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Rod S. Tanonaka Named House Sergeant-At-Arms

Rod. S. Tanonaka has been named the State House of Representatives Sergeant-at-Arms effective January 3, 2017.

capitalTanonaka replaces Kevin R. Kuroda who held the position since 2003. Kuroda announced his retirement last month to address personal and family concerns.

“Kevin has done an outstanding job and we will miss his steady presence at the Capitol,” said House Speaker Joseph M. Souki. “We also believe Rod has the experience and skills needed to capably fulfill the requirements of the position.”

Tanonaka previously served as Chief of Staff for the late U.S. Rep. K. Mark Takai and prior to that held the same post for U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa during her first term in office.

The Sergeant-at-Arms Office’s duties include providing security for the offices and chambers of the state House. The staff attends and maintains order during all House sessions and is responsible for executing the commands of the House leadership.

Representative Joy A. San Buenaventura Chosen for 2016 Western Legislative Academy

The Council of State Governments West (CSG West), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization serving Western state legislators of both parties in 13 Western states, has selected Hawaii Representative Joy A. San Buenaventura as a participant in its prestigious training institute for lawmakers in their first four years of service.  The purpose of the Western Legislative Academy is to build excellence and effectiveness in state legislators in the Western region.

rep-joy-fb-pictureAdmission to the Western Legislative Academy is very competitive and is based on commitment to public service, desire to improve personal legislative effectiveness and interest in improving the legislative process.  Out of 88 applicants from throughout the Western United States, 44 state legislators were selected as members of the Western Legislative Academy Class of 2016.

The Western Legislative Academy convenes from November 30 – December 3, 2016 in Colorado Springs, Colorado for three and a half days of intensive training in subjects such as legislative institutions, ethics, communications, negotiations, time management and leadership.  Faculty is drawn from academia, former military and the private sector.  A highlight of the training is an afternoon at the US Air Force Academy working on personal assessments and team building.

San Buenaventura is a 2nd term Hawaii State Representative for the District of Puna on the Big Island of Hawaii. She is vice-chair of the Judiciary Committee and is a member of Transportation and Housing committees.  She is one of only two state representatives in the medical marijuana working group.

Prior to being a legislator, she has been a country attorney for more than 30 years specializing in appeals, litigation and family law.  She has volunteered as a mediator with Kuikahi mediation, as an arbitrator with the Judiciary and as a lawyer with Volunteer Legal Services and with the Judiciary’s self-help clinic.  Joy has had several jury trials and multiple bench trials, and 25 years ago, she was the first attorney in the state to pursue breast implant litigation. She has won all of her appeals to the Hawaii Supreme Court; is a former per diem District Court Judge from 1991-1995, the youngest judge then; and a former University of Hawaii lecturer.

The Council of State Governments West is the Western region of the national Council of State Governments, which is based in Lexington, Kentucky.  Regional offices of CSG are located in Sacramento, Chicago, Atlanta and New York.

Funding for the Academy comes from the Colorado Springs-based El Pomar Foundation, which is dedicated to excellence in nonprofit organizations, and from Western state legislatures and corporate sponsors. The El Pomar Foundation also donates the campus for the Western Legislative Academy.

Senator Kaialiʻi Kahele to Chair the Senate Committee on Higher Education

Newly elected State Senator Kaiali‘i Kahele (Dist. 1 – Hilo), was selected to Chair the Senate Committee on Higher Education (HED) by Senate leadership earlier today. Sen. Kahele will fulfill the final two years of his late father’s term in the Senate representing the residents of Hilo after being elected to the seat on November 8, 2016.

senator-kai-kahele-profileSen. Kahele, a 1992 graduate of Hilo High School, pursued his higher education at Hawai‘i Community College, the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and received his Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 1998.

As Chair of HED, Sen. Kahele will oversee the formulation of legisation for the University of Hawai‘i System – including three baccalaureate universities, seven community colleges and four educational centers across Hawai‘i. In addition, his committee purvue includes the Senate confirmation of the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents.

Sen. Kahele will also serve as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Education (EDU) with Chair, Sen. Michelle N. Kidani.

“It is an honor and I am humbled to represent the residents of Senate District One in Hilo,” said Sen. Kahele. “I appreciate the trust and confidence the Senate Leadership has in me with these important committee assignments. I have a passion for education and providing quality, affordable education for all keiki, at all levels, across our State. Working together with Senator Kidani, I am looking forward to reshaping P-20 education throughout Hawai‘i and providing opportunities for our children to compete in the global arena as well as giving them the tools to shape the future of our Island home.”

