HONOLULU — University of Hawaii Warriors Head Coach Norman Chow, along with UH Athletic Director Jim Donovan, UH Rainbows Baseball Head Coach Mike Trapasso and UH Wahine Basketball Head Coach Laura Beeman, will be updating Hawaii Kai residents about the University of Hawaii’s athletics program and their exciting upcoming season. Residents will also have a chance to get personalized autographs from the coaches.
The town hall meeting, which is being coordinated by Sen. Pohai Ryan, will take place on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 5:30-7:30p.m. at the Henry J. Kaiser High School Cafeteria. Those attending will also get an end of session legislative update from area lawmakers Senator Pohai Ryan, Senator Sam Slom, Representative Gene Ward, and Councilmember Stanley Chang.
This will be a great opportunity for residents to meet the University of Hawaii coaches and show their support of the athletics program,” said Senator Pohai Ryan, who represents District 25, encompassing Hawai‘i Kai, Waimanalo, Keolu Hills, Lanikai, and Kailua. “Everyone attending will also get to meet their lawmakers and hear how the bills passed this session will impact them.”
HONOLULU- On the heels of the last day of the 2012 Legislative Session, Senator Pohai Ryan has coordinated a series of town hall meetings for residents to receive a post-session legislative update. The first meeting will be held at the Keolu Elementary School Cafeteria on Tuesday, May 22 from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 pm.
Each town hall meeting will also feature different guests, including Ted Radovich, PhD., from the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR); representatives from the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and Hawaiian Roll Call Commission; Jim Donovan, University of Hawaii athletic director; Warrior Head Football Coach Norman Chow, and members of the University of Hawaii coaching staff.
I highly encourage everyone to attend the forums to meet their lawmakers and hear how the bills passed this session will impact them. It will also give them constituents a chance to discuss their concerns with their legislator,” said Senator Pohai Ryan, who represents District 25, encompassing Hawai‘i Kai, Waimanalo, Keolu Hills, Lanikai, and Kailua. “The featured guests at each meeting will be able to share their expertise and skills and provide the community with insights on key areas of interest.”
Here is the list of meetings:
Tuesday, May 22, 2012; 5:30-7:30pm
Keolu Elementary School Cafeteria
1416 Keolu Drive, Kailua.
Hosted by: Senator Pohai Ryan, Representative Chris Lee, Councilmember Ikaika Anderson
Featured Guest: CTAHR speaker Ted Radovich, PhD.
Thursday, May 24, 2012; 5:30-7:30pm
Hawaii National Guard Training Center Dining Room
(Enter through the street between Jack in the Box and Weinberg Village)
Hosted by: Senator Pohai Ryan, Representative Chris Lee, Councilmember Ikaika Anderson
Featured Guests: Representatives from DHHL, OHA and the Hawaiian Roll Call Commission
Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 5:30-7:30pm
Henry J. Kaiser High School Cafeteria
Hosted by: Senator Pohai Ryan, Senator Sam Slom, Representative Gene Ward, Council Member Stanley Chang
Featured Guests: Jim Donovan, UHM Athletic Director, Warrior Football Coach Norman Chow and other UHM Coaches.
A DIVERSE LIST OF LEGISLATION MOVES HAWAII FORWARD IN PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUES
By Senator Will Espero, Chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Government Operations, and Military Affairs
The 2012 legislative session has been a milestone year for public safety, and in particular, corrections and judiciary system reform. From prevention measures to more victim resources, transitional issues to parole and probation, many areas touching our corrections and judicial system were addressed.
At the front end, SB2261 provided $336,000 for the successful Weed and Seed Program active in several Oahu communities. These prevention funds will help operations which battle drug use and promote healthy drug-free programs and projects.
At the tail end, HB2226 provided $250,000 to codify the statewide automated victim information and notification system. This program was initially started with federal funds, and will now be incorporated into our state government providing a valuable tool and resource for victims of crime to utilize.
SB2536 establishes a Clean and Sober Home and Halfway House Task Force to address issues and matters pertaining to these housing facilities and their impact on neighborhoods and residents. Many released inmates end up in these halfway homes, and the homes are needed to help inmates as they transition from prison to a free society.
The reentry intake service centers were given new direction and work through SB2866. Re-entry has taken a more visible role in the Abercrombie administration, and HB2599 will assist the department in creating a successful re-entry component in our prison system.
The cornerstones of this session relating to corrections and judicial reform can be found in HB2515 and SB2776. HB2515 primarily changes our probation system by lowering probation terms from 5 to 4 years in certain situations and allowing certain 2nd time drug offenders to be released on probation.
