HONOLULU — The Latest on the start of the Legislature’s new session (all times local):
Hawaii lawmakers say they want to help boost affordable housing and homeless programs during their new session.
Senate President Ronald Kouchi said Wednesday says it’s going to be important for lawmakers to keep their commitment to build affordable housing near stations along Honolulu’s planned rail line.
House Speaker Scott Saiki says Hawaii has a shortage of 65,000 housing units.
He says there’s a huge gap between what working families are able to pay and the cost of building new housing.
He says the state should address financing gaps by considering boosting subsidies for rent, infrastructure and construction.
Hawaii lawmakers are opening a new session of the state Legislature with vows to tackle the housing crisis, homelessness and find out how the emergency management agency mistakenly pushed a ballistic missile attack warning to cell phones over the weekend.
The new session of the Legislature starts Wednesday. It’s scheduled to last through early May.
House Speaker Scott Saiki has said housing and homelessness are complex and expensive issues that require mostly require long-term approaches. But he says House members know they are priorities and are prepared to put resources behind them this year.
Also Wednesday, protesters are marking the 125th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy with a march to Iolani Palace. Organizers plan an offering at the Queen Liliuokalani statute, speeches, music and hula.