Hawaii State Senate Confirms Standing Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs for 29th Legislature

The Hawai‘i State Senate today confirmed the Senate Standing Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs for the 29th Legislature.

capital“These committee assignments reflect the best use of the broad experience and expertise our Senators bring to this legislative body,” said Senate President, Ronald D. Kouchi.  “We’re looking forward to a synergetic and productive session.”

Senate Leaders, Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs are as follows:

Senate Leadership

  • President: Sen. Ronald D. Kouchi
  • Vice President: Sen. Michelle N. Kidani
  • Majority Leader: Sen. J. Kalani English
  • Majority Caucus Leader: Sen. Brickwood Galuteria
  • Majority Floor Leader: Sen. Will Espero
  • Majority Whip: Sen. Donovan M. Dela Cruz
  • Assistant Majority Whip: Sen. Brian T. Taniguchi

Agriculture and Environment (AEN)

  • Chair:  Sen. Mike Gabbard
  • Vice Chair:  Sen. Gil Riviere

Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health (CPH)

  • Chair:  Sen. Rosalyn H. Baker
  • Vice Chair: Sen. Clarence K. Nishihara

Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology (ETT)

  • Chair:  Sen. Glenn Wakai
  • Vice Chair:  Sen. Brian T. Taniguchi

Education (EDU)

  • Chair: Sen. Michelle N. Kidani
  • Vice Chair:  Sen. Kaiali‘i Kahele

Government Operations (GVO)

  • Chair: Sen. Donna Mercado Kim
  • Vice Chair: Sen. Russell E. Ruderman

Hawaiian Affairs (HWN)

  • Chair:  Sen. Maile S.L. Shimabukuro
  • Vice Chair:  Sen. Brickwood Galuteria

Higher Education (HRE)

  • Chair:  Sen. Kaiali‘i Kahele
  • Vice Chair: Sen. Michelle N. Kidani

Housing (HOU)

  • Chair:  Sen. Will Espero
  • Vice Chair:  Sen. Breene Harimoto

Human Services (HMS)

  • Chair:  Sen. Josh Green
  • Vice Chair: Sen. Stanley Chang

International Affairs and the Arts (IAA)

  • Chair:  Sen. Brian T. Taniguchi
  • Vice Chair:  Sen. J. Kalani English

Judiciary and Labor (JDL)

  • Chair:  Sen. Gilbert S.C. Keith-Agaran
  • Vice Chair:  Sen. Karl Rhoads

Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs (PSM)

  • Chair:  Sen. Clarence K. Nishihara
  • Vice Chair:  Sen. Glenn Wakai

Transportation and Energy (TRE)

  • Chair:  Sen. Lorraine R. Inouye
  • Vice Chair:  Sen. Donovan M. Dela Cruz

Water and Land (WTL)

  • Chair:  Sen. Karl Rhoads
  • Vice Chair: Sen. Mike Gabbard

Ways and Means (WAM)

  • Chair:  Sen. Jill N. Tokuda
  • Vice Chair: Sen. Donovan M. Dela Cruz

Hawaii House Majority Announces Committee Assignments

The House of Representatives Majority today announced its Committee Members assignments for the 2017 legislative session.

capitalThe committee assignments for the House minority party members are pending.

House Leaders, Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs and Members are:

Speaker: Joseph M. Souki
Speaker Emeritus: Calvin K.Y. Say
Vice Speaker: John M. Mizuno
Majority Leader: Scott K. Saiki
Majority Floor Leader: Cindy Evans
Majority Policy Leader: Marcus R. Oshiro
Majority Whip: Ken Ito
Assistant Majority Leaders:
Chris Lee
Dee Morikawa
Roy M. Takumi

Agriculture (AGR)
Chair: Richard P. Creagan
Vice Chair: Lynn DeCoite
Members:
Cedric Asuega Gates
Kaniela Ing
Matthew S. LoPresti
Gregg Takayama

Consumer Protection & Commerce (CPC)
Chair: Angus L.K. McKelvey
Vice Chair: Linda E. Ichiyama
Members:
Henry J.C. Aquino
Ken Ito
Calvin K.Y. Say
Gregg Takayama
Ryan I. Yamane

Economic Development & Business (EDB)
Chair: Mark M. Nakashima
Vice Chair: Jarrett K. Keohokalole
Members:
Daniel K. Holt
Aaron Ling Johanson
Roy M. Takumi
Kyle T. Yamashita

