- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 3, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) - The Latest on efforts to fund Honolulu’s financially troubled rail project (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige says he will not extend the Legislature’s session to solve rail finance problems unless lawmakers reach agreement on a funding plan.

Ige said Wednesday it would be a waste of time because lawmakers are too divided.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate had competing ideas for how to fix a budget hole for Honolulu’s multi-billion-dollar rail transit project. But they did not reach agreement in time to pass a bill before the session ends.

The Hawaii Constitution says the Legislature can extend the session on its own if two-thirds of the House and Senate agree.

A spokesman for Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says the federal government could withhold future money without an adequate funding plan. They also can ask Honolulu to return money already spent.

__

11:50 a.m.

Mayors of all four Hawaii counties are asking Gov. David Ige to extend the legislative session to find funding for rail.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate did not agree on a financial plan for the troubled rail transit project in time to pass a bill before the session ends Thursday.

The rail is planned for Oahu, but mayors on neighbor islands are concerned about how various tax proposals could impact their coffers.

According to the Hawaii Constitution the governor can order the Legislature to extend the session or two-thirds of the House and Senate can vote to do so.

A spokesman for Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says the federal government could withhold future money without an adequate funding plan. He says they also can ask Honolulu to return money already spent.

___

9:15 a.m.

Hawaii lawmakers have yet to agree on a funding deal for Honolulu’s multibillion-dollar rail project.

The House rejected a Senate proposal Tuesday that called for extending the excise tax surcharge for rail for another decade to help fund the project. Meanwhile, the Senate rejected a proposal to boost hotel taxes by 2.5 percent.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Henry Aquino is now proposing increasing the hotel room tax by 1 percent for 11 years. He says the plan to put up more than $1.7 billion for the partially built project would provide more rail funding than any other proposal brought forward so far.

Tourism industry officials issued a statement Tuesday in opposition of using hotel taxes for rail.

The 2017 legislative session is scheduled to end Thursday.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide