Thursday, March 28, 2013

Opinion Editorial

Representative Wooley (Kaneohe, Heeia, Ahuimanu, Kahaluu, Haiku Valley, Mokeoloe)
serves as the Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture

Legal worries about GMO labeling law can be overcome

As elected officials, our duty is to pay heed to the will of the people and to do our best to pass laws that serve the public interest.

For the past several years, the people of the state of Hawaii have spoken loud and clear. Before they put food on their table to feed their families, they want to know if it is genetically engineered.

The reasons why people want to know if their food is genetically modified are both varied and deeply held. Some are concerned about potential adverse health effects, including food allergies and sensitivities, immune response and chronic impairments. Some question the ethics of manipulating the building blocks of life. Some object to the environmental effects of growing genetically engineered crops, including increased herbicide use, development of herbicide-resistant weeds and consequent use of more toxic chemicals, and degradation of endangered species' habitat. Some are concerned about risks to food security. Some have cultural concerns, particularly with respect to the genetic modification of taro.

House Bill 174 responds to the people's legitimate and entirely understandable desire to make informed choices about the food they eat and serve to their keiki and kupuna. The measure's purpose is to require, beginning Jan. 1, 2014, the labeling of any produce sold in the state of Hawaii that contains or was derived from genetically engineered material. The bill received support throughout the legislative process, passing out of the state House committees on agriculture, consumer protection and commerce, and finance. It then won approval in the full House by a 50-1 vote.

The state attorney general has expressed some concerns about the bill, specifically that a court might find it preempted by federal labeling laws or might conclude that the current version of the bill discriminates against out-of-state farmers. I have spoken with the attorney general's office about these concerns and am confident that they can be addressed. Federal labeling laws do not prohibit the state from requiring food producers to provide accurate, factual information about the food that is sold to Hawaii consumers.

For example, no one has ever suggested that the Legislature overstepped its authority in passing laws regulating the labeling of coffee and other products as "Made in Hawaii." HB 174 does nothing more than require similarly accurate information, in this case about whether produce is genetically modified.

Concerns about treating out-of-state farmers equally can easily be addressed by modifying the bill to require labeling of all genetically engineered produce, whether grown locally or imported. The only local food crop that would be affected is the rainbow papaya, which local farmers are already labeling for export to Japan. Thus, it would not impose any undue burden to ask that papayas sold locally be labeled as well.

It is well within the Legislature's power to pass a labeling law that responds to the will of Hawaii's people, without violating federal law. I look forward to working with the community and my colleagues in the Legislature to move forward with labeling of genetically modified food in our state.
This opinion editorial was published in the Star-Advertiser on Monday, March 25, 2013

Education Week At the Capitol

Representatives Takashi Ohno and Sylvia Luke with Nuuanu Elementary School Principal James Toyookoa


Teachers, Principals and Librarians Honored for Their Work

Last week marked the annual Education Week at the Legislature, the State House of Representatives honored school leaders for their dedication to their students and profession.  Several resolutions and public presentations were sponsored by House Education Committee Chair, Rep. Roy Takumi (D, Pearl City-Manana- Waipio) and Vice Chair Rep. Takashi Ohno (D, Liliha-Puunui-Alewa Heights- Nuuanu).

"The individuals before us today have devoted their lives to the children of Hawaii through their tenacious efforts to provide them with better skills to take on the future," said Takumi in an introduction of honorees, "They bring dedication and passion to their profession everyday and deserve to be commended for their efforts."

Ohno, himself a former elementary school teacher added, "These teachers, principals, librarians and the schools they represent have proven themselves worthy of celebration as paragons of educational excellence and achievements."

The Honorees 

Karen Kutsunai, 2013 Teacher of the Year, is a social studies teacher at Kailua Intermediate School. She brings an innovative, student-based inquiry approach to secondary education, setting high expectations that have yielded exceptional results. Her genuine care for students extends to the entire school community through her establishment of monthly Ohana club socials for faculty to discuss issues and improve relationships.

Marcus Pottenger, a social studies teacher at Hokulani Elementary School, is the 2013 Honolulu District Teacher of the Year.

Tracie Higashi, an art teacher at Hickam Elementary School, is the 2013 Central District Teacher of the Year.

Victoria Coffin, a teacher at Keoneula Elementary School is the 2013 Leeward District Teacher of the Year.

