Traditionally, at the end of the legislative session, Rep. Marilyn Lee interviews the House Majority Leader for an overview of the session. This year is no exception, and Rep. Lee talks to Majority Leader Pono Chong, at left, on the next episode of "Kukui Connection". The show airs on Friday, June 1st at 8:30 p.m. on Olelo Channel 54. It repeats on Sundays, June 3rd and June 10th at 4:00 p.m. on the same channel.
This is Rep. Chong's first year as Majority Leader, but he has served in the House for the past 8 years. He represents District 49 - Maunawili, Olomana, Enchanted Lake, Kaneohe.
Some may not be aware that Rep. Chong started his legislative career as a staff member of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. He worked with that office for two years and has been able to draw from that experience in his past membership on the House Finance Committee and now as Majority Leader.
The representatives talk about the highlights of HB2012, the State Budget bill, and some of the key areas which lawmakers were able to restore now that the economy is recovering, albeit slowly. Rep. Chong provides insight into some of the bills passed this year that will help economic growth. They also touch upon the latest Council on Revenues projections, what the Council does, and how the projection will impact the budget process in the future.
The 2012 legislature passed some extremely important measures relating to health and upholding the safety net for Hawaii's poorest communities, including bills that address the closure of Hawaii Medical Center.
The show closes with some thoughts about the future and what needs to be addressed to provide a continued quality of life for Hawaii residents.