Education (EDN)
Chair: Roy M. Takumi
Vice Chair: Sharon E. Har
Members:
Richard P. Creagan
Mark J. Hashem
Kaniela Ing
Takashi Ohno
Richard H.K. Onishi
Justin H. Woodson

Energy & Environmental Protection (EEP)
Chair: Chris Lee
Vice Chair: Nicole E. Lowen
Members:
Ty J.K. Cullen
Cindy Evans
Linda E. Ichiyama
Sam Satoru Kong
Calvin K.Y. Say
Ryan I. Yamane

Finance (FIN)
Chair: Sylvia J. Luke
Vice Chair: Ty J.K. Cullen
Members:
Romy M. Cachola (Unfunded Liability)
Nicole E. Lowen (Grants in Aid)
Kyle T. Yamashita (CIP)
Isaac W. Choy
Lynn DeCoite
Cedric Asuega Gates
Daniel K. Holt
Jarrett K. Keohokalole
Bertrand Kobayashi
Matthew S. LoPresti
Nadine K. Nakamura
Sean Quinlan
James Kunane Tokioka

Health (HLT)
Chair: Della Au Belatti
Vice Chair: Bertrand Kobayashi
Members:
Sharon E. Har
Dee Morikawa
Marcus R. Oshiro

Higher Education (HED)
Chair: Justin H. Woodson
Vice Chair: Mark J. Hashem
Members:
Richard P. Creagan
Sharon E. Har
Kaniela Ing
Takashi Ohno
Richard H.K. Onishi
Roy M. Takumi

Housing (HSG)
Chair: Tom Brower
Vice Chair: Nadine K. Nakamura
Members:
Henry J.C. Aquino
Mark J. Hashem
Sean Quinlan
Joy A. San Buenaventura

Human Services (HUS)
Chair: Dee Morikawa
Vice Chair: To be announced
Members:
Della Au Belatti
Sharon E. Har
Bertrand Kobayashi
Marcus R. Oshiro

Intrastate Commerce (IAC)
Chair: Takashi Ohno
Vice Chair: Isaac W. Choy
Members:
Romy M. Cachola
Ken Ito
Richard H.K. Onishi
James Kunane Tokioka
Justin H. Woodson

Judiciary (JUD)
Chair: Scott Y. Nishimoto
Vice Chair: Joy A. San Buenaventura
Members:
Della Au Belatti
Tom Bower
Aaron Ling Johanson
Chris Lee
Dee Morikawa
Mark M. Nakashima
Marcus R. Oshiro

Labor & Public Employment (LAB)
Chair: Aaron Ling Johanson
Vice Chair: Daniel K. Holt
Members:
Jarrett K. Keohokalole
Mark M. Nakashima
Roy M. Takumi
Kyle T. Yamashita

Legislative Management (LMG)
Chair: Bertrand Kobayashi
Vice Chair: John M. Mizuno
Members:
Cindy Evans
Scott K. Saiki

Ocean, Marine Resources & Hawaiian Affairs (OMH)
Chair: Kaniela Ing
Vice Chair: Cedric Asuega Gates
Members:
Richard P. Creagan
Lynn DeCoite
Matthew S. LoPresti
Gregg Takayama

Public Safety (PBS)
Chair: Gregg Takayama
Vice Chair: Matthew S. LoPresti
Members:
Richard P. Creagan
Lynn DeCoite
Cedric Asuega Gates
Kaniela Ing

Tourism (TOU)
Chair: Richard H.K. Onishi
Vice Chair: James Kunane Tokioka
Members:
Romy M. Cachola
Isaac W. Choy
Ken Ito
Takashi Ohno
Justin H. Woodson

Transportation (TRN)
Chair: Henry J.C. Aquino
Vice Chair: Sean Quinlan
Members:
Tom Bower
Mark J. Hashem
Nadine K. Nakamura
Joy A. San Buenaventura

Veterans, Military & International Affairs & Culture and the Arts (VMI)
Chair: Ken Ito
Vice Chair: James Kunane Tokioka
Members:
Romy M. Cachola
Isaac W. Choy
Takashi Ohno
Richard H. K. Onishi
Justin H. Woodson

Water and Land (WAL)
Chair: Ryan I. Yamane
Vice Chair: Sam Satoru Kong
Members:
Ty J.K. Cullen
Cindy Evans
Linda E. Ichiyama
Chris Lee
Nicole E. Lowen
Calvin K. Y. Say

Call for Applications for the Water Security Advisory Group

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is accepting applications for membership on the Water Security Advisory Group established in Act 172, Session Laws of Hawaii 2016. The Chairperson of DLNR will review the applications and select individuals that are deemed qualified to serve on the Water Security Advisory Group per the requirements of Act 172.

hb2040Act 172 requires that members of the Water Security Advisory Group be comprised of the manager and chief engineer of the board of water supply of each county or their designee, the deputy director for water resource management of the DLNR, and the following individuals:

  1. A member with knowledge of agricultural water storage and delivery systems;
  2. A member of a private landowning entity that actively partners with a watershed partnership;
  3. A member with knowledge, experience, and expertise in the area of Hawaiian cultural practices; and
  4. A member representing a conservation organization.

