New Senior Center Groundbreaking in Kakaako

The historic Kakaako Pumping Station was given new life today, as community members came together to celebrate the groundbreaking and blessing of the new Na Kupuna Makamae (The Beloved Kupuna) Center off Ala Moana Boulevard. The 114-year-old building has been vacant for decades, with numerous proposals for its revival failing to reach completion. In June, the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) voted to approve the preparation of an environmental assessment and special management area permit…

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Lawmakers Highlight Need for More Affordable Housing and Statewide Coordination at Informational Briefing with State and City Agencies

With the shortage of affordable housing options for the moderate income workforce, Hawaii lawmakers today held a joint Senate and House informational briefing to learn more about affordable housing needs in Hawaii. Senators and representatives heard from various government agencies to learn about the status of existing and planned affordable housing projects, and their plans to address the growing need for affordable housing as the state’s population and housing demands increase. “We convened this informational…

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Tranquility Base Day in Hawaii

This Sunday (July 20) will mark the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing in 1969, when Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans in history to walk on another world. This seminal event helped launch humankind’s first steps beyond Earth, and the State of Hawaii played an instrumental role in both training the Apollo astronauts for their historic mission (at multiple lava fields on the Big Island of Hawaii) and…

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Senator Thielen Participates in Emerging Leaders Program

This past week, Senator Laura Thielen was at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business in Charlottesville, Virginia to participate in the State Legislative Leaders Foundation’s Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). Senator Thielen joined other ambitious state legislators across the nation who recently began their careers in public service in forming the 2014 class of the ELP.  The highly interactive program enhances the leadership potential of emerging political leaders and prepares them to be more…

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Session Laws of 2014

The Session Laws of 2014 are complete with 235 acts this year. Of the 245 measures that were passed by the legislature this session, the governor signed 229 of them into law, vetoed seven measures and let the remaining six bills become law automatically by taking no action on them. Last year, 288 bills became law. Although there were 53 less laws passed this year than last, the measures that became law will have a lasting…

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Senator Chun Oakland Visits Armenia to Strengthen Relations

Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland is in Armenia this week as a part of the Professional Fellows Program (PFP), a cultural exchange program sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the American Councils for International Education. Last interim, Senator Chun Oakland hosted Arshak Gasparyan, an Armenian PFP fellow who studied Hawaii’s public policy to develop ideas to reform the juvenile justice system in his home country. This interim,…

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Senator English Participates in Transportation and Infrastructure Summit

Senator J. Kalani English, chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Intergovernmental Affairs participated in the first Transportation and Infrastructure Summit hosted by the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce today. The summit brings together top transportation leaders in the state to address topics such as air and sea transportation, the physical state of infrastructure in Hawaii, and the Honolulu rail project. Senator English was a part of a round table discussion on the challenges of…

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Senator Brickwood Galuteria Attends National Conference of State Majority Leaders

Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria recently attended the State Legislative Leaders Foundation’s (SLLF) second annual Conference of State Majority Leaders. The conference is the only national educational program designed exclusively for all House and Senate Majority Leaders. Over the course of the program the Leaders meet with peers to take a close look and explore strategies for making their caucuses and institutions more effective while exploring the unique challenges associated with being Majority Leader. The…

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Senate Looks into Inmate Visitation Hour Cancellations

This past Sunday, the Hawaii State Department of Public Safety (DPS) cancelled visitation hours at the Women’s Community Correctional Center in Kailua. Earlier this month, DPS also cancelled visitation hours at the Oahu Community Correctional Center and Hawaii Community Correctional Center. The recent cancellations of visitation hours prompted the Senate Committee on Public Safety and Military Affairs (PSM) to hold an information hearing to hear from inmate family members and the DPS to learn more…

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Session pau, what’s next?

The legislative session came to a close on May 1, 2014 where more than 240 pieces of legislation was passed out. However, these bills do not become laws immediately. The governor must sign or veto a bill by the 45th day after adjournment sine die or else it automatically becomes law. This date falls on July 8 this year. If the governor considers vetoing a bill, he must notify the legislature of his intent by…

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