration of mopeds and the Director of Finance to issue moped number plates.  The bill stipulates a registration fee for a moped of $50.

HB2008 HD2 prohibits the state from hiring persons for more than two 89-day terms in a fully general-funded position per lifetime of the person but provides for limited exceptions.

The first “crossover” deadline is March 10 for non-budget bills to pass third reading in each chamber.  If successful, House bills are sent to the Senate and Senate bills are sent to the House for further consideration.

A complete list of bills passed by the House to date this biennium is available on the Capitol website at:

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/advreports/advreport.aspx?year=2016&report=deadline&active=true&rpt_type=firstCross&measuretype=HB&title=House%20Bills%20Crossed%20Over%20to%20the%20Senate

Hawaii Senate Forwards More Than 260 Bills to House

Members of the Hawai‘i State Senate today passed 265 bills on Third Reading and sent them to the House for its consideration.

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Measures crossing over to House include bills to address homelessness, invasive species, elections by mail, equal pay

Many of the measures that are crossing over to the House are bills that align with the 2016 Legislative Program the Senate Majority had established as priorities before session began.

“These bills reflect the work Senators have done to listen to and address the concerns of our constituents.  We’re hopeful that the House will agree that these bills will help to improve our island state,” said Senate Majority Leader, Sen. J. Kalani English.

The Senate passed a number of measures that strategically address housing and homelessness, one of the major issues of the Legislative Program. Recognizing homelessness as a multi-faceted dilemma, the Senate passed bills that target the problem from various angles including SB2559, SD1 which creates minimum requirements for shelters based on discussions with advocates and increases the capacity of the Department of Human Services to provide oversight and support and SB 2561, SD1 which establishes a goal for state government to develop at least 22,500 affordable rental housing units for occupancy. SB2560, SD2 appropriates funds to provide treatment and care for homeless individuals with persistent mental health challenges

In another initiative of the Legislative Program, to sustain our communities, SB2938, SD2 was passed which increases the state fuel tax as a means to pay for road repairs and match federal funds.

“In considering SB2938, we looked at the totality of broad based tax increase proposals before us and understanding the burden each bear on our people, decided to move only this targeted measure forward,” explained Sen. Jill Tokuda, Chair of the Senate Ways and Means committee. “There are no favorable tax increases out there, but funds are needed to match federal funds to maintain heavily used roadways statewide, address emergency situations like what we’ve seen in Kaaawa, as well as for daily operations like the Freeway Safety Patrol and various multi-use contraflow lanes.”

Understanding the regressivity of the state’s tax system and the impact any increase will have on the state’s most vulnerable taxpayers, the Senate passed SB2454 SD1 that eliminates or reduces the tax burden on those in the lowest income brackets of the state, roughly accounting for 10 percent of our total population.

Measures that address our environment, another Legislative Program initiative, also passed Third Reading, including SB2799, SD2 that restructures the Hawai‘i Invasive Species Council into a new entity to address the effort to protect Hawai‘i against environmentally harmful species and SB2773, SD1 which addresses efforts to achieve the state’s sustainability goals.

To support the Legislative Program initiative of good governance, SB2496, SD1 establishes an elections by mail system beginning with the primary election in 2018 for counties with a population of fewer than 100,000 and beginning with the 2020 primary election for all other counties. This follows the trend towards mail-in voting that has increased in Hawai‘i.

SB2313, SD2 addresses gender discrimination and prohibits an employer from paying wages at a rate less than a rate pays to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work and working conditions, with certain exceptions.

The “crossover” deadline is March 10 for non-budget bills to pass Third Reading and move to the other chamber.

Other bills that passed Third Reading today and are headed for crossover include:

SB2395, SD1 which enhances access to care via telehealth and will improve the quality of health care in the State by using available technology to enhance access to insured health care, especially among rural and underserved populations.

SB2085, SD2 addresses the needs of Hawai‘i’s kūpuna by appropriating funds for fiscal year 2016-2017 for the Kūpuna Care Program, Aging and Disability Resource Center, fall prevention and early detection services for the elderly, Healthy Aging Partnership Program, Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia Services Coordinator, and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia public awareness campaign.

