House Bill 1286
Today, the House Finance Committee heard House Bill 1286, HD2. After extensive testimony, the measure was passed by the committee. As we expected, there was some opposition to the measure with Representatives Bertrand Kobayashi, Tina Wildberger, and Amy Perruso voting against the bill. However, the vast majority of the House Finance Committee expressed their support with a vote of 12 ayes and 3 nos. This bill will now be sent to the House floor for third reading before crossing over to the Senate for further consideration.
I truly appreciate how active and responsive our members and industry partners have been throughout the legislative process thus far. You have submitted numerous iterations of written testimony and many have also provided oral testimony in support of this measure. Mahalo to the following individuals who were able to testify via Zoom during today's committee hearing:
As the HB1286, HD2 travels to the Senate, we anticipate the second half of the legislative process to be a challenging task. We will continue to keep you abreast of any developments as they occur and encourage your ongoing participation in our advocacy efforts.
As you may have heard, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recently clarified its vaccine prioritization to include the "Traveler Accommodation" category in Phase-1C. We are pleased that, after working closely with AHLA, the CDC has made this amendment to protect the countless hospitality workers who are currently working during a pandemic throughout the nation.
On the local front, HLTA has been working closely with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and the Hawai‘i State Department of Health on the process in which our hospitality workers will be scheduled for vaccination. We have been assured that our industry members would start vaccinations in the 1C category at the very least, and some may actually start sooner than that depending on the available supply.
As it currently stands, Hawai‘i is in Phase-1B of the vaccination schedule.
Yesterday, Outrigger President & CEO Jeff Wagoner and I joined the Honolulu Star-Advertiser for its ongoing Spotlight Hawai'i series to discuss a number of topics currently surrounding the local tourism industry. In addition to providing an update on the current state of affairs for the local travel industry, Jeff and I were able to discuss a number of topics including statewide travel rules and the possibility of Hawai'i establishing a vaccine passport program that would allow vaccinated travelers to be exempt from the quarantine process.
It was a great discussion that you can watch in its entirety by clicking the video above.
The Big Picture
The second episode of a special, two-part series of webinars hosted by HLTA's Restaurant, Food & Beverage and Agricultural Committee will be held next Tuesday, March 2 at 4 p.m.
Hosted by our Restaurant, Food & Beverage and Agricultural Committee, this free event entitled, Advocacy 101, will explore how a critical part of Hawai‘i’s hospitality industry can work together to become a stronger voice and resource of information for our policy makers and the community. This episode will feature key industry leaders and stakeholders who will examine the following:
Hope to see you there!
Stay in the know
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