Have any questions for West Maui lawmakers?
The 2017 Hawaii Legislative Session didn't quite mirror the chaos in Washington, D.C., but it was the wildest in recent memory.
It ended badly for Maui, with longtime House Speaker Joe Souki resigning his position. And, earlier in the session, West Maui Rep. Angus McKelvey was removed as chair of the powerful House Consumer Protection Committee and put in charge of the Higher Education Committee amid controversy over a doomed bill to regulate pesticide use.
There is also good news for the island and West Maui specifically. Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding approved this year includes $126.5 million for improvements at Kahului Airport, $63 million for construction of the new Kihei High School, $18.3 million for a Lahaina Boat Harbor ferry pier, $7.8 million for Kaanapali Beach restoration and berm enhancement and $40 million for Lahaina Bypass land acquisition and construction (from North Keawe Street to Puukolii Road in Kaanapali).
Given the strange ending of the session, West Maui residents must have some good questions. Mine is, "Are any taxes contributed on Maui going into the idiotic Honolulu rail project?"
The community can hear directly from West Maui Sen. Roz Baker and Rep. McKelvey at their End-of-session Wrap-up and Talk Story on Tuesday, May 23, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the West Maui Senior Center at 788 Pauoa St. in Lahaina.
All are welcome to learn about bills passed this session, ask questions and voice concerns.
Attend to hear about the highlights of the 2017 session and leadership dynamics at the legislature.
"The reality is the legislature of Hawaii - like the County Councils, Congress or other political bodies - is a house of cards," McKelvey said in March, recognizing the looming change in House leadership.
"At the end of the day, Lahaina and Maui are still protected, and we are still able to be doing good things for all of our people, especially our young people. Like all things political, change will surely occur again in the future, and for the better, no matter how the cards are dealt."