The Water Security Advisory Group shall advise the DLNR on the priority of all proposals for projects or programs submitted by public or private agencies or organizations to increase water security in the State and recommend high-priority programs for the award of matching funds established through Act 172.

Water Security Advisory Group members shall serve without compensation until June 30, 2018.

Interested persons are encouraged to submit a resume, cover letter, and 3 letters of reference that outline the applicant’s qualifications to serve on the Water Security Advisory Group.

Applications and resumes should be postmarked no later than December 23, 2016 and may be sent to:

Water Security Advisory Group

Commission on Water Resource Management

1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 227

Honolulu, HI 96813

Act 172 may be viewed or downloaded at:  http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/GM1274_.PDF

Hawaii House of Representatives Names 2017 Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs

The House of Representatives Majority named its 2017 Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs during a caucus meeting today.

capitalA new committee, Intrastate Commerce, will focus on regulations and licensing of Hawaii businesses such as banking, telecommunications and property insurance.

House Leaders, Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs are:

  • Speaker: Joseph M. Souki
  • Speaker Emeritus: Calvin K.Y. Say
  • Vice Speaker: John M. Mizuno
  • Majority Leader: Scott K. Saiki
  • Majority Floor Leader: Cindy Evans
  • Majority Policy Leader: Marcus R. Oshiro
  • Majority Whip: Ken Ito

Assistant Majority Leaders:

  • Chris Lee
  • Dee Morikawa
  • Roy M. Takumi

Agriculture (AGR)

  • Chair: Richard Creagan
  • Vice Chair: Lynn DeCoite

Consumer Protection & Commerce (CPC)

  • Chair: Angus L.K. McKelvey
  • Vice Chair: Linda Ichiyama

Economic Development & Business (EDB)

  • Chair: Mark M. Nakashima
  • Vice Chair: Jarrett Keohokalole

Education (EDN)

  • Chair: Roy M. Takumi
  • Vice Chair: Sharon E. Har

Energy & Environmental Protection (EEP)

  • Chair: Chris Lee
  • Vice Chair: Nicole Lowen

Finance (FIN)

  • Chair: Sylvia Luke
  • Vice Chair: Ty J.K. Cullen

Health (HLT)

  • Chair: Della Au Belatti
  • Vice Chair: Bertrand Kobayashi

Higher Education (HED)

  • Chair: Justin H. Woodson
  • Vice Chair: Mark J. Hashem

Housing (HSG)

  • Chair: Tom Brower
  • Vice Chair: Nadine Nakamura

Human Services (HUS)

  • Chair: Dee Morikawa
  • Vice Chair: To be announced

Intrastate Commerce (IAC)

  • Chair: Takashi Ohno
  • Vice Chair: Isaac W. Choy

Judiciary (JUD)

  • Chair: Scott Y. Nishimoto
  • Vice Chair: Joy San Buenaventura

Labor & Public Employment (LAB)

  • Chair: Aaron Ling Johanson
  • Vice Chair: Daniel Holt

Legislative Management (LMG)

  • Chair: Bertrand Kobayashi
  • Vice Chair: John M. Mizuno

Ocean, Marine Resources & Hawaiian Affairs (OMH)

  • Chair: Kaniela Ing
  • Vice Chair: Cedric Gates

Public Safety (PBS)

  • Chair: Gregg Takayama
  • Vice Chair: Matthew S. LoPresti

Tourism (TOU)

  • Chair: Richard H.K. Onishi
  • Vice Chair: James Kunane Tokioka

Transportation (TRN)

  • Chair: Henry J.C. Aquino
  • Vice Chair: Sean Quinlan

Veterans, Military & International Affairs & Culture and the Arts (VMI)

  • Chair: Ken Ito
  • Vice Chair: James Kunane Tokioka

Water and Land (WAL)

  • Chair: Ryan I. Yamane
  • Vice Chair: Sam Satoru Kong

Senator Inouye Graduates from the Legislative Energy Horizon Institute

Senator Lorraine R. Inouye (Dist. 4 – Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona) has completed the Legislative Energy Horizon Institute’s (LEHI) course in energy policy.

