2015-2016 Leadership and Committee Assignments

The 28th Legislature opens on Wednesday, January 21, 2015. You can view the Hawaii State Senate’s Leadership and Committee Assignments here.

Hawaii State Senate Accepting Applications for the 2015 Legislative Session

The Hawai‘i State Senate is accepting job applications for the upcoming 2015 legislative session.

Working at the Hawai‘i State Senate offers individuals an opportunity to experience firsthand what it’s like to work in a dynamic public service organization, work closely with elected officials and the public, and learn more about the legislative process.

Session jobs require a 4-6 month commitment, depending on the position. Most begin on January 2, 2015 and end on the last day of the legislative session.

Senate employees working 20 hours or more per week are eligible for health insurance through the Hawai‘i Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Found.

More information about employment opportunities with the Hawai‘i State Senate can be found online at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/sjobs.aspx.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to sclerk2@capitol.hawaii.gov.

Info Briefing on Homelessness and Housing Policy

State lawmakers plan to hear from various homelessness and housing agencies to get an update on affordable housing development plans and proposed 2015 legislation addressing housing and homelessness. The informational briefing, with the Senate Committee on Human Services and the House Committee on Housing, is scheduled for Wednesday, November 12, 2014 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Hawaii State Capitol in the Auditorium (basement level).

According to a 2014 “State of Homelessness in America” report, Hawaii ranked highest among the 50 states for homeless per capita. In a recent study by the State Department of Human Services, there are more than 7,000 people without shelter statewide, with 4,700 of them on Oahu.

Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland attributes the State’s inability to keep up with housing demand over the years as part of the reason why there are so many homeless in Hawaii. “There are just not enough affordable homes to meet needs,” she said. “About 40 percent of our homeless are people who work and just can’t find affordable housing.”

“In 2011 ‘The Hawaii Housing Planning Study’ revealed to us that 50,000 new homes need to be built by 2016. This informational briefing will give us an opportunity to bring everyone to the table, gather information, and see what progress has been made and what more we can do this legislative session,” added Sen. Chun Oakland.

The following agencies have been invited to participate:

• Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness
• PHOCUSED in partnership with Partners in Care
• Homeless Programs Office, Department of Human Services
• Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation
• Hawaii Community Development Authority
• Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
• Office of Housing, City and County of Honolulu

No public testimony will be accepted; however, the public can access presentations material the day of the briefing here: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2014/testimony/Info_Testimony_HMS-HSG_11-12-14_Homeless.pdf

Leadership Team and Committee Chairs for the 28th Legislature

3/4/2014 Daily Highlights

The Hawai‘i State Senate has organized today and selected Donna Mercado Kim to continue as Senate President for the 28th Legislature, which will convene on January 21, 2015.

“I appreciate the confidence the members have in my leadership and I am pleased that we were able to organize so quickly,” said Senate President Kim (D-14 Kapalama, ‘Alewa, Kalihi Valley, Ft. Shafter, Moanalua Gardens & Valley, portions of Halawa and ‘Aiea). “This is a strong leadership team that will waste no time in preparing for the upcoming legislative session.”

Sen. Will Espero (D-19 ‘Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, ‘Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point, portion of ‘Ewa Villages) will serve as Vice President and will continue to chair the Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs committee.  Sen. Jill Tokuda (D-24 Kane‘ohe, Kane‘ohe MCAB, Kailua, He‘eia, ‘Ahuimanu) will chair the Ways & Means Committee and Sen. Ron Kouchi will serve as the Vice Chair.  Sen. J. Kalani English (D-7 Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Kaho‘olawe) assumes the Majority Leader position.

“Our State continues to face a number of fiscal challenges, and the Senate Majority stands ready to work with both the House and the Ige administration to address these issues and help Hawai‘i families,” said Sen. Tokuda.

“The Senate will focus on sustainability and resiliency as an overall theme for the next legislature,” added Sen. English. “We will work diligently to ensure that all of Hawai‘i’s people move forward together.”

The State Senate leadership and committee chairs are as follows:

President – Donna Mercado Kim

Vice President – Will Espero

Majority Leader – J. Kalani English

Floor Leader -  Josh Green

Caucus Leader – Gil Kahele

Policy Leader -  Les Ihara, Jr.

Majority Whip – Brian Taniguchi

Ways & Means – Jill Tokuda

Ways & Means, Vice Chair – Ron Kouchi

Judiciary & Labor – Gil Keith-Agaran

Consumer Protection – Roz Baker

Hawaiian Affairs – Maile Shimabukuro

Education – Michelle Kidani

Health – Josh Green

Economic Development and Technology – Glenn Wakai

Water and Land – Laura Thielen

Tourism and International Affairs – Gilbert Kahele

Human Services and Housing – Suzanne Chun Oakland

Higher Education and the Arts – Brian Taniguchi

Government Operations – Donovan Dela Cruz

Public Safety, Intergovernmental

and Military Affairs – Will Espero

Energy and Environment – Mike Gabbard

Agriculture – Russell Ruderman

Transportation – Clarence Nishihara


Talking Youth Sports with NZ Consul-General and Former All Blacks Rugby Player

New Zealand Consul-General Robert Kaiwai, several former All Blacks rugby legends and Olympic paddlers met with Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz and officials from the Department of Education, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and high school sports and youth organizations to discuss the social aspects, culture and the role of sports in keeping kids on track, being good community role models, building character, and learning leadership, discipline and teamwork skills.

10/27/2014 NZ Consul-General and All Blacks

In photo: (Left to Right) Front: Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, Billy Richards, Cheryl Lupenui, Kealoha Fox, Frano Botica, Jocelyn Doane, Camille Masutomi, Dawn Dunbar, Katie Chang, Lisa Carrington. Back: Jacob Hamstra, Raymond Fujino, Tyrell Ma‘ae, Charles Riechelmann, Frank Bunce, Mehana Hind, Christian Cullen, Terry Wright, Grant Bramwell, Eric Rush, and New Zealand Consul-General Robert Kaiwai

10/27/2014 NZ Consul-General and All Blacks.


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