Bill to open a gift shop at Hawaii's Capitol moves forward

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Unique Hawaii coins, magnets, maybe even a Governor Abercrombie bobblehead?  All items that could be sold at the State Capitol if House Bill 1122 clears.

The bill would appropriate funds for a gift shop in the Capitol.

Thousands of tourists pass through the building every year and Representative John Mizuno believes those visitors would buy keepsakes to take back home.

"Many times they'll ask, hey do you all have a gift shop?  I'd like to buy a t-shirt or something," says Mizuno.

He says every time he visits our nations capitol, he buys items from the store there.

"I've got a commemorative Obama... and Biden coin here," says Mizuno as he shows off items on display in his office.

"We don't have any additional space to put a gift shop," says Dean Seki, State Comptroller for the Department of Accounting and General Services.  He doesn't oppose the bill, but has concerns.

"We are a little skeptical if we would be able to generate positive cash flow out of the gift shop," says Seki.

Mizuno says the capitol offices could be rearranged to make room for a store, or it could be added on to the current snack shop.  And he's not worried about it making money.  He would be happy if it could simply break even.

House Bill 1122 passed the first reading Friday and moves on to the Finance Committee.

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