Amoreena Nestman, an English teacher at Kealakehe Elementary School, is the 2013 Hawaii District Teacher of the Year.

Aaron Locque, a social studies teacher at Maui Waena Intermediate School, is the 2013 Maui District Teacher of the Year.

Paul Holwegner, a science teacher at Chieftess Kamakahelei Middle School, is the 2013 Kauai District Teacher of the Year.

Julia Segawa a science teacher at R.L. Stevenson Middle School, and Charles Souza Jr., a former teacher at Stevenson Middle School are recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

School administrators and librarians were also recognized for their outstanding accomplishments:

Debra Lindsey, currently the principal of Kauai High School, was the recipient of the 2012 Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award as the principal of Koloa Elementary School for her leadership, hard work and vision in transforming Koloa Elementary School into a model learning institution.

Randiann Porras-Tang, the principal at Waialua High and Intermediate School, is the 2012 National Association of Secondary School Principals Hawaii High School Principal of the Year.

Frank Fernandes, the principal at Kaimuki Middle School has been selected as the 2012 National Association of Secondary School Principals Hawaii Middle School Principal of the Year.

Kenneth Lee, the principal at Nimitz Elementary School, has been named Hawaii's 2012 National Distinguished Principal.

Stacey Makanoe Kawasaki was named Hawaii's 2012 Outstanding Assistant Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Patrick McNally, a librarian at the Hawaii State Library, is the recipient of Hawaii's 2012 Librarian of the Year Award.

Berry Andelin, the Circulation Department Support Staff Supervisor at the Manoa Public Library, is the recipient of Hawaii's 2012 Excellence in Service Award.

Three elementary schools have been designated as 2012-2013 Blue Ribbon Schools in the State of Hawaii thereby earning nominations at the national level. They are:

Nuuanu Elementary School
Blanche Pope Elementary School
Waikiki Elementary School 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

2013 Hawaii Medal of Honor

The Hawaii State Senate and House of Representatives convened in joint session this afternoon to award the Hawaii Medal of Honor recognizing military service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The families of 19 fallen service members received the Hawaii Medal of Honor on behalf of their loved ones.

In 2005, the Legislature passed House Bill 8, which created the Hawaii Medal of Honor. This special medal is awarded on behalf of the people of the State of Hawaii to an individual who was killed in action while serving our country as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Recipients of the medal include members of the armed forces, the Reserves and the Hawaii National Guard, who were residents of the state of Hawaii, attended an educational institution in Hawaii or were stationed in Hawaii.

 “In offering the Hawaii Medal of Honor to those who will gather here, in memory of those who have fallen, we recognize that they are part of us … part of our ohana,” Takai said. “The medal guarantees that they will never be forgotten. I hope that the children of these heroes will one day appreciate the sacrifices that their fathers and their mothers made on behalf of us all of us.”

2013 Hawaii Medal of Honor Recipients
United States Marine Corps Captain Daniel B. Bartle
United States Marine Corps Corporal Joseph D. Logan
United States Marine Corps Captain Nathan R. McHone
United States Marine Corps Corporal Kevin J. Reinhard
United States Marine Corps Master Sergeant Travis W. Riddick
United States Marine Corps Corporal Jesse W. Stites
United States Army First Lieutenant Clovis T. Ray
United States Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nicholas S. Johnson
United States Army Sergeant Dean R. Shaffer
United States Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Don C. Viray
United States Army Sergeant Chris J. Workman
United States Marine Corps Lance Corporal Gregory T. Buckley
United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Scott E. Dickinson
United States Marine Corps Corporal Richard A. Rivera Jr.
United States Army Sergeant Richard A. Essex
United States Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brian D. Hornsby
United States Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Suresh N.A. Krause
United States Army Sergeant Luis A. Oliver Galbreath
United States Army Sergeant Sapuro B. Nena

Monday, March 25, 2013

House Honors Crown C.A.R.E.S.

The Crown C.A.R.E.S. (Creating a Respectful Environment in Schools) Program, was created under the The Hawaii House of Representatives was proud to congratulate Alan Arato, Cristy Louden Agres, Tom Moffatt, Angelica Reyes, and Yvonne Elliman for their work with the CROWN C.A.R.E.S. Program to promote bully-free schools in Hawaii.

