Meeting set on rail funding

HONOLULU — The state Legislature is hosting a public informational briefing on state funding for the City & County of Honolulu’s rail project at 10 a.m. Aug. 14 in the State Capitol auditorium.

“In spite of our impasse during the 2017 legislative session, the Legislature understands the importance in crafting a legislative solution that will provide the City and County of Honolulu a dedicated revenue stream to adhere to the Full Funding Grant Agreement and complete construction of the Minimum Operable Segment of the rail project,” said Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi, who lives in Lihue and represents Kauai and Niihau.

Committee chairs from both the House of Representatives and the State Senate have been meeting to discuss rail funding and lawmakers want to hear from the public as they work on an agreement on rail financing.

The City administration and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation will also update financial issues at the briefing.

“Rail is at a critical point in its construction and the Legislature wants to hear the public’s input on the funding mechanisms and how to ensure greater accountability from HART and the City on their rail project. We need the most accurate financial information to make the best decision possible,” said House Speaker Scott K. Saiki.

The leaders of the two chambers have reaffirmed their commitment to resolve the outstanding rail financing issues.

Lawmakers are also considering a special legislative session to address rail financing.

Testimony for the public briefing must be submitted via email to the Senate Committee on Transportation and Energy at TRETestimony@capitol.hawai.gov. Testimony may be submitted up to 24 hours prior to the start of the informational briefing.

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