On Saturday Feb. 26, Senator Baker and Rep. Fontaine held a “town hall” meeting at the Kihei Charter School campus on Lipoa. A sizable crowd filled the room to hear updates on current legislation moving through the congressional halls of Oahu. A large group of residents came to voice their concerns regarding bills related to transient vacation rentals and the potential effects of forcing owners to use property management companies. Sen. Baker explained that the intent of the bill was to make owners tax-compliant, and that her Ways & Means Committee would review the bill on Feb. 28. Rep. Fontaine mentioned that a similar bill had died in the House, but a bill requiring a local contact number for TVR’s may still be alive.
Other topics included an update on bills intended to fund the infrastructure construction of the Kihei District High School. There was also discussion on broader topics of student funding, esp. related to Charter Schools and the general effectiveness of DOE management.
Citizens also voiced concerns over energy costs, MECO regulations and rising gas prices. The legislators helped to inform the audience on some of the contributing factors, as Maui’s PUC representative took close notes.