SB2688, SD2 prohibits, beginning January 1, 2017, the sale or offering for sale of certain e-liquid containers for electronic smoking devices unless the container is child-resistant and if the container is for an e-liquid product containing nicotine, is labeled with warning language.  This measure also establishes e‑liquid packaging standards that will help to protect young children from inadvertent exposure to the contents of e-liquid cartridges and also inform consumers whether an e-liquid product contains nicotine, a highly addictive substance.

SB2232, SD2 establishes the Erin’s Law Task Force to review policies, programs, and curricula for educating public school students about sexual abuse prevention, and to make recommendations for a program to educate all public school students in grades pre-kindergarten through twelve on sexual abuse prevention through age appropriate curricula.  Requires the Department of Education to implement the Task Force’s recommendations in the 2017-2018 school year, if possible.

SB2425, SD2 exempts extracurricular service, including planning and chaperoning educational trips, from certain provisions of the state Ethics Code.  Allows teachers to receive complementary airfare and accommodations when they travel with students on educational trips to provide support and chaperone services.

SB3070, SD1 ensures greater transparency and efficiency and provide equal opportunity for those seeking grants-in-aid from the Legislature by establishing legislative policies, subject to legislative discretion and funding availability, to make appropriations for grants during the Regular Session of each odd-numbered year for the ensuing fiscal biennium.  In addition, this measure requires that the Legislature not appropriate funds for more than one grant for each grant recipient during a fiscal biennium and places a low priority on requests to fund the general and administrative expenses of a grant applicant.

SB3073, SD2 establishes and appropriates funds for a school of aviation at University of Hawai‘i at Hilo to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical science and allows the appropriation to be expended once the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents establish the school of aviation.

SB2231 establishes the Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture, and Health (R.E.A.C.H.) program in the Office of Youth Services to provide a standardized framework and funding for after-school programs in public middle and intermediate schools.  Authorizes the Office of Youth Services to establish R.E.A.C.H. program requirements and participation fees or other charges to be assessed to each participant for the cost of administering and operating the R.E.A.C.H. program.

SB2411, SD2 provides guidelines and requirements for the use of body-worn and vehicle cameras by law enforcement officers and gives officers an increased ability to gather evidence for use in court and makes investigations of alleged officer misconduct more fair and transparent.

A complete list of bills passed by the Senate to date is available at www.capitol.hawaii.gov

 

Public Comments Sought on Draft Environmental Assessment for Laupahoehoe Forest Management Plan

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), and the United States Department of Agriculture, United States Forest Service (USFS) are seeking public comments on a Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) in connection with a proposed management plan for Laupāhoehoe forest on the island of Hawaiʻi.

laupahoehoe Forest

The draft plan was prepared in consultation with the Laupāhoehoe Advisory Council (LAC), and seeks to comprehensively protect and preserve Laupāhoehoe forest while enhancing public use and benefits through education, recreation, outreach, demonstration, and research activities.

The draft plan documents the history of the forest, describes its current condition, provides an overview of current management and recommends management actions, and includes proposed management actions to protect natural and cultural resources within Laupāhoehoe forest while also enhancing compatible human uses. The plan will be a guiding document for DOFAW and the USFS for management over the next 15 years.

Suzanne Case, Chairperson of DLNR, said “This plan addresses the threat of invasive non-native species and climate change and recognizes the role an intact forest plays in providing clean fresh water for people and wildlife and supporting healthy coastal marine resources.”

The plan was jointly developed by DOFAW, the USFS and the LAC through a collaborative planning process. Formed in 2010, the LAC is a community-based advisory council that provides guidance and consultation to DOFAW and USFS on issues of management, research, and education in Laupāhoehoe forest. The LAC has had 11 public meetings over the last three years to develop and discuss the draft management plan.

The 12,343 acre Laupāhoehoe forest area consists of two state-managed parcels of land: 4,449 acres of state land designated as forest reserve, and 7,894 acres of land designated as a natural area reserve. Both of these programs are under the state DOFAW.

