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A field of hemp in France. Wikimedia image. Legislature Approves Two-Year Study of Hemp April 14th, 2014 · 3 Comments · East Hawaii News, Featured Articles, News, North Hawaii News, West Hawaii News

The bill authorizes the UH College of Agriculture and Human Resources to study hemp for use as a biofuel feedstock and to remove contaminants from soil.

A rendering for the proposed Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy building. Courtesy image. Funding Moving Ahead for College of Pharmacy Building April 2nd, 2014 · No Comments · East Hawaii News, Featured Articles, News

Both the House and Senate versions of the state budget include about $32 million for the school, and the Senate has also boosted funding for a Kona courthouse.

Members of the House Finance Committee discuss the House version of the supplemental budget Wednesday. Courtesy photo. House Budget Contains Funding for Pharmacy School Building March 6th, 2014 · No Comments · East Hawaii News, News, North Hawaii News, West Hawaii News

The proposed supplemental spending plan contains $33 million for a permanent home for the College of Pharmacy, which administrators say is crucial to its future.

A field of hemp in France. Wikimedia image. Bill Authorizing Hemp Research Moves to House March 4th, 2014 · 1 Comment · East Hawaii News, Featured Articles, News, North Hawaii News, West Hawaii News

The Senate has approved legislation allowing the University of Hawaii to do a two-year study of hemp, including its use as feedstock for biodiesel.

Sen. Will Espero. Senate photo. Alcohol Ban Proposed for Off-Duty Police Carrying Guns February 12th, 2014 · 1 Comment · East Hawaii News, Featured Articles, News, North Hawaii News, West Hawaii News

The Senate bill was prompted by the 2011 fatal shooting in a Waikiki McDonald’s by State Department special agent Christopher Deedy.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is seeking tougher penalties for violations of resource protection laws. Shown above is the taro garden plowed and planted several times last year by activists at Hilo's Wailoa Park, acts that eventually resulted in nearly a dozen arrests. File photo. Lawmakers Looking at New Enforcement Tools for DLNR February 12th, 2014 · 2 Comments · East Hawaii News, Featured Articles, News, North Hawaii News, West Hawaii News

After an effort to change the forfeiture law failed last year, the Legislature is considering authorizing community service and denial of vehicle registrations.

An e-cigarette. Staff photo. E-Cigarette Legislation Moves Forward February 11th, 2014 · 3 Comments · East Hawaii News, Featured Articles, News, North Hawaii News, West Hawaii News

Bills that would require permits for vendors and and prohibit the sale of flavored cartridges are moving through committees.

A bill that would exempt groceries from the state's 4% general excise tax appears dead for the session. GET Exemption for Groceries, Medical Care Stalls February 10th, 2014 · 2 Comments · East Hawaii News, Featured Articles, News, North Hawaii News, West Hawaii News

A Senate committee had SB2169 scheduled for a public hearing Thursday but deferred it instead.

Sen. Malama Solomon, left, and Sen. Russel Ruderman, right. Courtesy photos. Solomon, Ruderman Schedule Community Meetings February 10th, 2014 · No Comments · East Hawaii News, News, North Hawaii News, West Hawaii News

The “talk-story” sessions held during the Legislature’s five-day recess are designed to give the community an opportunity to discuss legislative priorities.

The new law would prohibit distribution of tobacco products to those under 21. Legislature Takes on Tobacco; Five Bills Considered Today February 7th, 2014 · 1 Comment · East Hawaii News, Featured Articles, News, North Hawaii News, West Hawaii News

Lawmakers are considering hiking taxes, regulating e-cigarettes and raising the minimum age to buy tobacco products, but won’t outlaw their possession by minors.

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