Friday, June 28, 2013

Maui Lawmakers Participate in Signing of Bill to Save Lipoa Point


Wailea, Maui – Joined by a delegation of Maui lawmakers and community groups, Governor Abercrombie this morning signed into law House Bill 1424, which authorizes the Department of Land and Natural Resources to utilize an appropriation of $20 million for the purchase and acquisition of land parcels at Lipoa Point.

The acquisition of the land will ensure the preservation and conservation of the area’s pristine condition for the community and the people of West Maui for generations to come. The measure also calls for utilizing proceeds from the sale to capitalize the pension plan of retirees of the land’s seller, the Maui Land and Pineapple Company, Inc. 

House Speaker Joseph M. Souki (Kahakuloa, Waihee, Waiehu, Puuohala, Wailuku, Kahului) said, "The signing of this bill marks an important day for the residents of West Maui and all the people of Maui.  Through the hard work and collaborative efforts of several organizations, we are able to preserve, protect, and pass on a valuable Maui asset to future generations.  I would like to especially recognize my colleague, Representative Angus McKelvey, for introducing the bill to preserve Honolua Bay, and for successfully shepherding it through the legislature."

Representative Angus McKelvey (West Maui, Maalaea, North Kihei) said, "This measure speaks to the power of unity and diversity and what amazing things can happen when people get involved with the process. During the committee hearings, members received countless e-mails, phone calls and letters from people of all walks of life and all islands speaking in one voice. This measure brought the environmental community, labor, business and other groups who have been traditionally diametrically opposed on pieces of legislation to come together as one for this important cause."

“What a momentous day! This is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when the community comes together.  Of course, signing the bill into law is just the first step of the journey.  Much work lies ahead. We must continue working together to develop a comprehensive, sustainable plan to ensure that the bay and surrounding lands are protected and enhanced for the benefit of all now and into the future,” said Senator Rosalyn Baker (South and West Maui).

Maui House legislators participating in the public signing ceremony today included Speaker Joseph M. Souki, Representatives Angus McKelvey, Mele Carroll, Kaniela Ing, and Justin Woodson.

Other measures signed into law this morning include:

SB498 which appropriates $600,000 for the establishment of a Maalaea-based special emergency medical response vehicle unit to service the island of Maui on a twenty-four hour, seven-days a week basis. This will supplement the two ambulances already servicing Maui Island and will directly impact the health of Maui residents for the better.

SB1412 shall require the Department of Land and Natural Resources to accommodate native Hawaiian canoes for cultural and education purposes at small boat harbors across the State.

HB1328 will increase the Kaho`olawe Island Reserve Commission’s purchasing flexibility by making permanent the exemption for the procurement of food or fuel products.


Photo courtesy of Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lawmakers Listen - Rep. Bert Kobayashi

Check out the first Lawmakers Listen of the 2013 hosted by Representative Bert Kobayashi (Waialae, Kahala, Diamond Head, Kapahulu) and members of State House Leadership including Speaker Souki, Finance Chair Luke, and Health Chair Belatti.

The event took place on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at Waialae Elementary Public Charter School Cafeteria.

Lawmakers Listen is an ongoing series of community town hall meetings hosted various area representatives and members of the House Leadership.The meetings will provide residents an opportunity to engage with their area representatives and with leaders of the House of Representatives about issues impacting their community and the State. Discussions will cover a variety of topics including the state budget, a recap of the 2013 legislative session, and other issues important to the community.