Sen. Lorraine Inouye (Marc Chopin, Dean and Professor of Economics, University of Idaho and Sen. Lorraine R. Inouye)

Marc Chopin, Dean and Professor of Economics, University of Idaho and Sen. Lorraine R. Inouye

The institute is a 60-hour energy immersion executive course with the University of Idaho.  The course is designed to increase the knowledge of the energy infrastructure and delivery system to equip legislators with the latest research and data as they make future energy policy decisions.

With the 2016 class, over 200 policymakers have completed the LEHI program. Those who complete the 60-hour executive course receive a certificate from the University of Idaho in Energy Policy Planning.

Sen. Inouye is the first Hawai‘i state Senator to complete the LEHI course.

“It was an intense course, but definitely time well spent learning in-depth about our complex energy system. It’s even clearer to me now how we are all connected in ensuring our energy resources are used efficiently. It is also important that our decisions on energy are well thought out, not only for us today, but for generations to come,” said Sen. Inouye.

“It is critical that citizen legislators get this basic knowledge of how our energy systems operate. I am impressed that Sen. Inouye took over a week of her personal time this year to better equip herself to make energy policy decisions,” said Rep. Jeff Morris of Washington State, Institute Director.

The Pacific North West Economic Region (PNWER) partnered with the University of Idaho and the U.S. Department of Energy to found the Institute in 2009. In 2012, the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) and the federal government of Canada joined the effort to make the program nationwide and also include Canadian legislators.

Rep. McKelvey Questions Gabbard’s Lack of Support in Condemning Trumps Appointment

Maui lawmaker says Congresswoman should stand with Democrats against racism

Rep. Angus McKelvey last week sent a letter to Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard asking why she has not joined in solidarity with many other Democrats in opposition to President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Stephen Brannon as chief strategist to the White House.

Letter attached below

Letter attached below

Brannon is known as a racist xenophobe with support from white nationalist hate groups.

In light of recent national reports that the Congresswoman has met with Trump, McKelvey said Hawaii’s residents have a right to know if Gabbard stands in opposition to Brannon.

McKelvey is perplexed as to why Gabbard would not join our congressional delegation, and other House Democrats, in opposing this disturbing appointment.

“Your refusal to stand with other Democrats in solidarity infers that you not only support Trump’s appointment, but are shifting your political views to fall in line with the incoming administration,” said McKelvey in his Nov. 17 letter.

Click to read the whole letter: Letter from Rep. McKelvey

Hawaii County Democratic Party Seeking Candidates to Serve for House District 2

The Hawai’i County Democratic Party is seeking candidates who are interested in an appointment to serve as the Representative of House District 2.

democratic-party-of-hawaii-banner-logoI am sure you are aware of the recent and unfortunate passing of Representative Clift Tsuji who served humbly for more than a decade in this seat. Our party will hold a process to determine three names that will be forwarded to the Governor for his appointment to the seat.

To be eligible an individual must be a member in “good standing” of the Democratic Party of Hawai’i and reside in the district for a minimum of six months. The candidate must not be under current reprimand pursuant to Article I of the Constitution of the Democratic Party of Hawai’i. There will be a mandatory meeting of all candidates seeking the seat on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 2:00p.m. The location is still to be determined and more information regarding the venue will be forthcoming in the next few days.

Prospective candidates are to provide to the County Chair, Phil Barnes, for dissemination to the appropriate selection body a written application including the following:

1. Credentials and reasons for consideration for the position
2. Evidence of Party participation
3. Verified signatures of at least five active party members within House District 2.

Items 1 and 2, above should be sent to Chair Barnes by email, preferably as PDF files, for electronic distribution to selectors. His email address is greenhi3@yahoo.com. Your signatures to complete #3 need to be on an official form created by the Hawai’i County Democratic Party which you can easily obtain by emailing Chair Barnes and asking for one. Any and all forms need to be delivered by mail to Chair Barnes at 64 Amauulu Road, Hilo, HI 96720.

The deadline for applications to be in Chair Barnes possession is Monday, November 28, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.

Hawaii Senate Accepting Applications for Upcoming Legislative Session

The Hawai‘i State Senate is accepting job applications for the upcoming 2017 legislative session.

capitalWorking at the Hawai‘i State Senate offers individuals an opportunity to work in a dynamic public service organization, work closely with elected officials and the public, and learn more about the legislative process.

Session jobs require a 4 to 6 month commitment, depending on the position. Most begin on January 3, 2017 and end on the last day of the legislative session.