In addition, the Laupāhoehoe forest is designated as part of the Hawai‘i Experimental Tropical Forest, which was designated to serve as a center for long-term research for the management of tropical forests. Ric Lopez, director of the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, explains, “The experimental forest designation means that while the state is the manager of the land, we work cooperatively with them to coordinate research, management, and education/outreach activities for the forest.”

The DEA was published by the Office of Environmental Quality Control in the March 8, 2016 issue of the Environmental Notice.  The document is available at the following link:  https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/ecosystems/laupahoehoe_dea

The public is invited and encouraged to provide public comments on the DEA before April 8, 2016. Please send written comments to:

Tanya Rubenstein
Dept. of Land and Natural Resources
Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Room 325
1151 Punchbowl St.
Honolulu, HI 96813

Or email comments to: tanya.rubenstein@hawaii.gov

Hard copies of the Draft Environmental Assessment will be available at the Hilo and Laupāhoehoe public libraries and the DOFAW office in Hilo at 19 E. Kawili Street.

The LAC will be meeting on March 30, 2016 at the Laupāhoehoe Community Public Charter school cafeteria (35-2065 Mamalahoa Hwy, Laupahoehoe, HI 96764) from 6-8 p.m. to hear public comment and answer any questions regarding the Draft Environmental Assessment.

Jen Ruggles Files for Hawaii County Council District 5

On Monday, March 7th at 2:15pm Mountain View local Jen Ruggles filed papers to run for Hawai’i County Council District 5 covering the areas of Glenwood, Kea’au, Pahoa, Opihikao, and Kalapana.

Jen Ruggles

Jen Ruggles

“I am honored to have the opportunity to be of service to the district where I was born and raised. Our district is under served and underrepresented. I know our struggles, and I know our potential.

University of Hawai’i Professor Dr. Noelie Rodriguez says, “I’ve known Jen for over 20 years, her father was also a student of mine and helped me establish the Earth Day Fair. In my 45 years of teaching Jen Ruggles has been my best student.  I fully support her candidacy.”

Jen was the main organizer of Hilo organization Global HOPE for 5 years. In that time she organized over 50 free events open to the public. An intern for Voter Owned Hawai’i, Ruggles also helped enact Hawaii’s first clean elections program. “Making a positive impact has influenced every decision in my life,” says Ruggles. Ruggles is most recently known for her work on Kaua’i where she helped organize the largest march in Kaua’i history to pass the “Right to Know” bill, bill 2491. The bill enacted protections for schools against pesticide spray that was sending children and teachers to the hospital.

Jen has lived at her Mountain View aina since birth. She graduated Kea’au High School in 2006 and is currently pursuing her second college degree at UH Hilo’s College of Business and Economics.

Ruggles was Hawai’i State Senator Russell Ruderman’s Event Coordinator in his successful bid for office in 2012.  “Jen is one of the brightest people I have ever worked with,” Ruderman said.

For more information about Jen and the campaign visit: www.JenRuggles.com

2016 ‘Dharma Con’ Statewide Convention in Hilo

“Dharma” means the teachings of the Buddhha. “Dharma Con,” presented by the Hawai‘i Island Hongwanji Council and Hawai‘i Island United Buddhist Women’s Association, is a bi-annual statewide conference April 16-17, 2016. Anyone over age 10 who is interested in learning more about the Dharma is invited to attend.
Bishop Eric Matsumoto

Bishop Eric Matsumoto

Dharma Con presents a keynote by Mayor Billy Kenoi and talks by Bishop Eric Matsumoto, 16th Bishop of Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii’s 34 Buddhist temples, and Pieper Toyama, founding head of the Pacific Buddhist Academy and president of the state organization.
Pieper Toyama

