Friday, January 23, 2015

2015 House Majority Package Focuses on Modernizing Government

Leaders of the state House of Representatives majority today announced their package of priorities for the 2015 legislative session. House majority lawmakers will focus their combined efforts on three major areas of concern to modernize government: fixing public infrastructure, facilitating business and increasing participation in government.

“There are some challenges facing our State that need to be fixed and not deferred,” said House Majority Leader Scott K. Saiki (McCully, Kaheka, Kakaako and Downtown). “This includes, for example, the Hawaii Health Connector, the public hospital system, housing, the electric grid, and our prisons. The solutions may be long-term, so we want to spend the next year setting the framework to address them. Our committee chairs are very positive and will work constructively with the Governor, the Senate, and other stakeholders.”


Our State is only 55 years old. Yet, some of the most urgent needs are provided through outdated means. In the next year, we will work to set a framework to modernize government. Our work will be based on the needs of real people in our communities. Our solutions will be guided by our core Democratic principles of tolerance, equality, opportunity, and fairness. We welcome the challenge. Here are our goals.

Fix Public Infrastructure

Residents rely on public infrastructure on a daily basis to survive. Some of the infrastructure was created decades ago. We recognize that both physical and non-physical infrastructure needs to be modernized.
  • Protect the public interest while modernizing the electrical grid
  • Expand telecommunications capacity
  • Create a sustainable public hospital system
  • Modernize correctional facilities
  • Expand affordable housing
Facilitate Business

Everyone benefits from a healthy economy. “Business” is comprised of risk-takers, such as small restaurant owners, farmers, and mom and pop retailers. We can support business by ensuring that government is modernized and adaptable to changing circumstances, just as business is.
  • Modernize our tax collection system so that everyone pays their fair share
  • Maintain the payment of unfunded long-term public liabilities
  • Ensure appropriate transit-oriented development
  • Increase local food production
  • Protect our military bases
  • Expand opportunities for pre-school and school-to-work programs to benefit students and develop our workforce
Increase Participation in Government

The most critical important check on government is an informed and involved citizenry. At minimum, residents should vote. We will work to facilitate, rather than hamper, public involvement in government.
  • Standardize voting procedures
  • Streamline ethics and campaign spending laws to ensure consistent standards and enforcement
  • Increase technology to allow for neighbor island tele-participation

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