Lawmakers Approve Statewide Smoking Ban - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lawmakers Approve Statewide Smoking Ban

State lawmakers once again worked late into the night on Tuesday.

They hammered out a number of bills that could affect all of us.

One law that passed is a statewide ban on public smoking.

Both the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed a law that makes all public areas smoke-free.

That means, smoking will be banned in all bars and restaurants.

You also won't be able to light up in any office, hotel lobby or at the airport.

It will be up to business owners to make sure their establishment is smoke-free.

If they break the law, they can be fined up to $500. And if you break the law, you could face a $50 penalty per violation.

The bill now goes to the governor for her signature.

It is expected to take effect on November 16th.

Many people are talking about bills that would suspend the gas cap and an increase in the cigarette tax.

And they'll have more time to talk about them because the House has put both of those on hold until Thursday's session.

The current measure at the capitol would lift the cap on wholesale prices, but still requires the Public Utilities Commission to calculate the projected wholesale price caps using a lower formula that factors in prices from Singapore.

A bill that passed Tuesday night breathes new life to the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center's emergency room, along with other community hospitals.

It will now get funding which - according to lawmakers - was inadvertently left out of the state budget.

That means instead of the $500,000 dollars for the Waianae ER, they will have a million dollars for its 24 hour emergency services.

Lawmakers also approved increased tax incentives for filmmakers working in the islands.

That could draw more productions like "Lost".

Re-development at Kakaako may also become more difficult under a measure passed by lawmakers.

It prohibits residental use of state land.

And homes at Kukui Gardens will be saved.

Both the House and Senate voted to either keep the units affordable, or have the State step-in to buy the building.

Things will be quiet at the State Capitol on Wednesday.

Lawmakers are taking a recess before the final day of this year's session.

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