Honolulu light rail bill narrowly passes first state senate vote

Posted on August 29, 2017

A rendering of Honolulu's future light railcars.
A rendering of Honolulu's future light railcars.HART

HONOLULU — HawaiiNewsNow reports that after a marathon hearing, the state’s Senate Ways and Means Committee narrowly voted 6 to 5 on a bill that would generate almost $2.4 billion to fund Honolulu’s beleaguered light rail project.

The bill is projected to bring about $2.37 billion to help complete the 20-mile rail by extending the half-percent excise tax surcharge on Oahu for another three years, although the mayor of Honolulu would like it extended to five years. The bill was approved unamended and is set to be heard on the Senate floor in a second hearing Tuesday morning.

The city has until Sept. 15 to show the Federal Transit Administration how it plans to raise the money to cover the project's budget shortfall or it risks losing $1.55 billion in federal grant funding it has already received. For the full story, click here.

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