Through its advocates and volunteers, The Crown C.A.R.E.S. Program has collectively provided over 100 hours of community service through radio broadcasts, regular visits to care homes, collecting donations to support the Children's Miracle Network, partnering with Solid Rock Ministries and the Hawaii Food Bank to help feed the residents of Waikiki Health Center, working with Crime Stoppers Honolulu, and visiting various schools statewide to promote the message of kindness and tolerance among students, as well as many other activities.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year Finalists

Representatives Richard Onishi and Faye Hanohano with the finalists

Four finalists for the Youth of the Year award from the State of Hawaii Boys & Girls Clubs representing the four major islands were honored on the floor of the State House of Representatives earlier this week.  At the awards luncheon following the presentation Maui's Aaren Soriano was selected as the 2013 Youth of the Year. The Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, originally chartered in 1960, has been a subsidiary of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America since 1976. They inspire Hawaii's young people, many from disadvantaged circumstances, to become responsible citizens. The finalists honored by the House of Representatives are:

Aaren Soriano is a junior at Kamehameha High School's Maui Campus. He is an active participant in class activities and served as sophomore class president, Aaren is a member of the National Honor Society and holds a 4.0 GPA. As a survivor of domestic violence, he has selected the topic of abuse for his Senior Project. "Domestic violence is a silent epidemic that has devastating effects, not only on its victims, but on the community at large. said Aaren.
He hopes to attend either Yale or Stanford.

Katelyn Brown is an active member of the Boys & Girls Club of Schofield Barracks Teen Center and is the Military Youth of the Year. She has assisted with Schofield's Morale Welfare and Recreation special events, is active with her church's Sunday School, and has been engaged in activities such as Read to Me, Scholastic Book Fairs, and conducting food and clothing drives.

Desiree Kamelamela is a junior at Hilo High School who has been a member of the Hilo Club since she was 7 years old. Desiree's community activities include organizing a school wide food drive and helping to feed homeless families. Desiree intends to pursue her passion in a career in Fashion Design and Cosmetology and would like to own her own company.

Tosha NoheaTaylor is a senior at Kapa'a High School on Kauai and has been active in the Kapa'a Clubhouse for the past seven years. Tosha has been to Washington D.C. to witness firsthand how our federal government works, and to Soweto, South Africa where she helped renovate a Boys& Girls clubhouse. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

2nd Annual Bake-Off at the Capitol

Rep. Tokioka, David R. Earles – Executive Director of the Hawaii Meth Project, Bake-Off contestants and judges (left to right) Chef Roy Yamaguchi of Roy's, Chef Alan Wong of Alan Wong's, Chef Hiroshi Fukui of Hiroshi Eurasian Tapas and Chef Kelvin Ro of Diamond Head Market & Grill

This year, Representative Tokioka's Office held its 2nd Annual Hawaii State Capitol Bake-Off to support the efforts of the Hawaii Meth Project.  Approximately 20 contestants entered over 40 treats into one of the four categories (Cookies, Cupcakes, Pies and Miscellaneous).  Celebrity Judges included Chef Roy Yamaguchi of Roy's, Chef Alan Wong of Alan Wong's, Chef Hiroshi Fukui of Hiroshi Eurasian Tapas and Chef Kelvin Ro of Diamond Head Market & Grill.  After much consideration and lots of tasting, the judges voted and selected the following category winners:

Cookies:               "Fugly but Tasty"
                                Ms. Amy Luke (Governor's Office)
                                Prize: Dinner for Two at Alan Wong's Pineapple Room

Cupcakes:           "Lemon Lava Cupcakes"
                                Ms. Jasmine Manabat (Rep. Tokioka's Office)
                                Prize: DK Restaurants $100 Gift Card

Pies:                      "Deconstructed Banana Cream Pie"
                                Ms. Haunani Nagel (Rep. Aquino's Office)
                                Prize: Dinner for Two at Roy's

Misc.:                   "Beautiful Trifle"
                                Ms. Haunani Nagel (Rep. Aquino's Office)
                                Prize: Diamond Head Market & Grill Gift Card

The contestants were also asked to write a short message as to what the Meth Project meant to them.  Mr. David R. Earles, Executive Director of the Hawaii Meth Project, then read their messages and selected Ms. Haunani Nagel of Rep. Aquino's Office as the winner of the "What Meth Means to Me" category.  Ms. Nagel won a Gift Bag from the Hawaii Meth Project.

