by David Corrigan
Honolulu, Hawaii – Two crossed-over Senate Bills relating to the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems – or PISCES – are being heard today at State House Finance Committee.
SB1256 appropriates $1,200,000 million to support operations and the purchase of equipment required to support PISCES’ activities, such as its proposed aerospace technology research and development park project in Hilo.
Supporters see PISCES as a potential boost for associated jobs, workforce development, internships, and Hawaii’s broadband capacity.
|Dennis “Fresh” Onishi||
The funds would go towards the program’s existing employee salaries and new positions like a marketing officer, a project integration manager, and an information technology and field technician, as well as two student internship positions. It would also go towards the purchase of essential equipment, materials, and services.
The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism – which now oversees PISCES – says it supports the bill, provided that its passage does not replace or adversely impact the priorities listed in their Executive Budget.
The other bill, SB930, appropriates funds to support the investigative stage of PISCES’ sustainable concrete initiative, which will be contingent upon a dollar-for-dollar match from other sources.
Supporters say enabling innovative technologies in basalt concrete composition and delivery is an attractive and self-sustaining alternative to continued cement and asphalt imports. The funds would support the investigative stage of the initiative.
The numerous letters of support included one from Buzz Aldrin, the iconic NASA astronaut and one of the first men to land and walk on the moon.
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