Senate employees working 20 hours or more per week are eligible for health insurance through the Hawai‘i Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund.

More information about employment opportunities with the Hawai‘i State Senate can be found online at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/sjobs.aspx.

To apply, please send a cover letter, position reference number, and resume to sclerk2@capitol.hawaii.gov.

Hawaii Legislature Statements on Passing of House Rep. Clift Tsuji

capitalStatement from House Speaker Joseph Souki on the passing of Rep. Clift Tsuji

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Rep. Tsuji. Clift who was a great public servant and a close personal friend,” said House Speaker Joseph Souki. “He loved his family, Hawaii and the communities he represented. He will be greatly missed.”

“Our condolences and aloha go out to his friends and family from everyone at the legislature.”


SENATE STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF REP. CLIFT TSUJI

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague Rep. Clift Tsuji. He will be remembered for his hard work supporting Hawaii’s agriculture, his commitment to the residents of his district, and his warm and ready smile. On behalf of the Hawaii State Senate, our deepest condolences to the Tsuji family.”

-Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi

 

Hawaii House of Reps Announces 2017 Leadership

The Hawaii House of Representatives Majority Caucus met today to reaffirm Rep. Joseph M. Souki as Speaker for the 2017 legislative session.

capitalSpeaker Souki was re-elected as Speaker of the House in January 2013. He previously served as Speaker from 1993 to 1999, and Speaker Emeritus from 2000 to 2013. He also served as Chair of the Committee on Finance, and most recently as Chair of the Committee on Transportation.

The 2017 House leadership team includes:

  • Speaker: Joseph M. Souki
  • Speaker Emeritus: Calvin K.Y. Say
  • Vice Speaker: John M. Mizuno
  • Majority Leader: Scott K. Saiki
  • Majority Floor Leader: Cindy Evans
  • Majority Whip: Ken Ito
  • Majority Policy Leader: Marcus R. Oshiro
  • Assistant Majority Leader: Roy M. Takumi, Chris Lee, Dee Morikawa

I Proudly Endorse Senator Kai Kahele

I too endorse Senator Kai Kahele for Senate District One.
kai-for-district-1

THIS IS NOT A PAID AD!

“Your Voice” Learn to Legislate – Big Island Workshops Announced

Now is an ideal time to learn more about the State law-making process. There’s enough time to let legislators know what you’d like them to focus on when session begins in January. And it’s a great time to pick up tips on how to add your views when things get rolling.

capital

To help, the Legislature’s Public Access Room (PAR) is offering office hours and a free legislative workshop, “Your Voice,” at numerous locations on the Big Island.

Topics include understanding the legislative process, deadlines, and power dynamics, as well as tips and techniques on effective lobbying, testifying, and communicating with Senators and Representatives. “How-To” guides, informational handouts, and other resources will be available.

Prior to each presentation, there will be an “office hour” for those who want to drop in to pick up information or ask questions.  The one-hour “Your Voice” workshop will follow at the times noted below.

  • Kailua-Kona – Wed., Oct. 12, 6:00 p.m., West Hawai’i Civic Center, Community Hale; 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway
  • Waimea – Thu. Oct. 13, 6:00 p.m., Thelma Parker Memorial Library; 67-1209 Mamalahoa Hwy
  • Volcano – Mon. Oct. 17, 12:00 noon, Volcano Arts Center; 19-4074 Old Volcano Road
  • Ocean View – Mon. Oct. 17,   6:00 p.m., Ocean View Community Center; 92-8924 Leilani Circle
  • Hilo – Tue. Oct. 18, 6:00 p.m., Hilo Public Library; 300 Waianuenue Ave
  • Honokaa – Wed. Oct. 19, 6:00 p.m., North Hawaii Educational Resource Center (NHERC) 45-539 Plumeria Street, Computer Lab
  • Pahoa – Thu. Oct. 20, 6:00 p.m., Pahoa Community Center; Kauhale Street

While registration for the free workshops is encouraged, drop-ins are always welcome. To register, get additional information, or ask about additional workshops during this annual visit, contact PAR ─ 808/587-0478 (toll free from the Big Island= 974-4000, x 7-0478) or par@capitol.hawaii.gov.

Hawaii Senate Confirms District Court Judges

The Hawai‘i State Senate today unanimously confirmed Dakota K.M. Frenz to the District Family Court of the Third Circuit – Island of Hawai‘i and Michael K. Soong to the District Court of the Fifth Circuit – Island of Kaua‘i.

