The Latest: Hawaii lawmakers say Ige omits much from speech
HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s state of the state address (all times local):
1:57 p.m. p.m.
Hawaii lawmakers say Gov. David Ige left a number of important issues out of his annual State of the State address.
They noted he didn’t mention coming up with solutions for homeowners to get rid of their cesspools. Both House and Senate leaders say this will be an important topic this Legislative session.
They noted he didn’t mention short-term vacation rentals.
House Speaker Scott Saiki says he was disappointed the governor didn’t reiterate his support for the Thirty Meter Telescope project.
Ige told reporters afterward his budget proposals include many details. He says he didn’t want to talk for two or three hours so limited the scope of his address.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige didn’t address his emergency management agency’s recent bungling of a missile alert during Monday’s State of the State address.
An errant message was sent to cell phone users Jan. 13, saying a missile was inbound to Hawaii. The message said this was not a drill.
Officials didn’t correct the message for 38 minutes, leading to panic among residents.
State Sen. Will Espero said he believes Ige is trying to move forward and that’s why he didn’t mention it in his annual address to lawmakers. However, Espero said a short comment noting reforms and improvements made since that error could have “reassured everyone that they’re still on top of it” and it remains a high priority of the Ige administration.
Majority Leader Sen. Kalani English says he wasn’t surprised about the omission as the governor has already addressed it at press conferences and other places. He says the speech underscored the numerous issues facing the state.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige is touting his administration’s successes in boosting the state’s housing supply and moving homeless off the streets.
Ige said in his State of the State address on Monday a public housing special team has reduced the amount of time public housing units sit vacant to seven days from 267 days. He noted homelessness is down 9 percent statewide — the first decline in eight years.
Ige says he’s asking the state Legislature to appropriate $100 million this year to support the construction of more affordable homes.
The governor says owning a home is out of reach for most families, and housing costs are rising faster than wages.
He says the gap between those who are doing well and those who are not should concern everyone.
Gov. David Ige voiced his opposition to Trump administration policies in his State of the State address.
He told a joint session of the Hawaii Legislature on Monday that Hawaii won’t “stand for the hateful and hurtful policies of the Trump White House.”
Ige says Hawaii is doing more than any other state to do “what is right.” He highlighted the state’s opposition to the travel ban on citizens from six Muslim majority nations from the Republican administration.
He also said the state is bucking the White House position on climate change. Lawmakers in this state dominated by the Democratic party applauded Ige’s remarks.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige is preparing to give his annual State of the State address.
Monday’s speech comes as the islands continue to grapple with the shock of a missile alert mistakenly sent to residents and visitors a week ago and longer-term issues like homelessness and a housing shortage.
On Friday, the governor took questions from state lawmakers on the missile alert. He has said the mistake and subsequent delay in notifying people of the error was unacceptable. He’s apologized repeatedly for the “pain and confusion” it caused.
Housing and homelessness continues to be a major concern for the state.
Hawaii had 51 homeless people for every 10,000 residents last year, the highest ratio of any state.
Officials estimate Hawaii needs about 65,000 housing units more than it currently has.