Maui Council Chair Delivers Legislative Package of 15 Bills

January 15, 2020, 7:19 AM HST · Updated January 15, 8:03 AM
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Maui Councilmember Alice Lee.

Maui County Council Chair Alice Lee will travel to the State Capitol today with her council colleagues, to ask state lawmakers on opening day of the legislative session to consider measures in the 2020 Maui County Legislative Package.

The Maui package includes 15 bills covering a wide range of issues, including the taxation authority and revenue, roadway safety, the regulation of hosting platforms for unpermitted vacation rentals and environmental issues like invasive species and sea-level rise.

Lee said the package also includes a resolution urging the US Congress to allow Hawaiian Homesteads to be direct recipients of federal housing block grants.

“The 2020 Maui County Legislative Package represents the result of a great deal of collaboration across the Maui County Council, as well as the feedback we have received from our communities on what matters most to them,” Lee said. “Whether it’s ensuring the road to Hana is made safer or empowering the county to combat online marketing of illegal transient accommodations, these bills, if passed by the state legislature, would go a long way toward improving the lives of Maui County residents.”

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Lee said other bills in the package would increase funding to support agriculture statewide, extend the $5 million per year tax credit for the upgrading of cesspools through 2025, authorize remote schools like Hāna High & Elementary School to receive supplemental funding and lower the threshold of blood alcohol concentration from 0.08 to 0.05 for the offense of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant.

The package also includes bills that would amend the allocation of transient accommodations tax revenue to more fairly recognize the counties’ support of public services for the visitor industry and extend Maui County’s authority to establish a general excise tax surcharge through June 30, 2021.

“I am looking forward to communicating with our state legislators at the Capitol about what changes we can make to positively impact the residents of Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi,” Lee said. “Not just on opening day, but throughout the session, Maui County’s voice will be heard.”

Lee said she encourages Maui County residents to join with the council in tracking state legislation and submitting testimony to state legislative committees. The legislative session runs until May 7.

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