Hawaii Legislature opens with debates on budget, marijuana - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii Legislature opens with debates on budget, marijuana

File photo from 2014 Legislative session File photo from 2014 Legislative session

By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - The Hawaii Legislature has begun its 2015 session. Lawmakers are planning to tackle a tight budget and issues that range from providing affordable housing to improving patients' access to medical marijuana.

The Senate went into session Wednesday morning.

The Legislature plans to weigh millions of dollars in money requests. The Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, University of Hawaii and Hawaii Health Connector are asking for financial help. But Gov. David Ige has said there's really no extra money.

There will be proposals that aim to regulate genetically modified foods and to control the use of pesticides.

Lawmakers also may consider bills to help residents of Hawaii's Big Island who are dealing with lava.

The House is saying goodbye to Rep. Mele Carroll who has resigned for health reasons.

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