Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Maui lawmakers weigh in on DOE furloughs

The Maui News today printed an article previewing the types of legislation state lawmakers may propose this session to end state teacher furloughs and get students back in the classroom. The 2010 Legislative Session opens tomorrow, and lawmakers have until Wednesday, January 27, 2010 to introduce bills.

You can read the entire article here.

Or read excerpts of what some members of Maui's delegation had to say:

• "State Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran has joined his seven freshman colleagues in the House in proposing that the state Department of Education be mandated to offer 190 instructional days per school year."

• "State Rep. Joe Souki, a Democrat who serves Central Maui residents, said the mandate of 190 instructional days is 'fine, but where are you going to find the money for that? . . . You can't mandate something if you don't have the money for it.'

Souki is seeking support for a proposal to raise the general excise tax by 1 percentage point for five years and dropping the personal income tax rate to 8 percent."

• "'It's a collective-bargaining issue, so it's difficult for us to step in,' (Rep. Kyle) Yamashita said. 'Sure, we would all like to be involved in these negotiations, but it is governed by law that we can't. If we step in, we could open ourselves up to lawsuits, and I think that's where the Legislature needs to be careful.'"

• "State Rep. Angus McKelvey, a Democrat serving West Maui residents, said he was reviewing proposals, including one to dedicate $1 of the state's oil tax to restoring instructional days. His proposal would be an alternative to other measures, such as raising the general excise tax."

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