Advocacy Updates

Resolution Allows Council Interaction To Investigate Rail Funding

City Council Resolution 16-255, introduced by Council Member Ikaika Anderson, would establish a group of council members to investigate funding for the Honolulu rail project by working with state, county and federal officials.

Currently, city ordinance only allows up to two council members to meet to discuss council issues. The resolution would allow two or more, but fewer than five, councilmembers to meet provided that:

  1. The scope of the investigation and the scope of each member’s authority are defined at a meeting of the council

  2. All resulting findings and recommendations are presented to the council at a meeting of the council

  3. Deliberation and decision-making on the matter investigated, if any, occurs only at a duly noticed meeting of the council held subsequent to the meeting at which the findings and recommendations of the investigation were presented to the council

The resolution allows councilmembers to meet with members of the State Legislature and other state, city and federal officials, regarding the funding to complete construction of the Minimum Operable Segment (“MOS”) of the Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor Project. Some options under consideration include an extension of the county surcharge on state general excise and use taxes currently scheduled to sunset Dec. 31, 2027. 

An amendment by new council chair Ron Menor assigns councilmembers Ikaika Anderson, Joey Manahan, Kymberly Pine and the chair to the working group. No member of the permitted interaction group may make any binding commitment or create any obligation on behalf of the group, the council or the city. The group must also present a written report to the council of its findings and recommendations at a council meeting. Once the council accepts the report, the group will be dissolved.