The major changes for this session can be found in SB2776 which had support from Governor Abercrombie, the Hawaii Judiciary, Legislative leadership, and many legislators and stakeholders as well. Improvements in the pre-trial detainee processing, two additional Paroling Authority Members, use of validated risk assessments, increases in victim restitution payments, and added staff positions in PSD will begin needed changes in our corrections system.
HB2599 reconstitutes the Re-entry Commission and will allow non-government stakeholders an opportunity to work with re-entry staff and monitor re-entry services.
Finally,SB2158 allows cash to be received on weekends to allow people to get out sooner versus later if they do not have access to cash.
One can see the wide spectrum of legislation which will impact and improve our corrections and judicial system. With changes and reform, the issue of returning the approximately 1700 inmates incarcerated on the mainland can truly begin. Eventually, the $45 million being spent on the mainland will be spent in Hawaii employing our residents, circulating in our local economy, and helping our inmates with their re-entry and rehabilitation efforts.
Moreover, the safety of our island residents is paramount, and these measures do not jeopardize public safety or endanger neighborhoods and communities. Improvements and efficiencies in our corrections and judicial system will benefit our state and benefit all the people of Hawaii.
Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland joined Lt. Governor Brian Schatz and Rotarian Dave Hamil in a ceremony recognizing winners of this year’s “Play It Safe” Safety and Nutrition Awareness Poster Contest. The event was held in theGovernor’s Ceremonial Room on May 16, 2012.
Sponsored annually by the Play It Safe International Program, the contest seeks to educate students from preschool through third grade on the importance of safety awareness and prevention.
“The Play it Safe International Program has greatly expanded safety awareness through the education of children,” said Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland, who serves as the advisory chairperson for the Play It Safe International Program here in Hawaii. “Through being educated at an early age on the importance of health and safety awareness prevention, Hawaii’s youngsters are being protected from the potential hazards and risks encountered during the course of their daily lives.”
This year, eleven elementary school student award winners were presented with Certificates of Recognition by the Twenty-Sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii for their poster designs and advocacy of youth safety. During the ceremony Lt. Governor Schatz also provided a proclamation, signed by the Governor and himself, proclaiming May 16, 2012 as Play it Safe Day in the State of Hawaii.
Others in attendance included Lani Moo, members of the Hawaii State Sheriffs, Honolulu Police Department, Rotary Club of Waikiki, and Assistance League of Hawaii.
The winners of this year’s poster contest include:
This short film was showcased at the Hawaii State Capitol’s 4th annual Art at the Capitol event, which was held on March 2, 2012. The film documents the history behind the Aquarius mosaic and its creator, Tadashi Sato. Keiko Sato, Tadashi Sato’s sister, shares her memories of the renowned artist’s journey to creating Aquarius, which is located at the Hawaii State Capitol’s rotunda.
This short film was showcased at the Hawaii State Capitol’s 4th annual Art at the Capitol event, which was held March 2, 2012. The film documents the history behind the two giant wall tapestries hanging in the Senate and House Chambers. Ruthadell Anderson, creator of the Senate and House tapestries, takes viewers back in time to when she and her team spent hundreds of hours weaving the pieces of art.
By Senator Brickwood Galuteria, Senate Majority Leader
The Hawaii State Senate accomplished many of its priorities set forth at the beginning of the 2012 Legislative Session. The overarching themes and priorities of the Senate were in alignment with Governor Abercrombie’s “A New Day in Hawaii.”
Although Hawaii is experiencing a steady economic recovery, many people are still unemployed, especially in the construction and trade industries. Realizing this reality, the Senate made job creation and creating a sustainable economy top priorities through its flagship initiative, The Invest in Hawaii Act of 2012. To accomplish this goal, the Senate was able to include in excess of $414M for repair and maintenance projects in the Capital Improvement Program portion of the Budget for fiscal year 2013, pursuant to House Bill 2012.
The projects will focus on smaller repairs and maintenance to extend the useful life of existing state-owned assets and facilities; energy conservation and sustainable improvements; and health, safety and code requirements. State departments and everyone statewide will benefit from this funding. All trades in the construction industry will prosper with the creation of more than 4-thousand shovel-ready jobs, as well as businesses that provide goods and services to the industry.