This year's overall winner (which was calculated by totaling the scores of all five categories) received two tickets to the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival and was awarded to Ms. Haunani Nagel of Rep. Aquino's Office. 

Last, but certainly not least, was the Buyer's Choice category.  Each patron was given an entry blank to select their favorite tasty treat.  Ms. Susan Iwata of the HMSO overwhelmingly won this category with her Apricot Bar with Salami & Gorgonzola. 

Team Tokioka, with the help of Ms. Denise Yamaguchi and many others were able to raise just over $1,300.00 to benefit the Hawaii Meth Project!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

10th Annual Hawaii Conference on Preventing, Assessing & Treating Child, Adolescent and Adult Trauma

Vice Speaker John Mizuno provides the welcoming remarks at the IVAT  Conference 

The goals of this Conference are to present the latest research, prevention, assessment, and intervention techniques concerning various aspects of child, adolescent and adult trauma and maltreatment as well as the long-term effects if they go untreated. Plenary and breakout sessions discuss the types of child, adolescent and adult trauma, the dynamics of maltreatment and trauma at home or in the community, and the effects on children, adolescents, and adults psychologically, behaviorally and neurodevelopmentally. Nationally and internationally recognized presenters and local practitioners come together to discuss the latest research, assessment methods, interventions, and prevention strategies for children, adolescents and adults who have been traumatized, abused, and/or victimized. Application of current research information and practical techniques are emphasized throughout this Conference.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rep. Jordan with Susan Murray and Dr. Gerard Akaka of Queen's Medical Center - West Oahu

In this episode of Jordan's Journal, Rep. Jordan talks with Susan Murray, Chief Operating Officer of the Queen's Medical Center - West Oahu and Dr. Gerard Akaka, The Queen's Medical Center Vice President, Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer about the plans to attend to healthcare needs in a growing community and broaden their ability to elevate the health of Native Hawaiians and the entire West Oahu community.

The show will air on Channel 54 on Tuesday, March 26 at 1 pm.  You can also view the episode on Rep. Jordan’s Vimeo channel, which has been embedded below.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

House Honors Merrie Monarch Festival's 50th Anniversary


Honolulu, Hawaii - Last week the House honored the Merrie Monarch Festival on the historic occasion of its 50th Anniversary.  In the early 1960s the late Hawaii Island Representative Helene Hale, along with George Naope and Gene Wilhelm created the Merrie Monarch Festival as a way to attract tourists after a devastating tidal wave wiped out Hilo's tourism industry. In 1968, the late "Auntie Dottie" Thompson became the Executive Director and inspired by King David Kalakaua's example brought the best hula halaus throughout the islands to perform in Hilo.

Since then the festival has expanded beyond the shores of  Hawaii and received worldwide recognition for its historical, cultural and entertainment significance.. The Merrie Monarch festival was a cornerstone of the Hawaiian Renaissance of the 1970s and continues to be a catalyst to draw together those committed to the hula and the advancement of the Hawaiian culture.

"Auntie Dottie's" daughter, Luana Kawelu, current President of the Merrie Monarch Festival, was presented a resolution on the House floor in celebration of this momentous occasion.

The resolution was introduced and supported by Representatives Clift Tsuji, Cindy Evans, Mark Nakashima, Faye Hanohano, Nicole Lowen, and Richard Onishi.

Friday, March 8, 2013

House Finance Passes Proposed Budget

Restructuring and Reprioritizing of Funds Trump Full Restoration to Pre-Recession Numbers