Pieper Toyama

A workshop series focused on the conference theme “Touched by Kindness” will offer a variety of interactive, interesting learning opportunities. Topics include a two-part songwriting (gatha) class with B.J. Soriano, a session wwith Joan Aguirre on the history and ritual of tea, a look at Buddhism in literature by Kiyoshi Najita, an overview of the Blue Zones community health initiative with Carol Ignacio and a special lei-making workshop taught by Keyra Tehada. Most take place Saturday at 1 p.m. and are repeated at 2:15 p.m. so that participants may sign up for two sessions.
There will also be a Youth Overnighter at the Sangha Hall, a demonstration of the “Dharma Quiz Bowl,” and a Saturday night talent show. On Sunday, Ms. K. T. Eger, islandwide head of the Buddhist Women’s Association, will lead a walking tour of the Queen Lili’uokalani Gardens.
Prices for Dharma Con are $20 per person for Workshops and lunch, $32 for full-day Saturday with dinner, and $45 for Saturday and Sunday. Registration forms are available at www.hilobetsuin.org, along with information on special Dharma Con rates at Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. Advance registration is required with payment, by March 15, mailed to: Betty Takeoka, Kona Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, P.O. Box 769, Kealakekua, HI 96750
For more information contact Jane Iida at 808.345.1718, or jyiida@gmail.com.
DHARMA CON WORKSHOPS:
  • “Pen a Song of Kindness,” 1 p.m. only, BJ Soriano. Learn how to write your own gatha. Learning techniques in rhythm, rhyming and music structure using a pre-written music composition, you will develop and create your own lyrics (at least one verse and a chorus) to the workshop theme, “Touched by Kindness.”
  • “Gathas for Humanity,” 2:15 p.m. only, BJ Soriano. Learn 5 gathas (written and composed by BJ Soriano and arranged by Michael Springer) using pre-recorded music file or and/or ‘ukulele or guitar accompaniment. Full scores or vocal/chord lead sheets will be provided.
  • “Brew a Cup of Kindness,” 1 p.m. and 2:15 p.m., Joann Aguirre. When tea, like meditation, becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. This presentation will include a brief history of tea and how it has become a universal representation of harmony, plus a tasty tea sample and demonstration for brewing a special pot and cup of kindness!
  • “Buddhist Values in Literature,” 1 p.m. and 2:15 p.m., Kiyoshi Najita. Great literature invariably invokes Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths. Beginning with a beloved children’s book for beginning readers and then considering some classics of literature, including works by Jack London, Thomas Pynchon and Margaret Atwood, this workshop will explore the connection between literature, teaching and the Dharma.
  • “Live in a Kinder and Healthier Hawaii,” 1 p.m. and 2:15 p.m., Carol Ignacio. The Blue Zones Project is a community well-being improvement initiative that encourages changes to our surroundings and built-environment that lead to healthier options. When all parts of the community participate – from our worksites and schools to our restaurants and grocery stores – the small changes each add up to huge benefits for the community.
  • “He Lei Aloha,” 1 p.m. and 2:15 p.m., Keyra Tehada. A lei is more than something you wear around your neck as an adornment, and must be cherished as so. We will discuss at length the basic protocols of leis; from gathering in the forest to adorning one with this makana, and different ways that a lei can be made. Let us journey through together with open minds, and don’t forget to bring your questions!

Hawaii is the State with the Lowest Real-Estate Property Taxes

The average American household spends $2,127 on real-estate property taxes each year, and residents of the 27 states with vehicle property taxes shell out another $412. Considering these figures and the debt-fueled environment to which we have grown so accustomed, it should come as no surprise that roughly $11.8 billion in property taxes go unpaid each year, according to the National Tax Lien Association.

property taxes
With that in mind, the personal finance website WalletHub today released its 2016’s Property Taxes by State report, which compares home and vehicle taxes across the nation and features insights from a panel of leading experts. A few highlights can be found below.

Property Taxes in Hawaii:

  • Real-Estate Property Tax Rank*: 1st
  • Vehicle Property Tax Rank*: 1st
  • Real-Estate Tax on Median State House Value: $1,405
  • Real-Estate Tax on Median U.S. House Value: $489
  • Vehicle Property Tax on Highest-Selling Car: $0

*Rank: 1st = Best

For the full report, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-the-highest-and-lowest-property-taxes/11585/