Kevin Dayton is the former Capitol Bureau chief for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. He was formerly Capitol Bureau chief and Big Island Bureau chief for The Honolulu Advertiser, which was Hawaii’s largest circulation daily newspaper until it closed.
He also reported for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald in Hilo, the Honolulu bureau of the Associated Press, Sun Press weekly newspapers in Kaneohe, and the Tucson Citizen.
He also worked as an executive assistant and executive director for Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi, and is a former U.S. Army sergeant and infantry fire team leader.
He holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Hawaii Manoa, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arizona.
He and his wife Mahealani live in Hilo and have seven children, five of them grown. They have been state-licensed foster parents since 2009.
Espinda abruptly retired in 2020 as Covid-19 spread through the state correctional system, and public worker unions called for his ouster.
The prison director told an oversight commission that the correctional system is trying to prevent inmate suicide but can do better.
The internal affairs report claimed staff had been trained in suicide prevention policies, and a guard made the required cell checks. Neither was true, and an inmate died.
Much of the new spending supports Native Hawaiians and working people while boosting the rainy day fund.
Ridership on the truncated line would be nearly 30% less than previous estimates, but the city would complete the system to South Street by 2031.
Hawaii lawmakers passed almost every proposal they said they would in a rare session bolstered by billions of dollars in extra revenue.
Other measures approved Tuesday would settle claims by Hawaiians on the homelands waitlist, and require judges to release some petty, non-violent offenders without bail.
An average of 119,600 people were originally expected to board the trains each weekday, but that will drop to 84,000 daily riders with the shorter route.
The package would cost the state about $250 million, and would provide the first substantive state tax refunds or credits of their kind since 2007.