Watching and reporting about Hawaii from Washington Place to Washington, D.C.
3:58 p.m. The Ag Inspectors Are Back!
The administration issued a press release today saying it has approved the hiring back of 10 agricultural inspectors.
Some of the positions had been eliminated in 2009 due to budget cuts, and it was a New Day priority of the governor’s to restore the jobs.
Watch out, coqui frogs! Same for you, miconia!
12:54 p.m. ‘All Clear’ for State Building
KITVreports that the building that houses the state’s tax and labor offices on Punchbowl Street has been given the “all clear” after a lockdown this morning.
Why? “A state employee was believed to have seen a man possibly with a weapon.”
10:35 a.m. Dans Vote for Veterans
By an 89-11 vote, the U.S. Senate today agreed to open debate regarding a spending bill that will help support Veterans Affairs.
The Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies appropriations bill “increases funding for the VA by 5.8 percent and cuts military construction spending by $2.6 billion to reflect anticipated base closures and realignments,” according to a report.
Dan Inouye and Dan Akaka, both WWII vets, voted with the majority.
10:30 a.m. House Reps Oppose EPA Vote
Colleen Hanabusa and Mazie Hirono were among the minority in a 250-171 vote today in the U.S. House that limits EPA authority over states.
UPDATE The vote, which was on a rule change, was heavily along party lines. A later vote to pass the bill was 239-184, and Hawaii’s reps were in the minority again.
The Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act, according to a report, “would give states more flexibility to set their own clean water rules, even when they are not consistent with mandates” from the EPA.
The Hillreports that Hanabusa did manage to attach an amendment to the bill that includes “language requiring the EPA to submit to Congress a report on any increase in pathogenic microorganisms in waters regulated by a state under the bill. Republicans said they would accept the amendment if it were altered to require EPA to also report on any reduction in these microorganisms.”