Dakota K.M. Frenz was most recently a sole proprietor of her own private law practice in Hilo specializing in criminal law, family law, and civil litigation/collections.

Photo courtesy: Hawai‘i Senate Communications

Photo courtesy: Hawai‘i Senate Communications

Prior to opening her own law practice, Frenz was a partner at Laubach & Frenz, AAL, LLC, where she focused her legal practice in the same areas of law.  Prior to entering private practice, Frenz served as deputy prosecuting attorney in the County of Hawai‘i where she handled cases in the District, Family, and Circuit Courts. In addition to her legal experience, she serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, a member of the Board of Directors of the Hawai‘i County Bar Association, an arbitrator with the Court Annexed Arbitration Program, a member of the County of Hawai‘i Bench Bar Committee and Hawai‘i State Bench Bar Committee. She also volunteers with the Friends of Drug Court and the Self-Help Center in East Hawai‘i.  Frenz is a graduate of Whittier Law School and was admitted to the Hawai‘i State Bar in 2006.

Frenz fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Lloyd X. Van De Car.

“Ms. Frenz bring to the bench a reputation as an intelligent, hard-working and prepared advocate with substantial trial experience as a former county prosecutor and more recently as a private attorney,” said Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran, Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor. “Her background and what people say about her makes it likely that she will be a very good addition to the District Family Court, one of the most challenging assignments for a Hawai‘i jurist.”

Michael K. Soong has nearly 30 years of trial experience and has been in private practice since 2009 focusing on criminal law, personal injury and plaintiff litigation.

Photo courtesy: Hawai‘i Senate Communications

Photo courtesy: Hawai‘i Senate Communications

His work in the public sector includes being elected to two-consecutive terms as Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Kaua‘i. Prior to his tenure as the Prosecuting Attorney, he served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Kaua‘i, a Deputy Public Defender, and Deputy Corporation Counsel. Soong serves as a Board member of the Friends of the Kaua‘i Drug Court, and is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He also currently serves on the Royal Order of Kamehameha, Kaumuali‘i Chapter, Hokule‘a-Kaua‘i Crew member of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and member of Na Kalai Wa‘a ‘O Kaua‘i. Soong is a graduate of Southwestern University School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1986.

Soong will fill the vacancy due to the retirement of Judge Trudy K.T. Senda in December.

“Mr. Soong’s successful tenure as Prosecuting Attorney and private practice speaks well for his work, but he also stands out for his reputation of being fair, hard-working and having compassion for the less fortunate in our community,” said Sen. Keith-Agaran. “His knowledge of the law, commitment to the Kaua‘i community, and his character and even-keeled demeanor promise that Mr. Soong will be a very good addition to the District Court, the forum where most Hawai‘i residents will likely encounter the legal system.”

The term of office for both judgeships is for six years.

Hawaii Senate to Hold Special Session to Consider and Confirm Judicial Appointments

A Special Session of the Hawai‘i State Senate will be held from September 13, 2016 through September 14, 2016 to confirm two judicial appointments, one for the District Family Court of the Third Circuit – Hawai‘i Island and one for the District Court of the Fifth Circuit – Kaua‘i

Dakota K.M. Frenz

Dakota K.M. Frenz

On September 2, 2016, Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald appointed Dakota K.M. Frenz to the District Family Court of the Third Circuit and Michael K. Soong to the District Court of the Fifth Circuit. To fill the District Court vacancies, the Chief Justice of the Hawai‘i State Supreme Court selects an appointee from a list of not less than six nominees submitted by the Judicial Selection Committee.

Pursuant to Hawai‘i State Constitution, Article IV, Section 3, the Senate has 30 days from the date of the appointment to consider and confirm the judgeships. Therefore, the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor will hold a hearing on the appointments on Monday, September 12, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. in Conference Room 325. The Senate will convene for the first day of the Special Session at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 in the State Capitol Auditorium. The second-day of Session is scheduled begin at 11:00 a.m. and adjourn following action by the full Senate on Wednesday, September 14, 2016.

Ceremony Schedule for Late Congressman Mark Takai at State Capital

The ceremony tomorrow for Late Congressman Mark Takai at the the Hawaii State Capital is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M.

