(AP) — The Hawaiʻi Senate is reconsidering allowing county emergency departments to charge out-of-bounds hikers for rescue costs as government spending remains under pressure because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that a Senate bill would allow counties to issue criminal fines in addition to seeking reimbursement from hikers requiring rescue after leaving marked trails or ignoring signs saying areas are closed to hikers. The bill also would add new petty misdemeanor penalties for hiking illegally. A revised version of a different Senate bill would only give counties the option of seeking reimbursement. The Honolulu Fire Department opposes seeking rescue reimbursement.
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)