Lieutenant Governor Signs Bills to Help Build State’s Innovation Economy

Honolulu- Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui signed into law today two measures aimed at supporting the development of Hawaii’s innovation economy and growing our State’s research industry.

House Bill 858, relating to the HI Growth Initiative, appropriates $6,000,000 to the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation to implement the HI Growth Initiative.  The initiative is an investment program to develop and promote the creation of competitive high-growth companies in Hawaii.

 In order for Hawaii to thrive in today’s economic landscape it is imperative that we make strategic investments now, so that we can build an innovative economy capable of carrying us well into the future,” said Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz, who chairs the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Government Operations and Housing.  “This initiative provides the tools necessary to support high-growth entrepreneurial companies in State, helping us to create more high-wage jobs and remain globally competitive.”

Senate Bill 1349, relating to economic development, reenacts the tax credit for qualified high technology research activities for six years.  The measure also establishes new reporting requirements. Additionally, it requires DBEDT to conduct studies to measure the effectiveness of the tax credit and submit reports to the legislature.

Hawaii’s lack of career opportunities in STEM related fields has led to an exodus of many of our Island’s talented youth, who are faced with too few career prospects here home,” said Dela Cruz, who introduced the measure. “By reestablishing the qualified research activities tax credit this measure allows Hawaii’s research and development companies to remain competitive with mainland businesses and generate and sustain lucrative high technology jobs for our children.”

Senator Dela Cruz also expressed when implementing such programs involving appropriations or tax credits that they need to center around location specific economic development, targeting where the funding will be focused on to spur economic activity, so that our local people can see the progress and positive impacts within their communities.

Governor Enacts Measure to Promote Hawaii’s Clean Energy Goals

Honolulu- Governor Neil Abercrombie signed into law today a measure aimed at helping the State of Hawaii achieve its clean energy goals by establishing a green infrastructure financing program.

Senate Bill 1087 provides a lower cost financing alternative for Hawaii businesses and residents to utilize green infrastructure equipment and technology to reduce electricity consumption by leveraging clean energy technology.

Building Hawaii’s clean energy infrastructure at a rate which is affordable for consumers is an essential component in advancing the State’s clean energy initiatives,” said Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz, who chairs the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Government Operations and Housing.  “We needed to find ways for all of Hawaii’s consumers to benefit from affordable and clean energy options to gain relief from high monthly electric bills. This program establishes an alternative financing method that will ultimately pass savings onto the consumer by providing low-cost financing to enable the installation of green infrastructure equipment. It brings accessible and affordable energy options to all of Hawaii’s individuals, working families, and small businesses.  This is about reducing the cost of living and improving quality of life right here at home.”

The innovative financing method created in this measure will provide a secure financing structure to allow the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to issue revenue bonds at very competitive rates, which these savings can be passed on to the consumers in the form of lower borrowing costs.

Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz to Discuss Whitmore Village Agricultural Development Plan

Honolulu –  Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz is inviting the public to a presentation of  his initiative, called the “Whitmore Village Agricultural Development Plan,”  today at 6:30 p.m. at the Wahiawa Public Library.

The Whitmore Village Agricultural Development Plan is an effort to help revitalize the economy and agricultural production in Central Oahu.

This initiative will enable us to revitalize a disadvantaged community and create jobs at every level of agriculture,” said Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz, who represents District 22, which encompasses Mililani Mauka, Waipi‘o Acres, Wheeler, Wahiawa, Whitmore Village, portion of Poamoho.  “The Plan will also help our state to produce more of its own food, moving it towards sustainability.”

For more information, please call 586-6090.

Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz Introduces Stricter Legislation for Dog Breeders

HONOLULU – Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz has introduced Senate Bill 2274, a measure that would require county animal control officers to establish a process for permitting and inspecting the premises of dog breeders. In February 2011, the Hawaiian Humane Society rescued 153 dogs from Bradley International, a commercial breeding operation in Waimanalo. The Waimanalo business has brought media attention and discussion about the industry.

Moved by the news of the animal rescue, Senator Dela Cruz agreed to be a foster parent to two French bulldogs, that he named Ola and Liko, that were part of the group animals forfeited by the owner of Bradley International. He has since been able to adopt the two dogs. Touched by the ordeal his pets went through, Senator Dela Cruz said, “It is incredible to observe how providing nurture and love to dogs can foster changes in their personality, from dogs that were once fearful to dogs that are now happy and fun loving.”

According to the Senate Bill 2274, any breeder’s refusal of entry and inspection would be grounds for suspension or revocation of the breeder’s permit. This measure also authorizes contracts with any duly incorporated humane society or similar dog protective organization to enforce the new requirements. If signed into law, any person found in violation of the measure could face a penalty of up to $1,000 per violation.

“Having Ola and Liko has really been a joy. I am happy to have them and never want to see them or any other dogs suffer living in horrific conditions. Therefore, I am introducing this legislation pertinent to puppy mills, to provide for stricter enforcement of existing laws and harsher penalties,” said Senator Del Cruz, who represents District 22, which encompasses the areas of Mililani Mauka, Wahiawa, Whitmore, Hale‘iwa, Mokule‘ia, Waialua, Sunset Beach, Pupukea.

Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz Introduces “Caylee’s Law”

HONOLULU—In reaction to the death of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony, Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz has introduced a measure that would make it a felony for a parent or guardian who fails to report a missing child 12 years old or younger within 48 hours to a law enforcement agency.  The bill, Senate Bill 2275, is being referred to as “Caylee’s Law.”

The disappearance of Florida girl Caylee Anthony sparked public debate and outrage across the country. Casey Anthony, the mother of Caylee, did not report the child’s disappearance for about a month after her disappearance.

“This bill focuses on protecting Hawaii’s keiki by ensuring that greater accountability and responsibility be placed on parents and guardians to report a missing child in a timely manner,” said Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz, who represents District 22, which encompasses the areas of Mililani Mauka, Wahiawa, Whitmore, Hale‘iwa, Mokule‘ia, Waialua, Sunset Beach, Pupukea. “My office received a large of number emails requesting that something be done to prevent such future instances.”

The bill would also impose a duty on parents and guardians to report the death of a child or the location of a child’s corpse to law enforcement agency within 2 hours of discovery. Failure to do so would result in a felony.


Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz Introduces “Move Over” Bill

HONOLULU – In the wake of a recent tragic traffic fatality involving a Honolulu Police officer, Sen. Donovan M. Dela Cruz is introducing a measure that would require a driver to take certain safety precautions when approaching an emergency vehicle that is stopped ahead of a driver while performing official duties.

Senate Bill 2663 requires approaching drivers to slow down and make a lane change to an adjacent lane away from the stopped emergency vehicle.  If the bill becomes law, a driver would face a misdemeanor if convicted.  If the violation results in fatality, the driver could face up to a charge of negligent homicide in the first degree.

We have lost two Honolulu Police officers while in the line of duty over the past four months.  We must enact laws that further protects and ensures the safety of our emergency responders,” said Sen. Donovan M. Dela Cruz, who represents District 22, which encompasses the areas of Mililani Mauka, Wahiawa, Whitmore, Hale‘iwa, Mokule‘ia, Waialua, Sunset Beach, Pupukea.   “Our community mourns the loss of the Honolulu Police officer who was stationed in Wahiawa.”

Senate Committee on Water, Land and Housing Hosting DLNR Listening Sessions on Hawai‘i Island

HILO—The Senate Committee on Water, Land and Housing (WLH) Chair Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz and Vice Chair Senator Malama Solomon in partnership with Senator Gilbert Kahele are hosting the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ (DLNR) Hawai‘i Island Listening Sessions on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5, 2011. The DLNR Administration team, including Chairperson William J. Aila, Jr., First Deputy Guy H. Kaulukukui, and Water Deputy Bill M. Tam from Honolulu, is visiting Hawai‘i Island to hear community comments, questions, and concerns regarding topics under the Department’s jurisdiction.  This is part of a series of DLNR Listening Sessions to be conducted statewide.

“The meetings and site visits that DLNR has been conducting on the neighbor islands have been very successful in helping Senators address community concerns and needs,” said Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz, who has been attending the talk story sessions.

“Having Chair William Aila and his team visit the Big Island is a great opportunity for them to listen to residents and to see for themselves the pressing needs of our community,” said Senator Malama Solomon, who represents District 1, which encompasses Waimea, Hamakua, North Hilo, Keaukaha, and Hilo.

“I look forward to continuing the conversation with Chair William Aila and his DLNR team about finding a solution to the problem the axis deer is posing on the Big Island’s agricultural industry,” said Senator Gilbert Kahele, who represents District 2, encompassing Ka‘u, Puna and Hilo.

“These listening sessions are purely for the Department to visit with communities and receive feedback on the communities’ ideas and concerns relating to the Department’s responsibilities,” said William J. Aila, Jr., Chairperson of DLNR. “Community participation is essential to caring for our land and natural resources in Hawai‘i.”

The DLNR is responsible for managing 1.3 million acres of state land, 3 million acres of state ocean waters, 2 million acres of conservation district lands, our drinking water supply, our fisheries, coral reefs, indigenous and endangered flora and fauna, and all of Hawai‘i’s historic and cultural sites.  DLNR’s management responsibilities are vast and complex, from the mountaintops to three miles seaward of our beautiful coasts.  The health of Hawai‘i’s environment is integral and directly related to its economy and quality of life.

For more information on DLNR and its divisions, visit http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr.

If you are unable to attend but would like to send your comments, questions, and concerns to the DLNR, please e-mail:  DLNR2011ListeningSessions@hawaii.gov

 

Hawai’i Island Public Listening Sessions

Hilo Listening Session

Hosted by Senators Donovan M. Dela Cruz, Malama Solomon and Gilbert Kahele

Friday, November 4, 2011

5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Waiakea High School Cafeteria

155 West Kawili Street, Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720

Waimea Listening Session

Hosted by Senator Malama Solomon

Saturday, November 5, 2011

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School

67-1229 Mamalahoa Highway, Kamuela, Hawai‘i 96743

Kona Listening Session

Hosted by DLNR

Saturday, November 5, 2011

3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Konawaena High School Cafeteria

81-1043 Konawaena School Road, Kealakekua, Hawai‘i 96750

Individuals requiring special assistance or accommodations are asked to contact the office of Senator Malama Solomon at (808) 586-7335 or 974-4000 Ext. 67335 toll free from the Neighbor Islands at least four days in advance of the meeting.

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