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Issues

Don’t criminalize COVID-19 rule breakers

When you turn ordinary behavior into criminal behavior overnight, you need to be prepared for some unjust results. That’s exactly what happened after the governor and Hawaii’s four mayors imposed their COVID-19 emergency orders: People who had never been arrested or convicted of crimes in their entire lives suddenly were

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Let’s talk about the Jones Act — all eight of them

Artwork by Stephanie Mahoney You thought you knew what the Jones Act was, right?  Well, think again. Turns out, there are at least eight separate federal Jones Acts.  The Jones Act we discuss most at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is the one that costs Hawaii residents more than $1

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Alaska cruising victory bodes well for Hawaii

A case of maritime-related common sense has broken out in Washington, D.C. Let’s hope it’s contagious. Earlier this year, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii partnered with the Alaska Policy Forum in support of a resolution before the Alaska Legislature that asked Congress to grant the Last Frontier an exemption to

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Hawaii’s tax future now in Gov. David Ige’s hands

Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo This article was originally published May 23, 2021 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. _________________ By Keli’i Akina and Tom Yamachika The time is fast approaching when we will learn if Gov. David Ige meant it when he said that tax hikes are “the last thing” our state needs right

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NEWS RELEASE: President Biden signs bill exempting Alaska from PVSA

The following was issued as a news release by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on May 25, 2021. ________________ The Passenger Vessel Services Act cut off Alaska’s tourism industry from large foreign-flagged cruise ships departing from Washington HONOLULU, May 25, 2021 >> In a huge victory for Alaska’s tourism industry — with

Read More →

How to fix Hawaii’s COVID-19 citation nightmare

The state judiciary system is swamped, and thousands of residents stand to gain criminal records for violating COVID-19 restrictions Tens of thousands of Hawaii residents have received citations over the past 14 months for violating the governor’s ever-changing and often-confusing COVID-19 emergency orders, which means we soon could be having tens of thousands of

Read More →

Waiver goodbye to the Jones Act?

If a shipping law that ostensibly protects “national security” has to be waived every time there’s a crisis, maybe the problem is the law itself. President Joe Biden granted two limited Jones Act exemptions over the past 10 days in response to the ransomware attack that temporarily shut down the

Read More →

Why we need to press ‘pause’ on the Honolulu rail project

Another year, another interview about Honolulu’s seriously troubled rail system — the problem that won’t go away! But for a change, we seem to be at a moment when hitting the “pause” button on the most expensive megaproject per capita in the world makes a lot of sense. Hawaii’s most

Read More →

Affordable housing debate is about means, not end

Supporters of the well-intentioned but misguided Bill 10 on Maui wanted affordable housing, and so did those who warned against it Maui County residents dodged a bullet last Friday. The Maui County Council upheld Mayor Michael Victorino’s veto of Bill 10, a proposal that would have worsened the county’s housing

Read More →

Don’t criminalize COVID-19 rule breakers

When you turn ordinary behavior into criminal behavior overnight, you need to be prepared for some unjust results. That’s exactly what happened after the governor and Hawaii’s four mayors imposed their COVID-19 emergency orders: People who had never been arrested or convicted of crimes in their entire lives suddenly were

Read More →

Let’s talk about the Jones Act — all eight of them

Artwork by Stephanie Mahoney You thought you knew what the Jones Act was, right?  Well, think again. Turns out, there are at least eight separate federal Jones Acts.  The Jones Act we discuss most at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is the one that costs Hawaii residents more than $1

Read More →

Alaska cruising victory bodes well for Hawaii

A case of maritime-related common sense has broken out in Washington, D.C. Let’s hope it’s contagious. Earlier this year, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii partnered with the Alaska Policy Forum in support of a resolution before the Alaska Legislature that asked Congress to grant the Last Frontier an exemption to

Read More →

Hawaii’s tax future now in Gov. David Ige’s hands

Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo This article was originally published May 23, 2021 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. _________________ By Keli’i Akina and Tom Yamachika The time is fast approaching when we will learn if Gov. David Ige meant it when he said that tax hikes are “the last thing” our state needs right

Read More →

NEWS RELEASE: President Biden signs bill exempting Alaska from PVSA

The following was issued as a news release by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on May 25, 2021. ________________ The Passenger Vessel Services Act cut off Alaska’s tourism industry from large foreign-flagged cruise ships departing from Washington HONOLULU, May 25, 2021 >> In a huge victory for Alaska’s tourism industry — with

Read More →

How to fix Hawaii’s COVID-19 citation nightmare

The state judiciary system is swamped, and thousands of residents stand to gain criminal records for violating COVID-19 restrictions Tens of thousands of Hawaii residents have received citations over the past 14 months for violating the governor’s ever-changing and often-confusing COVID-19 emergency orders, which means we soon could be having tens of thousands of

Read More →

Waiver goodbye to the Jones Act?

If a shipping law that ostensibly protects “national security” has to be waived every time there’s a crisis, maybe the problem is the law itself. President Joe Biden granted two limited Jones Act exemptions over the past 10 days in response to the ransomware attack that temporarily shut down the

Read More →

Why we need to press ‘pause’ on the Honolulu rail project

Another year, another interview about Honolulu’s seriously troubled rail system — the problem that won’t go away! But for a change, we seem to be at a moment when hitting the “pause” button on the most expensive megaproject per capita in the world makes a lot of sense. Hawaii’s most

Read More →

Affordable housing debate is about means, not end

Supporters of the well-intentioned but misguided Bill 10 on Maui wanted affordable housing, and so did those who warned against it Maui County residents dodged a bullet last Friday. The Maui County Council upheld Mayor Michael Victorino’s veto of Bill 10, a proposal that would have worsened the county’s housing

Read More →