Honolulu, Hawaii – The House Finance Committee led by Representative Sylvia Luke (Makiki, Punchbowl, Nuuanu, Dowsett Highlands, Pacific Heights, Pauoa), today passed out the proposed state budget which is scheduled for a vote next week by the full House.
HB200 HD1 appropriates funds for operating and capital improvement costs of the Executive Branch for the current biennium fiscal years FY2013-2014 and FY2014-2015.
For FY2013-2014, the bill offers $5.9 billion in general funds and $11.6 billion in all other means of financing.  For FY2014-2015, it appropriates $6.1 billion in general funds and $11.7 billion in all additional financing means.
Finance Chair Luke acknowledged that the fiscal outlook is a little more positive than it has been in the past but she said, "because we have a fiscal climate that is looking up in terms of revenue, this is actually the time to take a conservative approach to our budget picture.  I realize that in the last four years we have had to cut funding to our programs and agencies because of the State's financial crisis, but simply restoring the cuts to pre recession numbers is not the approach we are taking."
"We need to re-evaluate what government is here for, what do we need, what can we do without.  The House is taking on the challenge to develop a budget that gives us the opportunity to provide structural stability to the State's financial plan.  We want to increase transparency, efficiency and accountability in government.  We want to reprioritize and restructure government services and create an evolving, sustainable and robust economy for future generations," said Luke.
"I believe expectations for complete funding restoration plus additional funds for more projects are high, as exhibited in the Executive's budget request to us.  However, indicators from various economic forecasts show an unsteady trend in revenue.  For example, while the Council on Revenues (COR) projected increases based on a robust tourism industry and expansion in the rest of the economy, it remained uncertain about the impact on tax collections due to the renewable energy credit and changes in the tax laws.  Meanwhile, the University of  Hawaii Research Organization (UHERO) reported last month that despite the banner year for tourism, economic growth will ease over the next two years.  We are also facing the unknown ramifications of the federal government's sequestration," concluded Luke.
Funding highlights include;
  • $7.9 million in FY2013-2014 for a reasonable rollout of the State’s Information Management and Technology Transformation Plan. The Office of Information Management and Technology (OIMT) plan is to consolidate the State’s existing information-technology infrastructure, enhance security and privacy, and develop shared services functions across state departments.
  • $3 million has been provided to Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) for risk management to ensure adequate insurance coverage for natural disasters.
  • Restored services and positions cut by the Department of Agriculture (DOA) by funding positions that support our local food sustainability and agricultural health. This includes 19 critical specialist and inspector positions to help control the spread of invasive species, 5 engineers for irrigation systems, and additional personnel that provide specialized testing for livestock.
  • Additional support for law enforcement agencies through funding for data systems such as the Juvenile Justice Information system (JJIS), Automated Fingerprint Recognition System (AFIS), and Facial Recognition System (FRS).
  • $1.1 million for the State Library System to purchase additional books and e-books.
  • A total of almost $2 million to support for the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative to meet the State’s goal of using 70% clean energy by the year 2030.
  • To address the issues that encompass the State’s growing Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF) unfunded liability, $205.5 million over the next two years has been infused into Other Post Employment Benefits (OPED).
  • $306,461 in additional support for the Mortgage Foreclosure Dispute Resolution Program to reflect the increase in mortgage fraud and other disputes between lenders and owners.
  • $650,000 to update and address issues with the State’s tsunami warning siren system 
  • Support for our local students by providing to the Department of Education (DOE) an additional $12.9 million for the Weighted Student Formula and $1 million for the development of a Common Core assessment test in the Hawaiian language to serve students enrolled at 14 Hawaiian immersion schools across the state.
  • $155.75 million in general obligation bond (GO) appropriations for public school improvements that include health and safety and electrical upgrades.
  • Restored public health service positions within the Department of Health (DOH) including 8 vector control workers and $443,520 of funds to increase surveillance at our airports, 8 food safety inspectors, and 7 environmental health specialists and engineers to administer programs on environmental protection regulations. $800,000 in general funds for both fiscal years for Hale Makemae and Kula Hospital.
  • $10 million annual funding for the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) to carry out its duties of planning and developing Hawaiian Homelands across Hawaii.
  • Significant support for the State’s largest department, the Department of Human Services (DHS), with $98 million to cover increasing Medicare costs, $1.9 million for youth and juvenile services, and 10 personnel to focus on homelessness project management.
  • Provides 9 additional positions to provide security and intake services for inmates returning from out of state facilities and appropriates $8.7 million in additional funding for the Department of Public Safety (PSD) to maintain essential functions.
  • A total of $3.8 million in general funds and $32 million in GO funding to the Department of Taxation (DoTAX) to upgrade its current tax system with the Tax System Modernization Project, a five-year program that will result in the increased efficiency of electronically filed taxes and tax processing.
  • Funding to the Department of Transportation (DOT) for various vehicles and equipment to upkeep our airports and harbors. Most importantly, approval of all special and regular maintenance requests submitted by the Department.
  • Continued support of our higher education systems with $780,000 for distance learning courses, $1 million for operating costs at the West Oahu Campus and $2 million to support the community college system in each fiscal year, and $100 million in GO appropriations for repair and maintenance of our campuses.
  • A Capital Improvement Project (CIP) budget of $1,707,274,000 for FY2013-2014 and $912,851,000 for FY2014-2015 in all means of financing to address repair and maintenance backlogs and to develop “shovel ready” projects.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fabulous Freshmen Foodbank Fundraiser

