Early this month (February), PISCES submitted three legislative bills intended to further the Center’s project goals and development.
The first bill, SB 672, appropriates general funding for the Center to continue its planetary surface systems work enabling Hawaii to move to the forefront of the aerospace sector, as well as an additional appropriation for the acquisition of a central headquarters and testing facility.
SB 671 is a PISCES-led basalt rebar initiative requesting funds for an engineering study to determine how volcanic basalt can be used as an asset and potential new industry in the state of Hawaii. The study will assess if Hawaii’s basalt can be used as a material in manufacturing basalt rebar – a considerably lighter, and stronger alternative to steel rebar – while investigating the necessary energy support needed for production. The bill requests federal matching funds for the engineering study, to be conducted over a one-year period.
Special Fund bill SB 1158 proposes the establishment of a special fund for the operation, maintenance, and management of all PISCES projects, facilities, services, and publications. The bill also provides the ability for the Center to accept outside revenue.
The bills are currently being evaluated by legislative committees for further approval.