Monday, August 4, 2008

Kauai Reps Sum Up 2008 legislation

Reporting from Nawiliwili, the Kauai Garden Island covered the Kauai Chamber of Commerce meeting last Thursday with the island's three state representatives - Hermina Morita (District 14 - Hanalei, Anahola, Kealia, Kapaa, Waipouli); James Kunane Tokioka (District 15 - Lihue, Koloa); and Roland Sagum (District 16 - Niihau, Lehua, Koloa, Waimea). They outlined the work accomplished in the 2008 legislative session and listed their priorities. Some highlights:

Morita, who said that energy and the environment were among her top priorities, was asked about photovoltaics, Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative’s net metering cap policy, and other issues affecting local residents and businesses.“A lot of people here are so focused on PV (photovoltaics) because it’s sexy, but the technology that’s mature, that gives us the biggest bang for our buck, is solar water heaters,” Morita said. “That’s where we should be making our substantial investments.”Morita estimated that a solar water heater user could save as much as $20,000 over the course of one unit’s lifecycle.

Sagum identified lowering taxes and improving quality of life for seniors as his two top priorities. Sally Motta, Membership Chair for the Chamber of Commerce, said that she saw Sagum’s stance almost “libertarian” and found it interesting that one of his main responsibilities is to kill bills he considers to be unnecessary expenditures anong some 2,000 bills introduced each year in the Hawai‘i House of Representatives.

Morita and Sagum both came out against the proposed Constitutional Convention, which would overhaul the state’s Constitution at the expense of legislator time and taxpayer money.

Tokioka stated that his top priorities include the nuisance posed by tour helicopters to Lihu‘e-area residents, as well as junior varsity sports programs and an ongoing debate over the use of lights for night football games at Vidinha Stadium.

No comments: