Legislators pass funding boost for Career Criminal Unit

KAILUA-KONA — A bill to boost funding for a specialized unit targeted for repeat offenders passed its first committee last week.

A joint committee of the Judiciary and Public Safety, Intergovernmental Military Affairs heard the bill Friday. Each committee voted unanimously to pass the bill without amendments.

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It next needs to secure a hearing before the Senate Committee on Ways and Means no later than Friday to remain alive.

The bill would appropriate from the general fund $365,000 in fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21 for the Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office Career Criminal Unit. The unit targets repeat offenders who cause the most trouble in the community.

A similar bill in the House, HB 53, which also seeks $365,000 in fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21 for the county career criminal unit is starting to move. The measure, co-introduced/sponsored by all seven Big Island House legislators, is set to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee today.

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The Career Criminal Unit was established by the Legislature in every county throughout the state 40 years ago.

The prosecutor’s office is already receiving $324,512 for the 2019-20 fiscal year from the state. Due to a 5 percent contingency restriction, the office will only be allowed to spend $308,286.

  1. Maloha February 12, 2019 6:39 am

    What good is this bill if we don’t have a 3 strikes law and keep the soft on crime judges on the bench?


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