Kua Bay lifeguard bill advances

KAILUA-KONA — A state House committee voted Thursday to advance a bill to establish lifeguards at Kua Bay.

The seven-member Committee on Labor and Public Employment (LAB) voted unanimously to recommend that House Bill 2044 go forward, with amendments.

Those amendments had yet to be posted to the state Legislature’s website as of press time Thursday, however LAB Committee member Rep. Cindy Evans, D-North Kona, South Kohala and North Kohala, said Thursday evening that the change was minor, limited to the effective date of the act.

House Bill 2044 seeks unspecified monies for fiscal year 2018-19 for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to hire four full-time lifeguards to watch over the bay, also known as the Maniniowali section of Kekaha Kai State Park.

It would also provide $80,000 in general funds that fiscal year for a lifeguard tower, radios, protective equipment and an all-terrain vehicle.