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Accountability

What happened to our state’s balance of powers?

When we got our first look at the tier system that outlined how our lives would be restricted by COVID-19 orders, we didn’t realize that eventually we, the people, would be divided into tiers.  We are rapidly approaching the point where Hawaii residents will be divided into “cans” and “cannots,”

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Jenga game illustrates how government budgets go wrong

The founder of Truth in Accounting showed her Maui audience how Hawaii’s state budgeting practices invite financial collapse Everyone had a good time at the institute’s first in-person event on Maui since 2020, on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. That’s because Sheila Weinberg, founder of national government watchdog group Truth in Accounting, engaged

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State law never meant to create indefinite emergency

With the state awash in rumors about new COVID-19 restrictions — or even another lockdown — we are witnessing the breakdown in trust that occurs when there is not enough transparency in government decision-making. For more than a year, we have been living under a different kind of governance, with

Read More →

End the COVID-19 transparency dodge

Hawaii businesses might be reopening, but Hawaii government agencies still have a ways to go. In the past, government agencies here have been criticized for their lack of transparency. Despite the state’s open-records law, some have become notorious for denying open-records requests or delaying their responses. We have seen various legislative proposals meant

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Failure of emergency powers reform is major disappointment

The commentary below was Keli’i Akina’s weekly “President’s Corner” column for April 30, 2021. If you would like to have his columns emailed to you on a regular basis, please call 808-864-1776 or email info@grassrootinstitute.org. ______________ If the legislative session that ended yesterday had been a sporting event, it would have

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Kent urges GASB to maintain strict accounting standards for governments

The Grassroot Institute submitted testimony in February to the private Government Accounting Standards Board, which is considering some rule changes that would make it easier for governments to ignore their long-term liabilities when crafting short-term budgets. This past Monday, April 12, 2021, Institute Executive Vice President Joe Kent met with the

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Survey shows that Honolulu residents are in a negative mood

This commentary was originally published in Honolulu Civil Beat on April 9, 2021. ___________ But that could change if the government changed. If the government is supposed to be of, by and for the people, it’s doing a pretty terrible job. That’s one conclusion to draw from the 2020 National Community

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Testimony — SB134 SD1, relating to emergency powers, Part 2

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the Hawaii Senate Committee on Judiciary on Feb. 24, 2021. ______________ To: Senate Committee on Judiciary Senator Karl Rhoads, Chair Senator Jarrett Keohokalole, Vice Chair From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii Joe Kent, Executive Vice President RE: SB134

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Misleading budgeting undermines accountable government

The commentary below was Keli’i Akina’s weekly “President’s Corner” column for Feb. 19, 2021. If you would like to have his columns emailed to you on a regular basis, please call 808-864-1776 or email info@grassrootinstitute.org. ______________ If you had $1,000 in the bank and $10,000 in credit card debt, would you

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Akina, Weinberg tackle Hawaii’s flawed accounting practices

Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of the one of the nation’s most important government watchdog groups, Truth in Accounting, was the special guest Feb. 15, 2021, on Keli’i Akina’ “Hawaii Together” program on ThinkTech Hawaii. The show took place on the heels of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii submitting a

Read More →

What happened to our state’s balance of powers?

When we got our first look at the tier system that outlined how our lives would be restricted by COVID-19 orders, we didn’t realize that eventually we, the people, would be divided into tiers.  We are rapidly approaching the point where Hawaii residents will be divided into “cans” and “cannots,”

Read More →

Jenga game illustrates how government budgets go wrong

The founder of Truth in Accounting showed her Maui audience how Hawaii’s state budgeting practices invite financial collapse Everyone had a good time at the institute’s first in-person event on Maui since 2020, on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. That’s because Sheila Weinberg, founder of national government watchdog group Truth in Accounting, engaged

Read More →

State law never meant to create indefinite emergency

With the state awash in rumors about new COVID-19 restrictions — or even another lockdown — we are witnessing the breakdown in trust that occurs when there is not enough transparency in government decision-making. For more than a year, we have been living under a different kind of governance, with

Read More →

End the COVID-19 transparency dodge

Hawaii businesses might be reopening, but Hawaii government agencies still have a ways to go. In the past, government agencies here have been criticized for their lack of transparency. Despite the state’s open-records law, some have become notorious for denying open-records requests or delaying their responses. We have seen various legislative proposals meant

Read More →

Failure of emergency powers reform is major disappointment

The commentary below was Keli’i Akina’s weekly “President’s Corner” column for April 30, 2021. If you would like to have his columns emailed to you on a regular basis, please call 808-864-1776 or email info@grassrootinstitute.org. ______________ If the legislative session that ended yesterday had been a sporting event, it would have

Read More →

Kent urges GASB to maintain strict accounting standards for governments

The Grassroot Institute submitted testimony in February to the private Government Accounting Standards Board, which is considering some rule changes that would make it easier for governments to ignore their long-term liabilities when crafting short-term budgets. This past Monday, April 12, 2021, Institute Executive Vice President Joe Kent met with the

Read More →

Survey shows that Honolulu residents are in a negative mood

This commentary was originally published in Honolulu Civil Beat on April 9, 2021. ___________ But that could change if the government changed. If the government is supposed to be of, by and for the people, it’s doing a pretty terrible job. That’s one conclusion to draw from the 2020 National Community

Read More →

Testimony — SB134 SD1, relating to emergency powers, Part 2

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the Hawaii Senate Committee on Judiciary on Feb. 24, 2021. ______________ To: Senate Committee on Judiciary Senator Karl Rhoads, Chair Senator Jarrett Keohokalole, Vice Chair From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii Joe Kent, Executive Vice President RE: SB134

Read More →

Misleading budgeting undermines accountable government

The commentary below was Keli’i Akina’s weekly “President’s Corner” column for Feb. 19, 2021. If you would like to have his columns emailed to you on a regular basis, please call 808-864-1776 or email info@grassrootinstitute.org. ______________ If you had $1,000 in the bank and $10,000 in credit card debt, would you

Read More →

Akina, Weinberg tackle Hawaii’s flawed accounting practices

Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of the one of the nation’s most important government watchdog groups, Truth in Accounting, was the special guest Feb. 15, 2021, on Keli’i Akina’ “Hawaii Together” program on ThinkTech Hawaii. The show took place on the heels of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii submitting a

Read More →