New faces to the House of Representatives is always a memorable moment.
2. Michael Jackson's death
We know. We know. Michael has nothing to do with the Legislature, but his sudden death is a moment in 2009 that is probably on thousands of these lists. Plus, we have a picture on file of Representative Tom Brower's visit to Los Angeles on the night that grieving fans flocked to the King of Pop's Hollywood Star. We couldn't leave it out!
3. Hawaii in the White House
Hawaii-born Barack H. Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United State of America on January 20, 2009. Enough said.
4. Civil Unions debate
Hundreds turned out for the Senate Judiciary hearing to give testimony on the Civil Unions bill. It was a long day. The hearing lasted roughly nine hours. In the end, there weren't enough votes to pass the bill out of committee. Replay in 2010, possibly with different results?
5. Swine Flu
It's not really a moment, but it was a significant health issue being talked about around the capitol and the state. People were afraid. You can now buy face masks in your local 7-Eleven. News about swine flu dominated newspapers, television news reports and blogs. It wasn't the year of the ox, the pig took it home this year.
6. Balancing the budget
Council on Revenues projected continuous decreases in revenue at the beginning of 2009 leaving the Legislature with the task of finding money to fill a $2.1 billion deficit. The House Finance Committee and Senate Ways and Means Committee spent countless hours in hearings, sometimes into the early wee hours, to hear testimony and make decisions on critical budget bills. The result: A balanced budget through a combination of solutions.
7. Pound da poi
The Hawaiian Caucus hosted the first Taro Festival in celebration of the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus Day in the Capitol Rotunda. It was such a fun day! People were pounding poi learning about the Hawaiian culture and the significance of taro. I was eating it. Good times!
8. Time Capsule my Statehood
Hawaii celebrated its 50th year of statehood in 2009. House members and staff loaded a tiny silver time capsule full of memorabilia representing the past and present of the Hawaii House of Representatives. The House's pill is only one of 50 time capsules that will be buried in different locations statewide. They will be opened on the State's 75th anniversary in 2034.
We could name all the rallies and protests that were held on Capitol grounds as a memorable moment on this list, but then there wouldn't be room for anything else! Furloughs, civil unions, education, healthcare for Micronesians, Healthystart, etc. all deserve to be on this list.
10. Rise of Twitter and the Attack of Social Media