Seeking Proposals For Next Legislative Session

Sen. Mike Gabbard

Sen. Mike Gabbard

Talking Story…Sen. Mike Gabbard

Aloha friends,

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your ohana. I hope you enjoy the official start of our holiday season.

Here are a few updates I’d like to share with you. A special congratulations to my son Jai, who was married Nov. 5 in Australia. I wish him a life of joy and fulfillment with his wife, Jayde.

Please let me know if I can ever help you or your family in any way. I can be reached at 586-6830 or sengabbard@capitol.hawaii.gov.

Your Ideas for Legislation Welcome

The 2014 Regular Session is just around the corner and will begin Jan. 16. One of the key ways I get good ideas for legislation is from the community.

A constituent from Waipahu approached me several months ago to express his concern about an issue with his medical records. He said that he had gotten a letter in the mail from a law firm in California after the closure of Hawaii Medical Center – West (HMC-West). They notified him that because of the bankruptcy of HMC-West, he would have to pay close to $50 to obtain his medical records from the hospital.

He contacted my office because he thought it was a scam. We got in touch with the state Attorney General and were able to determine that this was allowed under the bankruptcy court’s decision.

The constituent suggested that I look at legislation to better protect seniors and the disabled who were put in hardship over the situation. So I’ve drafted a bill for introduction to require that before any hospital can declare bankruptcy, it must first contact all its patients and provide them with their medical records free of charge.

Please let me know if you have any ideas for legislation that you’d like to see introduced.

Carmel Partners and Hunt Development Come Up Big for Kalaeloa

In July, the Navy announced it would significantly raise the electric rate from $263.47 per Mwh to $587.43 per Mwh, a 133 percent increase, starting Oct. 1 for the residents and businesses of Kalaeloa. I wrote Adm. Richard Williams July 15 asking him to do everything he could to avoid the electricity rate increase. I soon received a letter from the Navy informing me that the rates would be going up as planned from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2014.

The Navy explained that although HECO’s rates increased between 2008 and 2012, the rates the Navy charged to its Kalaeloa customers did not increase. This resulted in financial losses for the Navy.

Mahalo to both Carmel Partners and Hunt Development for stepping up and not passing along this electricity increase to their tenants. Carmel Partners made the decision to absorb 100 percent of the increase for its residential tenants. Hunt is paying for 70 percent of the increase for its commercial tenants.

“Listen-Story” Meeting

My next “Listen-Story” will meet at 9 a.m. Dec. 7 at Pray Eat Love CafĂ© (533 Manawai St., Ste. 304 (on the Waianae side directly across from Kapolei High School).