To further support tourism, strategic investment was made through the development and implementation of new initiatives to significantly increase visitors. China in particular is a rising market for Hawaii’s tourism industry, with unprecedented growth potential. Looking ahead into the future, the Senate supports an emerging market, such as Space Tourism. It has the potential of being a billion dollar global industry that could significantly increase state revenues, provide new aerospace jobs, and rejuvenate economic development in the Kalaeloa area.
The steady economic recovery allowed for the reinforcement of the safety net. The Senate Majority is mindful of the struggles Hawaii’s most vulnerable citizens suffer and supports efforts to assist them. Child welfare, domestic violence shelters, MedQuest, and various shortfalls across the Department of Human Services were addressed in the State Budget. Non-profit organizations were also provided assistance for the continuation of services and community programs statewide.
The Senate has notably underscored education as a top priority. Through the State Budget, key investments were made in the weighted student formula, student meals, Community Schools for Adults and student transportation. The Senate believes early life experiences lay the groundwork for a child’s lifelong learning. Affordable and accessible high quality programs for all children are critically important for their success. Working in concert with the Governor’s Early Childhood Education Initiative, the Legislature passed a measure that establishes the Early Learning Council and the Early Learning Advisory Board. For higher education, funding was appropriated for much-needed capital renewal and deferred maintenance for the University of Hawaii system. Funding was also appropriated to address significant growth in student enrollment at the community colleges.
The Senate Majority strives to make Hawaii a model for the rest of the country by continuing the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. Realizing that reducing electricity costs depends in part on diversifying energy sources, the Senate passed bills addressing geothermal exploration. The Legislature also passed a measure that creates a regulatory framework for an interisland electric transmission cable.
In the area of technology, the Senate calls for investing in the State’s IT infrastructure to improve government and its services to the public. The State Budget makes significant investments in software upgrades, integration in information technology, and the modernization of databases, to name a few. The Senate also supports the Governor’s broadband initiative to enhance services and ensure that every citizen has access.
With many priorities accomplished, the Senate Majority still has a lot of work ahead and looks forward to continuing to serve the people of Hawaii.
On May 3, 2012, Senate Committee on Education Chair Jill Tokuda gave the following remarks in support of Senate Bill (SB) 2115, relating to Charter Schools. SB 2115 is the charter school omnibus measure, which puts in place a comprehensive governance system for Hawaii’s charter schools.
Together, SB 2115 and SB 2116 strengthen Hawaii’s Charter School system by increasing accountability in the governance of Hawaii’s Charter Schools that will foster improved student outcomes. SB 2115 establishes clear lines of authority and clarifies the relationships, responsibilities, and lines of accountability among stakeholders of Hawaii’s Charter School System. SB 2116 appropriates funds to help with the transition.
“Thank you. While I have said that this bill is the culmination of almost a years worth of work- with it literally beginning with weekly meetings since July 20, 2011- it really began quite some time ago… 1994 to be exact, eighteen years ago, when the legislature took the first steps to create Charters, then called Student Centered Schools. So it is appropriate then- as Charter Schools figuratively come of age- that we move into a new era of Charter School governance. The creation of a system that is unique to our state in that it takes what has worked in the past, merged it with national models of best practice, and through active engagement with stake-holder groups has resulted in the bill you see before us today.
Ninety-one pages long, this measure has been tightened and changed throughout the process to address concerns and to anticipate future needs. Ninety-four amendments to be exact and I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to specifically thank one individual. I assure you , there are many people who need to be thanked for their work on this, but had it not been for Krislen Chun, our SMA attorney who worked with us on both the task force and this bill, getting to this point would have been nearly impossible.
So what does this bill do? Centered around the philosophy that autonomy plus accountability equals increased student achievement, this complete re-codification of our charter school laws provides schools with the flexibility they need to be innovative while maintaining the requisite level of accountability as these are public school students, and tax payer dollars. Examples of our efforts to balance autonomy and accountability can be found in many places, including our removal of the cap on the number of charter schools, coupled with a tightening of our application process, ensuring that only strong applications are awarded charter status.
We’ve strengthened the role of the authorizer and provided them with the authority and capacity to hold their charters accountable, while at the same time moving forward on a recommendation to provide schools with the flexibility and resources they need in regards to purchase of services and technical support. We’ve established performance contracts, which really are a bit of both, in that it holds schools accountability for meeting the indicators and metrics identified in both their contracts and annual performance targets, while providing schools with clear expectations and the ability to include rigorous, valid, and reliable indicators to augment external evaluations on their performance. We’ve changed the form and the function of what will now be of public charter school commission and governing boards at the school level, removing the constituency based nature of the members while allowing for the appointment of individuals with the specialized skill sets and understanding of charter schools needed to support a successful and thriving charter school system. And amongst the most controversial, at times, we’ve maintained charter schools exemption from various state laws, but made it clear that schools and their governing boards shall be subject to the state ethics code.
