The Hawaii State Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, headed by chair Sen. Will Espero, has scheduled an informational briefing to get an update on key initiatives in Hawaii's growing aerospace industry. The briefing will be held on Thursday, January 22, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. in conference room 229 at the Hawaii State Capitol.
"Aerospace can be a dynamic industry in Hawaii with the potential to diversify our economy and create high-paying jobs for residents," said Sen. Espero. "There are many aspects to the industry, from research and development in planetary geosciences to global climate monitoring and even space tourism."
Guest speakers include:
Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) - Dr. Luke Flynn, Director, HSFL
Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) - Dr. Kim Binsted, Principal Investigator, HI-SEAS
Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) - Robert Kelso, Executive Director, PISCES
Starlight Reserve Initiative - Dr. Richard Wainscoat, Chairman, Hawaii Starlight Reserve Committee
Hawaii Commercial Spaceport License and Space Tourism - Brian Gulliver, Principal Investigator, RS&H
Pan Pacific UAV Test Range Complex - Ro Bailey, Deputy Director, Alaska Center for UAS Integration
View the hearing notice
State lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives have scheduled an informational briefing to hear from the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) and various social service providers on domestic violence in Hawaii, how HPD responds to domestic violence calls, and any suggestions for improvement. The briefing is an opportunity for lawmakers to gather information following a high-profile domestic violence case involving one of its officers.
The briefing, held by the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs and the House Committee on Public Safety, will be on Tuesday, September 30 at 10 a.m. at the State Capitol in Room 309. Click here to view the briefing notice.
"We're holding this briefing because concerns were raised by many lawmakers about the policies and procedures in place when officers respond to domestic violence calls," said Sen. Will Espero (D-19 Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point, portion of Ewa Villages), chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs. "This will give us and the public an opportunity to address these issues and put domestic violence front-and-center on everyone's radar. We're making this a priority, and I see this briefing as just another step in affecting real change to help protect victims of domestic violence."
Representative Henry Aquino (D-38 Waipahu), chairman of the House Committee on Public Safety, noted that the tragedy of domestic violence has recently captured the national and local news headlines spotlighting that the issue has no economic, educational or cultural boundaries.
"This informational hearing will allow us to hear from experts on domestic violence, separate the myths from facts, and gain information on policies and procedures by law enforcement professionals in handling domestic violence situations and calls. The issue is not new. We now have an opportunity to arm ourselves with education and commit our collective will to recognize, report and take action against this kind of violence that impacts all of us," said Aquino.
Speakers and their subject matter include:
Overview of Domestic Violence laws: Loretta Sheehan, esq. and Nicole Edwards Masuda, esq., Domestic Violence Action Center
Annual Statistics and data: Cindy Spencer, Vice President, DVAC - Community Outreach & Education
Police Response to DV calls: Chief Louis Kealoha, Police Chief, Honolulu Police Department
Response to DV calls if alleged abuser is HPD: Honolulu Police Department
Status report of Officer Cachola video: Honolulu Police Department
The role of the Police Commission: Gregory Gilmartin, Executive Officer, Police Commission
Best Practices of Law Enforcement: Marci Lopes, Executive Director, Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Experiences of victims: Cathy Betts, Executive Director, Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women
Independent Review Board Proposal: Aaron Hunger, Instructor of Criminal Justice at Remington College & Ph.D. at UH of Manoa
What: Joint Senate-House informational briefing on affordable housing in Hawaii. The committees will hear from representative from various housing agencies to get an update on the affordable housing projects that have been completed, are presently underway and are planned for the future.
When: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Where: Hawaii State Capitol, Conference Room 325
Who: Senate Committee on Human Services; Senate Committee on Economic Development, Government Operations and Housing; Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs; and House Committee on Housing.
Committees will hear from: the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA); the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC); the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL); the Hawaii Public Housing Authority (HPHA); and the Department of Defense (DOD)
Other agencies invited to participate include: the City and County of Honolulu, Office Housing; the County of Hawaii, Office of Housing and Community Development, the County of Maui, Department of Housing and Human Concerns, and the County of Kauai, Housing Agency.
