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Op-Eds

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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Raiding EUTF is deja vu all over again

This commentary was originally published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Sunday, November 15, 2020. ________________ Gov. David Ige in his 2018 State of the State address said, “One value that has guided this administration is to not simply pass our debts to our kids and grandkids.” But that value seems

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Great Lockdown Crash of 2020 is wake-up call for Hawaii lawmakers

This commentary was originally published, without the footnotes, in The Garden Island on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. _____________ Warren Buffett once said, “You only learn who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out.”[1] That includes states, and now that the tide has receded, it’s easy to see that

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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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Keeping watch in Hawaii

This article was originally published in the “Proof Positive” section of Midweek on Sept. 16, 2020. _______________ Few things demonstrate the need for government watchdog groups like a statewide emergency. At the nonpartisan Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, our small but productive staff began the year preparing for another legislative session. Our

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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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Legislators need right job-creation map

This commentary was originally published Sunday, July 19, 2020, in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. _____________ Worried about the loss of tourism, widespread unemployment and economic slowdown? Fear not. The Hawaii Legislature plans to fix it all through its powers of legislation. That might seem a bit optimistic for a legislative body

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 →

Raiding EUTF is deja vu all over again

This commentary was originally published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Sunday, November 15, 2020. ________________ Gov. David Ige in his 2018 State of the State address said, “One value that has guided this administration is to not simply pass our debts to our kids and grandkids.” But that value seems

Read More →

Great Lockdown Crash of 2020 is wake-up call for Hawaii lawmakers

This commentary was originally published, without the footnotes, in The Garden Island on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. _____________ Warren Buffett once said, “You only learn who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out.”[1] That includes states, and now that the tide has receded, it’s easy to see that

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 →

Keeping watch in Hawaii

This article was originally published in the “Proof Positive” section of Midweek on Sept. 16, 2020. _______________ Few things demonstrate the need for government watchdog groups like a statewide emergency. At the nonpartisan Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, our small but productive staff began the year preparing for another legislative session. Our

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 →

Legislators need right job-creation map

This commentary was originally published Sunday, July 19, 2020, in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. _____________ Worried about the loss of tourism, widespread unemployment and economic slowdown? Fear not. The Hawaii Legislature plans to fix it all through its powers of legislation. That might seem a bit optimistic for a legislative body

Read More →