Got Drugs? Drug Take-Back Initiative

The Hawaiʻi Police Department is encouraging the public to participate in a nationwide prescription drug take-back initiative being sponsored in Hawaiʻi by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the state Department of the Attorney General and the Department of Public Safety.

Got Drugs
On Saturday, April 27, members of the public may turn in unused, unneeded or expired prescription medications between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the following collection sites for safe, anonymous disposal:

Army Aviation Support Facility
(adjacent to Civil Air Patrol)
1095 Kekūanāoʻa St.
Hilo

Kona police station parking lot
74-611 Hale Makaʻi Place
Kailua-Kona

Tablets, capsules and all other solid dosage forms will be accepted. Intravenous solutions, injectables and syringes will not be accepted.

Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative.

Having unused and expired medicine in your home increases the risk of prescription drug abuse and accidental poisoning. Proper disposal also helps reduce the risk of prescription drugs entering a human water supply or potentially harming aquatic life.

For more information about the drug take-back program, visit http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.

 

House Finance Committee Adopts Conservative Approach to Budget

Restructuring and Reprioritizing of Funds Trump Full Restoration to Pre-Recession Numbers

The House Finance Committee led by Representative Sylvia Luke (Makiki, Punchbowl, Nuuanu, Dowsett Highlands, Pacific Heights, Pauoa), today passed out the proposed state budget which is scheduled for a vote next week by the full House.

capital

HB200 HD1 appropriates funds for operating and capital improvement costs of the Executive Branch for the current biennium fiscal years FY2013-2014 and FY2014-2015.

For FY2013-2014, the bill offers $5.9 billion in general funds and $11.6 billion in all other means of financing.  For FY2014-2015, it appropriates $6.1 billion in general funds and $11.7 billion in all additional financing means.

Finance Chair Luke acknowledged that the fiscal outlook is a little more positive than it has been in the past but she said, “because we have a fiscal climate that is looking up in terms of revenue, this is actually the time to take a conservative approach to our budget picture.  I realize that in the last four years we have had to cut funding to our programs and agencies because of the State’s financial crisis, but simply restoring the cuts to pre recession numbers is not the approach we are taking.”

“We need to re-evaluate what government is here for, what do we need, what can we do without.  The House is taking on the challenge to develop a budget that gives us the opportunity to provide structural stability to the State’s financial plan.  We want to increase transparency, efficiency and accountability in government.  We want to reprioritize and restructure government services and create an evolving, sustainable and robust economy for future generations,” said Luke.

“I believe expectations for complete funding restoration plus additional funds for more projects are high, as exhibited in the Executive’s budget request to us.  However, indicators from various economic forecasts show an unsteady trend in revenue.  For example, while the Council on Revenues (COR) projected increases based on a robust tourism industry and expansion in the rest of the economy, it remained uncertain about the impact on tax collections due to the renewable energy credit and changes in the tax laws.  Meanwhile, the University of  Hawaii Research Organization (UHERO) reported last month that despite the banner year for tourism, economic growth will ease over the next two years.  We are also facing the unknown ramifications of the federal government’s sequestration,” concluded Luke.

Funding highlights include;

