Proposed Hawaii ‘local jobs’ law would limit out-of-state... - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Proposed Hawaii ‘local jobs’ law would limit out-of-state workforce on government projects

Calvin Say Calvin Say
Angus McKelvey Angus McKelvey
Aloha Stadium Aloha Stadium

By Holly Juscen – bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some state politicians are fighting to keep local jobs for local workers. House Speaker Calvin Say has introduced a bill that would require 80% of workers hired for public works or construction contracts be Hawaii residents.

House reps and the Committee of Finance weighed in on the bill until late Thursday night. Say says the bill is so important for local workers and the economy.

"Why are contractors bringing in workers when we have so many unemployed locals who could work in trades."

Angus McKelvey, who represents West Maui, co-introduced the bill and says its not right that companies are using cheap labor to bring bids down,

"80% of workers are unemployed and there are reports they are bringing in guys from Mexico via California."

Back in August, when the $11 million Aloha Stadium reconstruction project was awarded to a mainland company, union workers were so outraged they released a commercial.

McKelvey says that this "Local Jobs" bill is so important to keeping Hawaii going during this economic crisis.

"That's revenue that's is going to the mainland instead of being pumped into the local economy...that's why this issue needs to be addressed immediately."

The trade unemployment rate is high across the state - 40-50% on Oahu, 80% on Maui, and 92% on the island of Hawaii. Mckelvey says the bill should move forward quickly and could be on the governor's desk by April.

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