Mahalo to everyone who came out to support the Fabulous Freshmen Foodbank Fundraiser on Feb. 27.  As a result of everyone working hard and pulling together, we raised a total of $2,070 for the Hawaii Foodbank, Maui Foodbank and Food Basket (Big Island).

The Hawaii Foodbank forms a vital link between the food donors and our member agencies by providing services in collecting, sorting, salvaging and distributing food. The Hawaii Foodbank also supports its member agencies through financial and educational assistance.

Freshman Lawmakers Surprise Colleague

(Pictured from left to right, Reps. Takashi Ohno, Gregg Takayama, Romy Cachola, Nicole Lowen, 
Justin Woodson, Bertand Kobayashi, Kaniela Ing, and Richard Onishi)

And For One of Them it Meant a Brand New Bike

Hawaii Island first time legislator, Nicole Lowen (Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau) was in for a big surprise last month.  The freshman legislator was doing the people's business when she was summoned to the office of House Speaker Joe Souki.  Feeling like a student heading for the principal's office, Lowen dutifully began her journey to the fourth floor of the capitol.

But it was not just Speaker Joe waiting for her.  Her fellow freshman colleagues were there to surprise her with a brand new, sparkling bike!  Lowen's bike, her sole source of transportation while in Honolulu, had been stolen from a well known Oahu shopping center earlier in the month. 

Not ones to stand idly by while a colleague was in need, the freshman class in the House of Representative (Kaniela Ing, Bertrand Kobayashi, Richard Onishi, Gregg Takayama, Romy Cachola, Takashi Ohno, and Justin Woodson) and three members of the senior class (Joe Souki, Scott Saiki and John Mizuno) chipped in to buy Lowen a new bicycle.  Moral of the story…don't mess with the Freshman Class!  And, oh yeah…the old guys, too.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013



Honolulu, Hawaii - Among the measures that passed their final vote in the House are several bills that are focused on sustainability, improving the environment, revitalizing our economy and improving the quality of life for Hawaii's citizens.

 "As we hit the half way point of this legislative session the House of Representatives is committed to exploring avenues that provide for less dependence on outside sources for food and energy and provide for the protection of our environment for future generations," said House Speaker Joe Souki.

See the full list of bills crossed over to the Senate on the Capitol Website at

HB858 HD1 RELATING TO THE HI GROWTH INITIATIVE Appropriates funds to the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation for the HI Growth Initiative, an investment program to develop an ecosystem to support high-growth entrepreneurial companies in the State. Part of the Governor's New Day Plan, the bill hopes to reinvigorate state efforts to fuel an innovation economy and advance research innovation and commercialization.

HB1419 HD2 RELATING TO THE PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL SPACE CENTER FOR EXPLORATION SYSTEMS Appropriates funds to support the development and expansion of Hawaii’s aerospace and related industries to Hawaii. The funding will capitalize upon Hawaii Island's lunar-like terrain to build aerospace technology research and development park industries. Supplemental funding will be provided to help attract aerospace technology and corporations that will create new high paying technology-related jobs.

HB497 HD3 RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY Amends the tax credit for renewable energy technologies to encourage development in solar and wind energy technologies while reducing the revenue impact to the state by ramping down the percentage of the credits over the next five years.

HB338 HD2 RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE REVENUE BONDS TO ASSIST A SEAWATER AIR CONDITIONING PROJECT IN WAIKIKI Authorizes the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds for Kaiuli Energy LLC for the planning, design, and construction of its seawater air conditioning district cooling system to serve Waikiki and nearby areas on the island of Oahu.

HB70 HD2 RELATING TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Deletes the repeal of the High Technology Innovation Corporation that would have taken effect on June 30, 2013. The High Technology Innovation Corporation (HTIC) was created by the Hawaii State Legislature as a 501(c)(3) public not-for-profit corporate body, to facilitate the growth and development of the commercial high technology industry in Hawaii.

