By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers may allow the state's financially struggling health exchange to issue up to $28 million in bonds backed by the state.
The Senate passed a bill that would pave the way for the bonds on Tuesday.
If the bill becomes law, the Hawaii Health Connector would issue the bonds that would be paid back through revenues generated on the exchange.
A similar proposal already died in the Hawaii House after concerns were raised over the funding mechanism and the dollar amount.
Democratic Sen. Rosalyn Baker defends the proposal saying the Hawaii Health Connector has met its sustainability goals and has improved with new leadership.
Republican Sen. Sam Slom is against the proposal and says the bill would give the Hawaii Health Connector taxpayer money that it doesn't deserve.