State House looks at war’s
impact on isle economy

Associated Press

Although the Bush administration has said the heavy fighting in Iraq is essentially over, the work of a House committee convened this session to study the potential impact of war on various sectors of the state's economy is not quite finished.

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The House Select Committee on War Preparedness still needs to assess how its recommendations are progressing and discuss its work with the state's congressional delegation, House Vice Speaker Sylvia Luke said recently.

Luke (D, Pacific Heights-Punchbowl) is chairwoman of the 10-member committee convened in February to study the impact of a war on the state.

The committee will get its chance to speak with federal officials tomorrow, when U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye is scheduled to brief the committee on the latest developments in the Middle East.

Inouye is the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and a senior member of the subcommittees on foreign operations, military construction and homeland security.

"Our committee is especially interested in hearing from the senator on federal efforts to help Hawaii's economy in the wake of the war," Luke said.

The committee issued its report last month with 17 recommendations aimed at protecting Hawaii in the event of a severe economic downturn stemming from the war.

Some of the recommendations have been addressed through resolutions, while others -- such as rent relief for airport concessionaires and temporary waiving of some fees for airlines -- are included in bills still under consideration in the Legislature.


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