e-Voice of Business February 27, 2019

President’s Message

Aloha Chamber members,

First Decking, the first major deadline for the 2019 Legislative Session, is this Friday. Bills that pass First Decking go for a floor vote in each of the two chambers. Thereafter, the bills crossover to the opposite chamber for another round of hearings.
 
Here’s a snapshot of bills that are still alive which we believe will increase the cost of doing business and the cost of living:
 
Minimum Wage Increases
HB96 HD1
HB1191 HD1
SB789 SD1
 
.5% GET Increase to Fund Public Education and UH System
SB1474 SD1
 
Carbon Emissions Tax
SB1463 SD1
HB1584 HD2
 
Mandatory Parking Cash Subsidy for Employers with 50+ Employees
SB739
 
Workers’ Compensation; Compensable Medical Bills; Employer Payment; Independent Medical Exam
SB1412
HB912 HD1
HB389 HD1
 
Our Future is Our Business, which is why we work to voice our concerns on bills that will hinder economic growth and the livelihood of our communities.
 
If you have questions about the above bills, please contact me.
 
One final note, my column on minimum wage last weeknoted the increase in medical and drug premiums in 2015 to $593.44 per individual – which was a per month increase, not per year.

Laulima & mahalo,


Sherry Menor-McNamara
President & CEO

“Laulima”
Many hands working together in collaboration and striving for a common goal.

 

Advocating for Business

Continue to Make Your Voices Heard at the Legislature

On Friday, a number of members testified before the House Finance Committee to share how two House proposals to increase the minimum wage will hurt their businesses. On Monday, the Senate Ways and Means Committee heard an additional bill to increase the minimum wage. Unfortunately, all three bills were passed out of the committees and now head to their respective Chambers for a vote.

As the legislative session continues, we need you to continue to make your voices heard. It is vital to continue to submit written testimony or testify in person on bills that matter to your business as new lawmakers will be hearing these bills for the first time and making decisions on them. If you have not signed up for our action alerts, please contact our team to find out how to be added. We will continue to keep you informed when major legislation will be heard in hearings.
 
Additionally, the Chamber testified in support of a number of bills this week. Some of the bills include:

  • HB 1229 – Provides education and support on federal regulations regarding colored sea salt
  • HB 340 – Appropriates funds to the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation
  • HB 339 – Increases state funding for research activities
  • HB 1465 – Appropriates funds to Hawaii’s 3R’s School Improvement Program

 

Supporting our Military

Pacific Submarine Force Welcomes New Commander

 

Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC) held a change of command ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on February 21st. Rear Admiral Blake L. Converse relieved Rear Admiral Daryl L. Caudle as COMSUBPAC and commander, Task Force 134.

COMSUBPAC oversees 60 percent of the U.S. Navy Submarine Force. This includes oversight of the nation’s ballistic missile submarine fleet operating in the Pacific on behalf of U.S. Strategic Command. Caudle served as COMSUBPAC since September 2017 and guided the Pacific Submarine Force through 19 attack and guided missile deployments and 26 strategic deterrent patrols during his tour.
 
Mahalo to Rear Admiral Caudle for his service to our community, state and nation.

 

Building our Membership

Pacific Rim Conference Passes Available for Chamber Members

The University of Hawaii is hosting the 34th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity March 4-5 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Click here to learn more about the conference, which will focus on diversity and disability education, employment, accessibility, and health and well-being.

A limited number of conference passes are available for Chamber members. Email Ann Shiro from UH for more information or to register.