HB1188 HD1 RELATING TO THE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY POVERTY REDUCTION TASK FORCE Establishes the Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force to assess state policies and practices that promote economic opportunity and poverty reduction and to develop a plan to expand economic opportunities in Hawaii to reduce, by at least 50 percent by 2021, the number of Hawaii residents living in poverty.

HB96 HD2 RELATING TO FARMS Creates an income tax exemption for family farms, family farm communities, and family farm cooperatives.

HB1263 HD2 RELATING TO IRRIGATION Appropriates funds and authorizes the Director of Finance to issue general obligation bonds to finance improvements to various irrigation systems.

HB1264 HD2 RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL LOANS Expands the Department of Agriculture Agricultural Loan Program to provide loans for infrastructure, infrastructure improvements, the implementation of new farming techniques, and biosecurity projects.

HB487 HD2 RELATING TO AGRICULTURE Expands the livestock feed subsidy to include feed for certain goats, sheep, lambs, fish and crustaceans.

HB799 HD3 RELATING TO CREATIVE MEDIA DEVELOPMENT Establishes a Workforce Development Training Program that provides wage reimbursement for on-the-job training by entities who receive a Motion Picture, Digital Media, Television, and Film Production Tax Credit. Deletes internet-only distribution exclusion for advertising; clarifies definitions of qualified production costs; and extends the sunset date of the tax credit.  Appropriates funds for the Training Program.

HB111 HD2 RELATING TO SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVE BUILDING CODE Authorizes the use of certain land, subject to county approval and oversight, for research, development, and testing of sustainable agriculture, development, waste management, and resource management through planned community use. This Act will create a doorway through the current limitations of traditional codes to support the development of more sustainable methods of living, allowing greater implementation of county and state sustainable living policies.

HB174 HD2 RELATING TO FOOD LABELING Imposes labeling requirements and import restrictions on imported genetically engineered produce.  Authorizes labeling of non-genetically engineered food and creates a private right of action to enjoin violations.

HB486 HD1 RELATING TO AGRICULTURE Appropriates funds for implementation and operation of the Future Farmers of America and 4-H programs to educate and support youth in agriculture careers as administered by the University of Hawaii, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

HB505 HD2 RELATING TO GREENWAYS Appropriates funds for the Office of Planning to contract for up to two years with a consultant to develop a plan for the establishment and implementation of a statewide greenways system which includes trails, greenways, bike routes, parks, and other projects.

HB508 HD2 RELATING TO THE PROCUREMENT CODE Amends the Hawaii public procurement code to create exemptions for state agencies to procure locally produced agricultural commodities to promote food sustainability and self-sufficiency. 

HB710 HD1 RELATING TO FISHPONDS Requires the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Department of Health, and Office of Planning to streamline the permitting process and facilitate the restoration of Hawaiian fishponds. Also requires DLNR to submit a report of findings and recommendations.

HB734 HD1 RELATING TO THE PROTECTION OF TARO LANDS Amends public lands classifications to add taro lands as a fourth class of agricultural lands to improve protections for taro lands. The bill will require the retention of supporting structures for taro fields and add growth of all traditional Hawaiian crops to agricultural planning objectives.

HB749 HD2 RELATING TO WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT Appropriates funds to establish the Hawaii Agriculture Workforce Advisory Board to promote economically competitive activities that increase Hawaii's agricultural self-sufficiency, attractiveness, and opportunities for an agricultural workforce and livelihood.

HB856 HD2 RELATING TO GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE Establishes a regulatory financing structure that authorizes the Public Utilities Commission and the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to provide low-cost loans for green infrastructure equipment to achieve measurable cost savings and achieve Hawaii's clean energy goals.

HB1330 HD1 RELATING TO THE DIVISION OF CONSERVATION AND RESOURCES ENFORCEMENT Restores funding cuts taken over the last four years to the Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement, Department of Land and Natural Resources. The budget cut has reduced or eliminated non-essential services and limited work hours for officers and the restoration of funding will allow for renewed protection of the state’s natural resources.

HB1483 HD2 RELATING TO THE HAWAII HEALTH SYSTEMS CORPORTATION Establishes a task force to study, among other things, the feasibility of allowing the operations of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation regional systems and their facilities to transition into public-private partnership status.

