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The $7 million approved by lawmakers Tuesday is less than half of the $15 million requested by the Senate in March.
The national association supporting owners of some of Hawaii’s premier commercial locations spent $126,000 in two months — but a bill to tax them is still alive.
After being outpolled by Trevor Ozawa by margins of 22 and 41 votes in prior contests, Tommy Waters won by 1,004 in the special election.
UPDATED: A Senate committee harshly criticized Nolan Espinda’s leadership of Hawaii’s prisons and the Sheriff Division.
Committee members grow frustrated during a second hearing on the renomination of Nolan Espinda as director of the Department of Public Safety.
But there was no action on a controversial measure — stymied for now — that would allow continued diversion of stream water.
A Senate committee passed a measure to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, while a House committee voted to add penalties for drugged drivers.
The House Finance Committee instead approved spending $2.5 million a year to continue offering the aid to community college students.
Nolan Espinda faces two more days of committee hearings before his reconfirmation will be considered by the full Senate.
Under a measure that has already passed the Senate, legislators are looking to get out in front of new trends in drug-taking.