Strengthening our economic foundation – Tourism is generating over $14 billion each year in visitor spending and employing nearly 150,000 workers. We want to establish Kona as a second international airport, modernize our airports and automate the passport control system.
In agriculture and the environment, we will work to protect our natural resources with the creation of theHawai‘i Invasive Species Authority. This extends to our broader efforts for sustainability in the islands. With the end of sugar production on Maui, we will work to keep those lands in agriculture as a first priority.
The military is also a primary driver of our economy, but we must also remember the risks and dangers that are a constant part of their lives. We were tragically reminded of this when we lost 12 Marines recently.
INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP FOR JOBS
For those who haven’t noticed, innovation, fueled by technology, is driving the global economy at breakneck speed. We must create an environment that enables Hawai‘i’s entrepreneurs to turn ideas into products and services so that we can compete. We want to create good-paying jobs to keep our best and brightest local talent here where we need them. For that reason, I propose setting aside $30 million over the next six years from corporate tax revenues to support innovation enterprises at the University of Hawai‘i and other accelerator and venture fund activities in all industries, including agriculture, fashion, media and design, clean energy and healthcare.