At every point, we have been explicitly redundant, requiring rule making and reporting, defining and highlighting, and yet we know the real work lies ahead in implementing and transitioning into this new system. And I would like to also thank the chair and vice chair of the Ways and Means committee for their support in the half-a-million dollars in transitions funding needed to see this through. It will not be easy, and I know that there is much anticipation and fear, but the measure we have before us puts in place a solid system of governance that will be good for all of our communities and for the students served by our charter schools.
I humbly ask for your support and consideration of this measure.”
On May 3, 2012, Senator Michelle Kidani, who serves as vice chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and oversees Capital Improvements Projects for the Senate, offered the following remarks in support of House Bill 2012, the Hawaii State Supplemental Budget:
Thank you Mr. President. I rise in support of this measure.
This past year has been one of many, many challenges, especially in crafting a Capital Improvement Program that meets the needs of the State while balancing the fiscal considerations of an improving, but still fragile economic recovery. We know that now is the time for investment in our state’s infrastructure, while costs for materials and labor are still low, and the need for job creation has never been greater. I wish to thank Chair Ige for his leadership during this very long and tedious process and you for your guidance and letting me vent when needed. Also Mr. President, I would like to introduce and thank my staff member Will Kane without whose help we could not have completed the CIP budget.
In HB2012 CD1, we have taken the approach of investing in existing state facilities and infrastructure, especially those for education, technological innovations and facilities that will reduce the expenditure of taxpayer funds in the form of rent or lease payments.
Therefore, the HB2012 CD1 proposes a CIP budget for FY13 in the amount of $3.2 Billion, $826 million of which is funded by General Obligation or Reimbursable Bonds. It is important to note, that due to the recent refinancing of previously issued bonds and the savings realized from this and the proceeds from a bond issuance in a healthy bond market, and prior year project lapses, there are no additional payments for debt service on $350 million of the total amount appropriated. Also of note, this budget includes over $400 million of Repair and Maintenance projects included in the Senate’s Invest in Hawaii Act of 2012 (SB 2012).
Highlights of the budget bill before us this morning include:
- $60 million for the department of Human services for renovations to our public housing.
- $135 million for the department of education facilities, to provide a 21st century learning environment in our aging schools.
- Almost $50 million for the department of Health to address critical health and safety needs.
- This budget also provides funding for projects across nearly every campus in the UH System, including funding to build:
– the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Kapiolani CC,
– University of Hawaii Athletics Facilities
– a dedicated facility for the Academy for Creative Media Academy at UH-West O`ahu, and
– funding to continue construction of a new community college campus at Palamanui on the Big Island’s Kona Coast.
When crafting this budget, the utilization of currently under utilized state facilities was considered. An example of this lies right across the street from this building. The Kamamalu building has sat empty for years, while we spend millions in lease payments to private companies, instead of renovating our existing facilities. Therefore, HB 2012 CD1 has appropriated the funds that would allow this building to once again be used by our state agencies, which is the most responsible way to reduce escalating rental costs.
Lastly, Mr. President, the Senate’s Capital Improvement Program budget provides appropriations for projects across nearly every department. These include funding to create a statewide financial management system, renovate additional facilities for the Department of Health, and improvements to all airports, statewide. This will begin to address the concerns and needs of our visitors, which are the lifeblood of our economy,
In closing, I would like to again thank Chair Ige and my fellow members of the Committee for their support and hard work in crafting this budget, and I believe we all look forward to the positive impact this budget will have on the State.
This year the Legislature passed an $11.2 billion supplemental budget for the State of Hawaii, House Bill 2012. Following three years of budget cuts totaling more than a billion dollars each year, this year’s budget provided the Senate with a refreshing opportunity to reinforce the safety net where needed, reinstitute core services that have been decimated over the past three years, and make strategic investments in key areas that can help us grow the economy and sustain a more prosperous future for Hawaii. The chart above illustrates each State department’s funding allocation as appropriated through House Bill 2012.
The views expressed on this website are those of the individual member and/or the collective members of the Hawaii State Senate Majority Caucus and do not represent the views, official policies or positions of, and should not be attributed to, the Hawaii State Senate or the Hawaii State Legislature.