Friday, January 11, 2008

House names new Vice speaker

Speaker of the House Calvin K.Y. Say today announced the selection of Rep. Pono Chong as the new Vice Speaker of the House of Representatives. Rep. Chong replaces Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu who stepped down last month.

"Rep. Chong has been a strong addition to the legislature since being elected in 2004," said Speaker Say. "He also represents a new generation of lawmakers who brings a fresh perspective to legislative issues, and I believe he will make a positive contribution to the House leadership."

Rep. Karamatsu will take over Rep. Chong's former assignments as Vice Chair of the Committee on Water, Land, Ocean Resources and Hawaiian Affairs, and membership on the committees on Finance, and Energy & Environmental Protection.

Pono Chong is a full time legislator who has represented District 49 – Maunawili, Olomana, Enchanted Lake and Kaneohe since November 2004. Prior to elective office, he worked as a Special Assistant to the Director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and as a project coordinator for the H-3 Freeway Mitigation project with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). He is a graduate of St. Louis High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

In other organizational changes, Rep. Karen Awana will become the new Vice Chair of the Committee on International Affairs.

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