  • $7.9 million in FY2013-2014 for a reasonable rollout of the State’s Information Management and Technology Transformation Plan. The Office of Information Management and Technology (OIMT) plan is to consolidate the State’s existing information-technology infrastructure, enhance security and privacy, and develop shared services functions across state departments.
  • $3 million has been provided to Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) for risk management to ensure adequate insurance coverage for natural disasters.
  • Restored services and positions cut by the Department of Agriculture (DOA) by funding positions that support our local food sustainability and agricultural health. This includes 19 critical specialist and inspector positions to help control the spread of invasive species, 5 engineers for irrigation systems, and additional personnel that provide specialized testing for livestock.
  • Additional support for law enforcement agencies through funding for data systems such as the Juvenile Justice Information system (JJIS), Automated Fingerprint Recognition System (AFIS), and Facial Recognition System (FRS).
  • $1.1 million for the State Library System to purchase additional books and e-books.
  • A total of almost $2 million to support for the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative to meet the State’s goal of using 70% clean energy by the year 2030.
  • To address the issues that encompass the State’s growing Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF) unfunded liability, $205.5 million over the next two years has been infused into Other Post Employment Benefits (OPED).
  • $306,461 in additional support for the Mortgage Foreclosure Dispute Resolution Program to reflect the increase in mortgage fraud and other disputes between lenders and owners.
  • $650,000 to update and address issues with the State’s tsunami warning siren system.
  • Support for our local students by providing to the Department of Education (DOE) an additional $12.9 million for the Weighted Student Formula and $1 million for the development of a Common Core assessment test in the Hawaiian language to serve students enrolled at 14 Hawaiian immersion schools across the state.
  • $155.75 million in general obligation bond (GO) appropriations for public school improvements that include health and safety and electrical upgrades.
  • Restored public health service positions within the Department of Health (DOH) including 8 vector control workers and $443,520 of funds to increase surveillance at our airports, 8 food safety inspectors, and 7 environmental health specialists and engineers to administer programs on environmental protection regulations. $800,000 in general funds for both fiscal years for Hale Makemae and Kula Hospital.
  • $10 million annual funding for the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) to carry out its duties of planning and developing Hawaiian Homelands across Hawaii.
  • Significant support for the State’s largest department, the Department of Human Services (DHS), with $98 million to cover increasing Medicare costs, $1.9 million for youth and juvenile services, and 10 personnel to focus on homelessness project management.
  • Provides 9 additional positions to provide security and intake services for inmates returning from out of state facilities and appropriates $8.7 million in additional funding for the Department of Public Safety (PSD) to maintain essential functions.
  • A total of $3.8 million in general funds and $32 million in GO funding to the Department of Taxation (DoTAX) to upgrade its current tax system with the Tax System Modernization Project, a five-year program that will result in the increased efficiency of electronically filed taxes and tax processing.
  • Funding to the Department of Transportation (DOT) for various vehicles and equipment to upkeep our airports and harbors. Most importantly, approval of all special and regular maintenance requests submitted by the Department.
  • Continued support of our higher education systems with $780,000 for distance learning courses, $1 million for operating costs at the West Oahu Campus and $2 million to support the community college system in each fiscal year, and $100 million in GO appropriations for repair and maintenance of our campuses.
  • A Capital Improvement Project (CIP) budget of $1,707,274,000 for FY2013-2014 and $912,851,000 for FY2014-2015 in all means of financing to address repair and maintenance backlogs and to develop “shovel ready” projects.

 

 

Governor Abercrombie Appoints Max Otani Deputy Director of Corrections

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointment of Max Otani as deputy director of corrections with the state Department of Public Safety, effective immediately.

Max Otani

Max Otani

“Max brings decades of experience to his position, from many years ‘on the line’as a parole and probation officer and in leadership roles at the Hawaii Paroling Authority, to most recently as division administrator at the Department of Public Safety,”said Gov. Abercrombie. “His familiarity with Public Safety issues and sound leadership, professionalism and efficiency are sure to be an asset to the department and the state as we work to implement our Justice Reinvestment Initiative objectives.”

Since 2011, Otani has served as the division administrator at the Department of Public Safety’s Intake Service Center. Previously, he served in a variety of roles for the Hawaii Paroling Authority, including field service branch administrator from 2010 to 2011, paroles and pardons administrator from 2007 to 2010, field service branch administrator from 2005 to 2007, Oahu intake service center from 2003 to 2005, and field service branch administrator from 1997 to 2003. He also worked as a parole supervisor and parole officer for the authority and as a probation officer for the Hawaii State Judiciary.

Active in the community, Otani is a member of the Interagency Council on Intermediate Sanctions and the Justice Reinvestment Working Group. He is also the head instructor of the Newtown Shinseikan Judo Club.

Otani earned his master’s degree in social work at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and bachelor of arts at UH Hilo.

He resides in Aiea with his wife, Ann.

 

Electronic Bench Warrants System Wins Bright Ideas Award

Media Release:

eHawaii.gov in partnership with the Hawaii State Judiciary, Department of Public Safety, Honolulu Police Department, Hawaii Police Department, Kauai Police Department and Maui Police Department announces the statewide electronic bench warrants system (eBW) has been recognized by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Bright Ideas seeks to complement the long-standing Innovations in American Government Awards Program by providing government agencies with a collection of new solutions that can be considered and adopted today. This new program serves to recognize promising government programs and partnerships that government officials, public servants, and others might find useful when faced with their own challenges. The 2010 Bright Ideas will be showcased on the Center’s Government Innovators Network (http://innovations.harvard.edu/).