Bills

Bill to fund cash-strapped rail advances in Senate

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  • STAR-ADVERTISER

    Rail columns on Kamehameha Highway in front of Neal S. Blaisdell Park, as seen on July 20. A bill to fund Honolulu’s financially troubled rail project was advanced by the state Senate and is heading for a final vote by the legislative body.


A bill to fund Honolulu’s financially troubled rail project was advanced by the state Senate and is heading for a final vote by the legislative body.

Senators voted 17-7 to keep the bill alive today with little discussion. However, the vote could be closer during the Senate’s third and final reading Wednesday.

State Sen. Laura Thielen says traditionally there’s more debate when bills are up for final reading.

The $9.5 billion rail transit project is underfunded by as much as $3 billion. Lawmakers are considering raising the state hotel tax and extending a surcharge on the general excise tax to close the gap.

Today’s vote followed a Senate committee hearing Monday when the bill survived by just one vote.

If the bill passes the Senate Wednesday it will go next to the House.