Congressman Mark Takai

Congressman Mark Takai

The proposed schedule follows:

  • 9:00 a.m. Reception tables open
  • 9:45 a.m. Depart Borthwick
  • 10:00 a.m. Hearse and car(s) with Takai family arrive at State Capitol Casket is carried from hearse into rotunda by Hawaii National Guard. Family follows casket. Mrs. Takai and children are escorted into rotunda by Governor Ige, House Speaker Souki, and Senate President Kouchi.
  • 10:15 a.m. Emcee Representative Luke to settle and welcome guests
  • 10:20 a.m. National Anthem by CPT Torano Harris Hawaii Ponoi by CPT Torano Harris
  • 10:25 a.m. Opening Prayer by Pastor Dan Chun
  • 10:30 a.m. Scripture Reading of John 15:1-8 by Representative Scott Saiki
  • 10:35 a.m Remarks by U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
  • 10:40 a.m. Remarks by House Speaker Souki
  • 10:45 a.m. Remarks by Senate President Kouchi
  • 10:50 a.m. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Holunape (Kama Hopkins, Kekoa Kaluhiwa and Kanaia Nakamura)
  • 10:55 a.m. Remarks by Adjutant General Logan
  • 11:00 a.m. Remarks by Governor Ige
  • 11:05 a.m. Scripture Reading — Psalm 23 by Representative Nishimoto
  • 11:10 a.m. Closing Prayer by Pastor Dan Chun
  • 11:15 a.m. “Aloha Oe” by Holunape
  • 11:20 a.m. Representative Luke closes the program and thanks all for coming. Instruct on the viewing. Family will pay respects first and depart for their Green Room.
  • 11:30 a.m. Public Viewing and Paying of Respects until 7:00 p.m.
  • 7:00 pm National Guard to move casket from Capitol to mortuary.  Ross Takai (brother) will be on site to escort casket back to Borthwick
  • Move wreaths into Capitol Auditorium on basement level
    Friday 8/19 in morning
  • National Guard to move wreaths to First Presbyterian Church/Koolau Ballrooms

Based on the crowd and possible line for the viewing, decision will be made on or about 7:00 p.m. on whether to extend or shut down for the evening.

Hawaii State Reaches Agreement with United Public Workers Union to Proceed with Maui Hospitals Transition

Gov. David Ige and Dayton Nakanelua, state director of the United Public Workers (UPW), announced they have signed a settlement agreement that will resolve UPW’s lawsuit and class grievance against the state.

Click to read agreement

Click to read agreement

The union had sought to ensure that the collective bargaining agreement with the state was honored during the transition from state control to Maui Health System, a Kaiser Foundation Hospitals LLC (Kaiser). The transition can now move forward.

“I am pleased that we were able to work with UPW to ensure that state workers at the Maui healthcare facilities are treated fairly during the transition process. These employees are providing top-notch care for the community, and this agreement acknowledges their dedication to their patients. The settlement provides certainty to the people of Maui County that they will continue to have access to high quality health care,” said Gov. Ige.

“With this agreement, the governor has recognized and addressed the concerns of our members. He is honoring the process and the existing collective bargaining agreement,” said Mr. Nakanelua.

The state and UPW will jointly ask the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift its injunction and dismiss UPW’s lawsuit. Some key points of the agreement include:

  • The Maui Region hospitals will be transferred from Hawai‘i Health System Corporation management to Kaiser not earlier than November 6, 2016.
  • The Maui Region hospitals will be operated and managed exclusively by Kaiser.
  • UPW bargaining unit employees will work under Kaiser’s supervision and direction and still be covered by UPW collective bargaining agreements until those agreements expire on June 30, 2017.
  • Kaiser will offer to hire UPW employees for a period of six months starting July 1, 2017.

This agreement clears the way for the transition to Kaiser to proceed and residents of Maui County can feel secure that they will continue to have access to healthcare. While the transfer of the hospital management has been secured, some related issues remain. In particular, the Hawai‘i Government Employees’ Association (HGEA) did not join the UPW lawsuit. Instead, the union requested severance and retirement benefits for its employees through SB 2077, which was passed during the 2016 regular session. Gov. Ige vetoed the measure based upon legal and fiscal concerns and offered a compromise measure, but the legislature subsequently overrode his veto. This resulted in Act 1, Special Session 2016.

On Aug. 9, 2016, the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) filed a lawsuit against the state and Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation asserting that Act 1 will jeopardize the ERS’ federal tax-exempt status. This lawsuit will not affect the settlement agreement signed today. HGEA employees are not included in its provisions. HGEA’s severance and retirement benefits will depend on the outcome of the litigation, and/or the union could work with the state to reach an agreement in accordance with the collective bargaining law.

“I pledged to work out an agreement with UPW because we need to honor our commitments to the Maui Region hospital employees. I am hopeful that we can reach a similar agreement for employees in those facilities who are represented by HGEA,” said Ige.