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SB56 tax scare could have long-lasting effect

This commentary was originally published in the March 20, 2021, edition of Hawai Filipino Chronicle. ___________ Hawaii residents were spooked last week by Senate passage of a bill that would increase the state’s highest personal income tax from 11% to 16% on annual incomes of more than $200,000, making it

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Enlist private sector to help trim state, county budgets

This commentary was published originally in The Garden Island newspaper on Nov. 16, 2020. _______________ Gov. David Ige is rightly considering cuts to the state budget to compensate for Hawai‘i’s dizzying drop in tax revenues due to the coronavirus lockdown. One tool that could help would be for the state

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An arcane federal law puts Young Brothers on the ropes

This commentary originally was published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Sept. 28, 2020. _____________ Transporting freight between Hawaii ports just became significantly more expensive, thanks to a 46% rate increase granted in August to Hawaii’s monopoly tug and barge company, Young Brothers LLC. Effective Sept. 1, the increase was awarded

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Ige’s EUTF funding dodge will come back to haunt us

This article was originally published by Honolulu Civil Beat on Sept. 21, 2020. ______________ Faced with a $2.3 billion budget shortfall caused by Hawaii’s coronavirus lockdowns, Gov. David Ige on July 17 suspended the state’s required fiscal 2021 payment of $388 million to the government employees’ health benefits fund. It was a desperate move

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Maui lawmakers deserve praise for cutting budget

The following is a letter to the editor that was published by Lahaina News on July 23, 2020. __________ Maui lawmakers should be congratulated for trimming this year’s county budget to $1 million less than the previous year. It was only a 0.1 percent cut, but still it demonstrates that

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Prosperity is possible if we follow the ‘road map’

Some of our ideas might be considered unrealistic in normal times, but these are not normal times Those of you who have been supporting us at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii know we have been warning for six years that the state was spending too much during the good years, and

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‘New normal’ requires long-term budget thinking

Hawaii lawmakers are facing a “new normal” of significantly reduced tax revenues. In response, they should reduce long-term expenses, such as payroll expenses and department budgets, instead of only short-term expenses, such as one-time projects or more borrowing, if they wish to keep their spending in line with their new

Read More →

Consider repealing county’s discriminatory builder contracting law

Above, Jonathan Young, president of the Associated Builders & Contractors, Hawaii chapter, 2019 The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii to the Honolulu City Council on June 3, 2020, 10:00 a.m. ___________________ Regular Meeting, Honolulu City Council City Council Chamber To: Ikaika Anderson, Chair Ann Kobayashi, Vice Chair

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The best reason to ‘Let Hawaii Work’ is to save lives

This commentary appeared originally in Honolulu Civil Beat on May 30, 2020. ________________ Our leaders need to move quickly to completely lift the state and county COVID-19 lockdowns Evidence has been mounting for years that prolonged unemployment in a community can result in increased deaths from suicides, substance abuse and

Read More →

SB56 tax scare could have long-lasting effect

This commentary was originally published in the March 20, 2021, edition of Hawai Filipino Chronicle. ___________ Hawaii residents were spooked last week by Senate passage of a bill that would increase the state’s highest personal income tax from 11% to 16% on annual incomes of more than $200,000, making it

Read More →

Enlist private sector to help trim state, county budgets

This commentary was published originally in The Garden Island newspaper on Nov. 16, 2020. _______________ Gov. David Ige is rightly considering cuts to the state budget to compensate for Hawai‘i’s dizzying drop in tax revenues due to the coronavirus lockdown. One tool that could help would be for the state

Read More →

An arcane federal law puts Young Brothers on the ropes

This commentary originally was published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Sept. 28, 2020. _____________ Transporting freight between Hawaii ports just became significantly more expensive, thanks to a 46% rate increase granted in August to Hawaii’s monopoly tug and barge company, Young Brothers LLC. Effective Sept. 1, the increase was awarded

Read More →

Ige’s EUTF funding dodge will come back to haunt us

This article was originally published by Honolulu Civil Beat on Sept. 21, 2020. ______________ Faced with a $2.3 billion budget shortfall caused by Hawaii’s coronavirus lockdowns, Gov. David Ige on July 17 suspended the state’s required fiscal 2021 payment of $388 million to the government employees’ health benefits fund. It was a desperate move

Read More →

Maui lawmakers deserve praise for cutting budget

The following is a letter to the editor that was published by Lahaina News on July 23, 2020. __________ Maui lawmakers should be congratulated for trimming this year’s county budget to $1 million less than the previous year. It was only a 0.1 percent cut, but still it demonstrates that

Read More →

Prosperity is possible if we follow the ‘road map’

Some of our ideas might be considered unrealistic in normal times, but these are not normal times Those of you who have been supporting us at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii know we have been warning for six years that the state was spending too much during the good years, and

Read More →

‘New normal’ requires long-term budget thinking

Hawaii lawmakers are facing a “new normal” of significantly reduced tax revenues. In response, they should reduce long-term expenses, such as payroll expenses and department budgets, instead of only short-term expenses, such as one-time projects or more borrowing, if they wish to keep their spending in line with their new

Read More →

Consider repealing county’s discriminatory builder contracting law

Above, Jonathan Young, president of the Associated Builders & Contractors, Hawaii chapter, 2019 The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii to the Honolulu City Council on June 3, 2020, 10:00 a.m. ___________________ Regular Meeting, Honolulu City Council City Council Chamber To: Ikaika Anderson, Chair Ann Kobayashi, Vice Chair

Read More →

The best reason to ‘Let Hawaii Work’ is to save lives

This commentary appeared originally in Honolulu Civil Beat on May 30, 2020. ________________ Our leaders need to move quickly to completely lift the state and county COVID-19 lockdowns Evidence has been mounting for years that prolonged unemployment in a community can result in increased deaths from suicides, substance abuse and

Read More →