e-Voice of Business March 6, 2019

President’s Message

Aloha Chamber members,

We are at first Crossover at the legislature, a key date when bills that are still alive cross over to the other chamber for another round of hearings and amendments, and are still tracking about 100 bills covering different subject matters.

The minimum wage increase is a concern, with Senate and House versions of the bill still moving. Local businesses and non-profits are concerned, as well. Watch this video to learn about some of their concerns. 

Another bill that is still alive is one that would increase the GET by 0.5% to fund public education and the University of Hawaii. We are opposed to this bill.

As you may recall, we were actively involved in defeating the ConAm proposing a surcharge on investment real property. The reasons for opposing the ConAm stands the same for our opposition to the GET increase. Our opposition to these bills has nothing to do with our support of education. The Chamber supports education, which is why we are supporting a bill to audit the Department of Education and another bill to fund the 3R’s program, a public-private partnership to help rehabilitate schools. Both bills are still alive.

Just as raising the minimum wage will do, increasing the GET will increase the cost of living and the cost of doing business, and will not solve the cost of living issue. Furthermore, retirees are on fixed incomes so any increases will have an impact on them, as well.

Our Future is Our Business. This is why we are opposed to these bills.

Laulima & mahalo,

Sherry Menor-McNamara
President & CEO

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

Advocating for Business

Chamber Continues to Speak Out on Minimum Wage

Chamber member Monica Toguchi Ryan, owner of Highway Inn, will appear on Insights on PBS Hawaii on Thursday, March 7 at 8:00 PM to represent Hawaii’s business community on a panel representing both sides of the minimum wage issue. We encourage Chamber members to write or call-in during Insights to share your concerns.

On Sunday, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser published an opinion-editorial from the Chamber outlining our members’ concerns about proposals to raise the minimum wage.

Supporting our Military

U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii to Hold Training Exercises

This month, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii will hold training exercises at Schofield Barracks that will include explosive elements and booming sounds that will be audible in surrounding communities. The exercises will be held on:

  • March 1-31 — Army Lightning Academy training with blank ammunition and explosive simulators, Schofield Barracks East Range. Day and nighttime hours.
  • March 9-14 — Army and Marines mortar training, Schofield Barracks
  • March 13 — Army Lightning Academy helicopter operations, Schofield Barracks East Range. Daytime hours.
  • March 15 — Army demolitions training, Schofield Barracks
  • March 23-24 — Marines demolitions training, Schofield Barracks
  • March 25-31 — Army artillery and mortar training, Schofield Barracks
  • March 28 — Army Lightning Academy helicopter operations, Schofield Barracks East Range. Training will occur during daytime hours.

Building our Membership

Chamber Hosts Employment Law Mid-Year Update

Employment Law participants hear from Joseph Ernst, Director, Employment Compliance, Employment Litigation and Labor Relations, about recently-decided cases that could affect hiring and other decisions
Kendra Kawai, Director, Employment Compliance, Employment Litigation and Labor Relations, and Jennifer Gitter, Associate, Director, Employment Compliance, Employment Litigation and Labor Relations, brief participants on Department of Labor opinion letters

Yesterday, the Chamber hosted its Employment Law Mid-Year Update. Attorneys from Torkildson, Katz, Hetherington, Harris, and Knorek outlined how recent rulemaking, court cases and newly-enacted legislation could affect businesses and human resources management. 


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