Watching and reporting about Hawaii politics and government.

5 p.m. $9M for Hospital Uninsured

The Department of Human Services (DHS) today gave out $9.1 million in new federal funding to 15 private hospitals statewide, helping them defray the cost of providing care to uninsured and under-insured patients.

Press release: “The state was able to draw down the $9.1 million in federal funds without contributing additional state funds to meet the Congressional Disproportionate Share Hospital program’s state matching requirement.”

The hospitals include Castle Medical Center, Kaiser Foundation Hospital, North Hawaii Community Hospital, Molokai General Hospital, Queen’s Medical Center and Wilcox Memorial Hospital.

4:05 p.m. State GOP on KIPO’s ‘Town Square’

Beth Fukumoto, Kymberly Pine and Boyd Ready are guests of host Beth-Ann Kozlovich on KIPO’s “Town Square,” tonight from 5-6 p.m. Tune into 89.3 FM.

Perhaps you have heard about recent changes in GOP leadership, eh?

2 p.m. EEOC Sues HECO

Hawaiian Electric Co. “violated federal law when it failed to hire a job applicant into a meter reader position due to his disability,” the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged in a lawsuit today.

Press release:

According to the EEOC’s suit, a mail machine operator with HECO applied for the position of meter reader with the company in about April 2010. The operator, who has an eye condition, was able to conduct the task of reading and recording changes in electric meters at different customer locations, according to the EEOC. Notwithstanding, HECO denied him the position of meter reader that same month due his visual impairment. The EEOC asserts that the operator was fully capable of performing the job duties, thus he should not have been denied hire simply because of his impairment. 

12:10 p.m. State ‘Roadmap’ for Tech Change

The Abercrombie administration has released a report on its assessment of the state’s information technology system.

The administration aims to upgrade its antiquated IT system, improve services and reduce costs. Click here for more information.

Also, check Civil Beat’s homepage later for our report on the report.

11:20 a.m. More Tax Study Money, Please

Randy Iwase, chairman of this year’s Tax Review Commission, says the panel will ask the Legislature for an extra $100,000 when lawmakers convene early next year.

At the group’s Thursday meeting, Iwase said the additional money would help pay for a staff person, printing costs and possibly additional reports.

Lawmakers gave the voluntary seven-member panel a $200,000 budget, which Iwase said is $50,000 less than what the last commission got. Neil Abercrombie‘s initial state budget included $250,000 for the commission, but lawmakers cut that amount.

The request for more cash would be in addition to asking for an extension to its statutory reporting deadline. The delay would put the report two years behind schedule at a time when lawmakers are scouring options to find new revenue.

The commission will solicit bids Monday for a consultant to help analyze the state’s tax policy. The request will include language saying the work “is not anticipated to exceed $100,000 to $150,000.”

Bids will be due Nov. 3, and selection of a company is expected by Dec. 29.

Nanea Kalani

10:45 a.m. Big Isle Pol Seeks Vote By Mail

Check out the latest in Neighbor Island government-related news:

Maui: After-effects of tsunami linger as gas prices surge

Kalaheo walking school bus fills Puu Road

Big Isle residents demand representation

Hanapepe man pleads no contest, prefers prison to probation

Vote by mail program sought for Big Isle

EPA OKs Maui County’s order to upgrade sewage treatment

Hawaii County to hire police officers

‘Extensive’ hydropower outreach meetings planned for Kauai

Maui bus driver who hit, fatally injured man sentenced

Tuition hike at UH Hilo questioned


DHS Molokai office increases staff

Walking for mental illness planned on Friendly Isle

Back to the Labor Board

Today’s proceedings in the seemingly never-ending story of State v. HSTA begins at 9 a.m.

State chief negotiator Neil Dietz continues on the stand. Civil Beat will be live blogging.

$2.9M for Disability Initiative

The state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations said today it will receive $2.92 million in federal grant monies to start a “Disability Employment Initiative.”

Press release: “The grant will allow the state and counties to improve the accessibility and accountability of Hawaii’s public workforce development system for persons with disabilities.”

Flags Lowered for Miho

In observance of the memory of former state rep and judge Katsugo Miho, the governor has ordered all U.S. and Hawaii flags at all state offices and the Hawaii National Guard today to be flown at half-staff from sunrise until sunset.  

Miho served with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II.

Meeting: Board of Education

The BOE convenes at Hanapepe Public Library tonight at 6 p.m. on Kauai.

The agenda includes recent board actions, a PACOM talk and a Q&A.

Meeting: UH Regents

The Board of Regents convenes this morning at UH Hilo.

The agenda includes a briefing on best practices by Terrence MacTaggart.

Meeting: Stadium Authority

The Stadium Authority board meets today at Aloha Stadium.

The agenda includes discussion of stadium tours, a Hawaiian music festival and the stadium’s food and beverage contract.

Town Hall: Waianae

Ahead of the rainy season, a town hall meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. tonight at Maili Elementary School Cafeteria to discuss flooding solutions.

Presentations are scheduled from state Civil Defense and DOT, DLNR, the Navy and lawmakers.

Flooding is a serious concern on the West Side:

“During last year’s flood, my neighbors watched helplessly as all of their piglets drowned,” said Lualualei resident Sohpie Flores in a press release. “Another neighbor lost her entire green onion crop and many of us were trapped in our homes for days because flood waters filled the big dip in Paakea Road.”

Hirono on the Road

Mazie Hirono has scheduled a series of talks this week on health care, transportation and sustainability.

The talks began this morning in Kapolei and continue as follows:

• Today: Common Ground, Kilauea, Kauai, 1:30 p.m.
• Today: Small Town Coffee Company, Kapaa, Kauai, 4 p.m.
• Tomorrow: W.M. Keck Observatory HQ, Kamuela, Hawaii Island, 10 a.m.
• Tomorrow: Pine Tree Café, Kailua-Kona, 4 p.m.
• Saturday: Morning Brew Coffee House & Bistro, Kailua, 3 p.m.

Where’s Neil?

Here’s Neil:

State of the Sciences Conference, Ala Moana Hotel, 8:45-9 a.m.
Hale Wai Vista II Groundbreaking Ceremony, Waianae, 12-12:30 p.m.

Catch up on previous coverage:

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