A few quick updates on Cannabis, Minimum Wage and Corporate Water Theft:

In case you are not on my email list…here is what I sent out this morning!


The legislative session is quickly heading to the finish line.

The legalization of cannabis for responsible adult use appears to be dead for this year.  In its place is a measure that takes steps toward decriminalizing the use of small amounts.  While at this time, the measure seems woefully inadequate, am willing to wait to see what actually happens, or not with this issue (HB1383 HD2).


Also woefully inadequate is the current $12.50 per hour minimum wage being proposed by the House which is not only way too low, but also does not take effect until 2024.  This $12.50 would go to full time employees who are covered by employee provided health care (as required by Hawaii law). Under this measure (HB1191 HD1) part-time employees would receive $15 per hour. 


The Senate Bill SB 789 SD1 is proposing $15 by 2023 and amending it to reach $17 by 2024 would appear to be a reasonable next step.  The Department of Business and Economic Development (DEBDT) has determined that $17 per hour is the amount needed for a single person, without children – to simply stay alive (subsistence wage). It is important to also note, both bills include provisions designed to support small business as they phase in the proposed increases.  https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=789&year=2019

From the Hooser Blog – Living Wage Legislation – Radical Leftist Concept or Essential Centrist Thinking?


Corporate Water Theft – HB1326 HD2  Much has been written about this and we await the scheduling of a hearing.  When that happens, we will need everyone who is concerned about this issue to submit testimony, and to actually show up at the hearing if you are on Oahu.


At the moment, please take the time to READ and LEARN about HB1326 HD2, and then please email All Senators (info at the bottom of this page).

Below are three blog postings that provide context and include links to source material.

Political winds stirred by political waters (most recent observations on HB1326 HD2)

“It is not an exaggeration to say that political careers will rise and fall on the actions or inactions taken by legislators with regards to the success or failure of HB1326 HD2 (referred to by opponents as the water theft bill).”


Must read email from “impacted resident” (insightful commentary on the water diversion story)

“I have been testifying (for 2-3 minutes) at water meetings in Haiku and at the County Council since I was 15 years old, I am now 53…– 3 minutes to discuss a whole web of life from Mauka to Makai…You wonder why people get mad?”


HB1326 is all part of a well executed scam (includes link to actual A&B sales agreement)

“Part of that deal is A&B’s promise to the new owner to deliver 30 million gallons of the people’s water a day from East Maui or $62 million. That’s $62 million to A&B for water they do not own.” (In other words – A&B will receive a $62,000,000 benefit upon passage of HB1326HD2)


Please email sens@capitol.hawaii.gov and the Senate to oppose HB1326 HD2. No amount of amendment can restore integrity to the process that created it.  It is pilau and must be killed.

Please, be respectful and professional in your communications – as difficult as that may be.  We have many friends in the Senate who are willing to vote the right way on this.  We also have friends who are “in the middle” and are struggling to learn more about the issue and to put things into context.  We must be careful not to push away our friends and those who are learning more and will likely vote with us as well.

Finally, if you have not done so already call and email YOUR specific Senator and ask him or her where they stand on this issue, and ask again that they oppose and vote NO.  Go HERE and simply type in your address, and the name of your Senator will pop up. https://openstates.org  Click on their name and the email etc will then pop up as well.  It’s easy.

Thank you in advance for your help and involvement.  We are at a critical time in the legislative process and every email or phone call, is important.

In solidarity,

Gary Hooser

Executive Director

Pono Hawaii Initiative (PHI)


*Yes – PHI has ongoing expenses and thus fundraising needs.  Due to the political and legislative nature of our work, contributions are NOT tax deductible but are much needed.  Whether it is $25, or $2,500 any help you can offer by Friday March 22, is especially needed.  The work is stressful enough without on top of it all, worrying about paying the bills. Please help take away some of this stress if you can, by making an online contribution today at https://secure.everyaction.com/5LWqPJUnuU-BFdjqy9ccbQ2 or mail a check to: Pono Hawaii Initiative, P.O. Box 871, Honolulu HI 96808.  Mahalo in advance for any and all help you can offer.  gary

About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) www.hapahi.org I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - http://www.garyhooser.com/#four “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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