State Lawmakers reach tentative agreement on CARES Act spending bill (Hawaii News Now, May 11, 2020)
Hawaii lawmakers acted to distribute 862M in CARES Act money to the neighbor islands. The bill gives $180 million dollars for the neighbor islands for coronavirus testing and contact tracing, and to pay for services such as police and firefighters. Another $100 million goes to the Hawaii Department of Defense while the largest amount ― about $550 million ― will go into the rainy day fund. Honolulu already got $250 million directly from the feds.
Lack of clear plan to replace tourism leaves Hawaii’s economic future in doubt (Star Advertiser, May 11, 2020)
The most important point being made in these conversations about diversifying and altering Hawaii’s tourism economy is that studies have shown Hawaii is not getting the same amount of returns on tourism as it used to. Adjusted for inflation, it took 10.4 million visitors in 2019 to reach $17.75 billion in spending, which was lower than the $18.3 billion (2019 dollars) that 6.5 million visitors brought to Hawaii in 1989. Perhaps setting the minimum wage at living wage levels would help limit tourist numbers, prevent environmental degradation, increase wealth of local working families, and improve residents’ quality of life.
Hawaii COVID-19 incident commander says ‘rioting’ a possibility if economy falters (Star Advertiser, May 11, 2020)
Quote from Major General Kenneth Hara: “If we let the economy go the way it’s going, I feel there will be significant civil unrest that could lead to civil disobedience and, worst case, civil disturbance and rioting.”
Hawaii to receive more than $5M for emergency rent payments, food assistance (Pacific Business Journal, 5/11/2020)
The funding will be dispersed to the counties for purposes such as rental and food assistance, grants and loans to small businesses, providing financial support to nonprofits that fall under essential services, and workforce development and training for displaced workers, among other uses. Honolulu: $3,081,677. Hawaii County: $975,815. Maui County: $698,280. Kauai County: $261,137.
DHHL announces new rental relief program for those affected by COVID-19 (KITV, May 11, 2020)
Native Hawaiian beneficiaries who are on the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) applicant waiting list can now participate in the organization’s new program providing rental relief DHHL, potential applicants can contacts DHHL’s partner organization Aloha United Way for more information.
McConnell brushes off Pelosi as she finalizes relief package (Politico, May 11, 2020)
The US House is drafting another stimulus package bill, but it is already being dismissed by the Republican US Senate as a “messaging document.” It appears there is no sense of urgency to get another bill passed and a bill likely won’t be passed until some time in June.
World: Cases: 4.1M (+100k). Deaths: 286k(+3.3k).
USA: Cases: 1.34M (+10k). Deaths: 80.3k (+800). Total Tested: 9.38M (+380k).
Hawaii: Cases: 634 (+2). Deaths: 17 (+0). Hospitalized: 81 (+0). Recovered: 561 (+0).