Majority Leader Kirk Caldwell, representing the Speaker, pointed out that there will be annual reports showing what progress has been made and what needs attention. Senate President Colleen Hanabusa said what may have been on others' minds; I know it was on mine. To paraphrase, she said it was, indeed, a beautiful book with a lot of beautiful pictures. Too often, after the buzz is over, books like this are sentenced to a life gathering dust. This book, however, is too important to sit on a shelf. It contains a plan for people to read, to debate, and to use as we think about and shape our future.
Some interesting points about this plan:
It's been over 30 years since the last significant state planning project. This is the first long-range plan for the future of our state since "Hawaii 2000" which was completed in the early 1970's.
It also builds upon the 1961 plan produced by former Governor Bill Quinn.
It contains the first official definition of sustainability for Hawaii. Here it is:
A Hawaii that achieves the following:The plan includes priority actions and intermediate goals for the Year 2020. Here are the specific benchmarks:
Respects the culture, character, beauty and history of our state's island communities.
Strikes a balance among economic, social and community, and environmental priorities.
Meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
1. Affordable Housing: By 2020, Hawaii's shelter-to-income ratio is nearing the national ratio of 22% of income spent for homeowner housing, and 30% for rental housing. We meet the estimated need for approximately 23,000 affordable and workforce housing units by 2011.
2. Public Education: By 2019, per DOE projections, 61% of grade 4 students will be proficient in math and 35% will be proficient in reading. Also, 31% of grade 8 students will be proficient in math and 22% will be proficient in reading.
3. Reliance on fossil fuels: 20% of electricity is to be generated from renewable resources by the end of 2020.
4. Recycling, reuse and waste reduction: 50% of Hawaii's municipal solid waste will be diverted from landfills.
5. Economy: The innovation sector will comprise 7% of all private sector jobs.
6. Sustainability ethic: 85% of Hawaii residents consider sustainability to be a "critically important" issue to our state.
7. Local foods and products: 30% of food consumed can be grown locally, 85% of fruits and vegetables we consume can be grown locally.
8. Long-term care and elderly housing: 40 beds per 1,000 residents aged 65 and older is desired.
9. Island cultural values: Hawaii residents attend a cultural event at least once a quarter.
More on the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan can be found on the task force website: www.hawaii2050.org.
Regarding legislation, the House bill, HB2590 HD1 was held today in the Committee on Economic Development & Business Concerns. Chair Kyle Yamashita explained that the House supports the bill, but since the companion bill, SB2833 is moving in the Senate, he would defer action on the House bill, thereby helping to ease the heavy load on the Finance committee.