HB1028 HD2 RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT Raises the minimum wage to $9.00 incrementally over the next years. Provides unemployment insurance relief for businesses.

HB1132 HD1 RELATING TO PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF FINANCIAL INTERESTS STATEMENTS Requires a legislator to file a disclosure of financial interests statement with the State Ethics Commission between January 1 and January 31 annually.

HB865 HD1 RELATING TO PUBLIC SCHOOL REDEVELOPMENT Establishes a framework for the Department of Education to facilitate public-private partnerships to develop or redevelop public school lands in order to generate income to improve public school facilities so that our children can learn in twenty-first century schools.

HB7 HD2 RELATING TO THE ELDERLY Creates the Hawaii Kupuna Trust Fund, comprising public and private funding, to strengthen care for the elderly and vulnerable populations by the awarding of grants.

HB276 HD2 RELATING TO THE SENIOR RESIDENCE AT PIIKOI, OAHU Authorizes the Director of Finance to issue general obligation bonds for the construction of the Senior Residence at Piikoi, an affordable senior rental housing project on Oahu.

HB196 HD1 RELATING TO VETERANS TREATMENT COURT Appropriates funds for positions to support a Veterans Treatment Court in the First Circuit that can better respond to the unique needs of veterans entering the criminal justice system with mental illness and substance abuse issues arising from their service to our country.

HB158 HD3 RELATING TO TUITION ASSISTANCE Broadens the scope of tuition assistance to Hawaii National Guard members working toward a degree on any campus of the University of Hawaii system with priority given under specified conditions.

HB411 HD2 RELATING TO HOSPITAL EMERGENCY COMPASSIONATE CARE FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS Adds new provisions to Hawaii law to ensure that female sexual assault victims are provided with medically and factually accurate and unbiased information about and access to emergency contraception when receiving emergency medical care at Hawaii’s hospitals.

HB245 HD1 RELATING TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Prohibits landlords from terminating the tenancy of a tenant based solely on the tenant’s status as a victim of domestic abuse with certain exceptions and provides protection for the landlord against civil claims that might arise out of the landlord's compliance with the law.

HB535 HD2 RELATING TO HOMELESS PROGRAMS Authorizes the designation of temporary nighttime parking lots in each county to provide safe overnight parking for homeless individuals who live and sleep in their motor vehicles and who would otherwise park overnight on public or private roads or property.

HB198 HD2 RELATING TO ABSENTEE VOTING Requires the absentee ballot for a voter requesting permanent absentee status to be mailed to the mailing address contained on the voter’s most recently completed affidavit on application for voter registration, unless the voter submits a temporary mailing authorization in writing for the absentee ballot to be temporarily mailed to a different address.

HB321 HD1 RELATING TO ELECTIONS Provides a process for voter registration on election day at polling places to encourage greater voter participation.

HB114 HD3 RELATING TO HIGHER EDUCATION Requires the Administrator of the State Procurement Office, rather than the University of Hawaii President, to serve as Chief Procurement Officer for the University of Hawaii for construction contracts and professional services related to construction contracts. Establishes an Independent Audit Committee within the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaii.

HB980 HD2 RELATING TO HIGHWAY SAFETY Creates a statute that prohibits the use of mobile electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle in the State and establishes penalties. Having a State law that uniformly covers all the counties also makes Hawaii eligible for Federal funding.

HB873 HD2 RELATING TO THE YOUNG ADULT VOLUNTARY FOSTER CARE ACT Supports Hawaii's youth in foster care by establishing the Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care Program that will extend foster care services to provide care and supervision of eligible foster youth until their twenty-first birthday.

HB1298 HD1 RELATING TO TAXATION Provides a nonrefundable income tax credit at fifty per cent of qualified wages for the first six months for a taxpayer who hires a developmentally, intellectually, or physically disabled individual.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Jobie Masagatani, DHHL Chair Designate, on the next Jordan's Journal

In this episode of Jordan's Journal, Rep. Jo Jordan talks with Jobie Masagatani, Chair Designate of the State Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) about the issues facing the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust.  Discussion will focus on a recent Hawaii Supreme Court Ruling on State funding for the Trust.

The show will air on Channel 54 on Sunday, March 3 at 8:30 pm and be rebroadcast on March 4 and 11 at 1 pm.  You can also view the episode on Rep. Jordan’s Vimeo channel, which has been embedded below.