Ige to veto expansion of state’s hotel tax

The Associated Press and The Maui News

HONOLULU — Gov. David Ige plans to veto legislation that would expand the state’s hotel tax.

Ige said Tuesday he would reject the bill, which would have applied the transient accommodations tax on resort fees charged by hotels. The tax currently covers lodging at hotels and other short-term stays.

Ige said vague language in the bill could lead to the tax being applied to restaurants, spas and other businesses inside hotels. The governor last month announced he may veto the legislation.

The governor is allowing a bill establishing a standards board to certify county and state law enforcement to become law without his signature. Ige said he supports the intent of the bill and recognizes the need for accountability and public confidence in law enforcement.

But he had concerns about the timelines in the measure and had many questions about its implementation. More resources are needed, he added.

The governor had until Tuesday to veto bills passed by the state Legislature. He vetoed eight out of the 11 bills he placed on his veto intent list released last month.

Ige is allowing House Bill 2589, which would allow two-wheeled motorcycles to drive in designated shoulder lanes, to become law without his signature.

“Although I believe safety concerns remain, I will work with the Department of Transportation to properly vet which shoulder lanes will be accessible to motorcycles,” he said.

Ige plans to veto Senate Bill 2407, which authorizes the use of medical cannabis as a treatment for opioid addiction, substance use and withdrawal symptoms resulting from the treatment of the conditions.

He said the state Department of Health already has an annual formal evidenced-based petition process, available to patients and physicians, so patients and physicians can apply to add qualifying conditions to the list of uses for medical marijuana.