HONOLULU (KHON2) — More tax breaks for working families and more efforts to preserve Hawaii’s drinking water. Those are some of the priorities for lawmakers for the legislative session, which starts Wednesday, Jan. 19.
Lawmakers say the Red Hill fuel spill shows how important it is for the state to protect the acquifers, which is the main source of drinking water.
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Lawmakers also want to focus on economic recovery and part of that can be done by giving more tax breaks.
“A state earned income tax credit, which we had created several years before,” said Rep. Della Au Belatti, House Majority Leader. “We have been looking to make more permanent. So that’s the kind of tax relief we’re really going to be focused on.”
“We have to figure out what is the maximum capacity of that water source,” said Sen. Lynn DeCoite, Senate Majority Floor Leader. “Basically it is the lifeline. Without drinking water we are going to be put in a bad place.”
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Lawmakers also want to provide more affordable housing and diversify the economy away from tourism.