View the briefing notice.
Senator Will Espero, chairman of the Senate Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs (PSM) Committee, will hold a public informational hearing to learn more about recent cancellations of family visitations in the prison system.
The Senate has invited representatives from the Department of Public Safety to answer questions about the problem of family visitation cancellations at our prisons and jails.
"This is a problem that has been on-going for years. We hope to get more information on the frequency of visitor cancellations over the years due to understaffing and what is being done to remedy it," Senator Espero stated.
The United Public Workers Union and families impacted by the cancellations have been invited to speak.
The hearing will be held on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. in conference room 224 at the Hawaii State Capitol.
For more information, please call the office of Senator Will Espero at 808-586-6360.
Click here to view the informational briefing notice.
The Senate Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committee today deferred Senate Bill 2733, a bill that would have legalized marijuana in Hawaii.
"We felt Hawaii was not ready for legalization at this time," said Espero. "With the passage of legalization bills in Colorado and Washington, however, these states will be test sites to see how legalization impacts the states and their residents."
Another measure, Senate Bill 2358, which would decriminalize marijuana, was passed unanimously and will now go to the Judiciary and Labor Committee. First time offense would be a $100 fine; second offense $250; three or more $500. No prison time would be involved.
The committee also advanced Senate Bill 2215, which would provide medical amnesty for those who call 911 when someone is overdosing. "Many Hawaii residents have died because people are afraid to call for help when they are with someone overdosing. This measure is a good Samaritan bill that gives limited immunity to those who seek medical assistance," said Espero.
Governor Neil Abercrombie today signed into law a measure to promote gun safety and enhance registration requirements for firearms brought into Hawaii.
Senate Bill 69, relating to firearms, closes a loophole in Hawaii's firearms law by requiring individuals who bring into Hawaii firearms produced outside of the State to undergo a background check.
"With the recent shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Newton, Connecticut, gun violence has been thrust into the forefront of many discussions across the country, including here in Hawaii," said Senator Will Espero, who introduced the measure and chairs the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs. "This measure promotes gun safety by strengthening Hawaii's firearm registration requirements and ensuring that individuals bringing firearms into our State are receiving proper background checks."
Under Hawaii's previous law, a person arriving in the State with a firearm was required to register the firearm, but no permit process or background check was required. This created a loophole which allowed individuals who might have been prohibited from acquiring a firearm in Hawaii the ability to acquire a firearm outside of this State, where a permit process or extensive background check may not be required, then possess and be considered a registered firearm owners after registering with the county police department.
SB 69, requires county police departments under certain conditions to fingerprint, photograph and perform background checks on individuals who wish to register a firearm that was procured out-of-state. The measure also authorizes the police departments to assess a fee for conducting a fingerprint check and specifies the amount of the fee. Additionally, it extends the time period for registering a firearm procured out-of-state for consistency with the time period for registering firearms obtained in or imported into the State.
View the media release.
Governor Neil Abercrombie signed into law today a measure aimed at strengthening homeland security in the State of Hawaii. Senate Bill 680 enacts a homeland security law to establish a State Homeland Security Office within the Department of Defense and authorize the establishment of county organizations for homeland security.
"Hawaii's geographic location makes us vulnerable to homeland security threats," said Senator Will Espero, who introduced the bill and chairs the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs. "By establishing a Homeland Security Office within the State, this measure demonstrates Hawaii's commitment to ensure the continued safety of our citizens and visitors. The recent incident in Boston shows the need for local jurisdictions to be very attentive and take the initiative on security issues. "
"Currently, the main focus of the State Department of Defense is mostly civil defense or emergency preparedness and the National Guard," Espero explained. "The new office will complement the Federal Department of Homeland Security, providing a comprehensive program to help protect Hawaii's residents, infrastructure and government from terrorism and other attacks."
Under the law, the adjutant general will serve as the director of the State Homeland Security Office. The office is tasked to prepare comprehensive plans and programs for homeland security and homeland defense, conduct studies and surveys of the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure and other tasks. View the media release.
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