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Our first responders—whether they are police officers, firefighters, or lifeguards—take great pride in their professionalism and great satisfaction in knowing they are serving others and their community. If you ask them, they will tell you to a man and woman that they are just doing their job, even when they step into harm’s way. But, ...
Read More . . .and a moment to remember two fallen heroes

The first thing we agreed to do was to put more money into pockets of working people. But how do you increase wages without increasing the cost of living? The two are joined at the hip. Clearly, increasing the minimum wage alone would not do it. But a modest increase phased over time, combined with ...
Read More Increased minimum wage, tax relief and other solutions

The proposed bill on expanding affordable childcare complements the proposal we made last year to create a universal public preschool system for 4-year-olds. . . .Today, half of our toddlers, about 20,000 statewide, have no access to childcare or preschool programs. By the end of this decade, we want to eliminate that gap, whether it’s ...
Read More Education: Reducing the cost of childcare

In Hawaiʻi, the biggest expense for working families is housing, whether it’s rent or mortgage payments. The spiraling cost of homes is driven by two forces: the high cost of land and real estate speculation. In our joint package of bills, we propose to build 17,000 affordable homes over the next decade on state-owned land ...
Read More New housing approaches to help working families

Building homes is not just about building houses, but also about nurturing communities. From the start of this administration, working with the legislature and the private sector, we have made reducing homelessness a priority. At the time, Hawaiʻi had the highest per capita rate of homelessness in the country. Between 2016 and 2019, we increased ...
Read More Hope for homelessness: One family’s story

Perhaps the longest transition we have experienced recently has been the transformation of our agricultural industry from large-scale farming to more diversified farms. But there is one important difference in today’s efforts from yesterday’s: And that’s technology. As in other fields, we have seen the rise of technology change the face of everything in society. ...
Read More Agriculture and self-sufficiency: Sensei Farms, Mahi Pono

How do we sustain our economy, our lifestyle and our natural environment? We do it first by developing clean energy sources. With a flurry of commercial solar projects in the pipeline and local homeowners’ enthusiasm for residential solar power, we will exceed our 2020 goal of attaining 30 percent of our energy needs from renewable ...
Read More Hawai’i leading the way on clean energy

In 2019, the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority shifted its priorities from increasing visitor arrivals to improving the visitor experience, while supporting the quality of life for residents. Through HTA’s Aloha ʻĀina program, 28 nonprofit and government agencies were given funding for programs to help protect Hawaiʻi’s natural resources.  Through its Kūkula Ola program, the authority has ...
Read More Sustaining our economy and culture

There is a new danger threatening the ʻāina, and it comes from climate change. No one need tell us how global warming is directly impacting our lives . . .Recently, Time Magazine named Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg its 2019 Person of the Year. She believes we all have a part to play in preventing climate ...
Read More A new urgency for the ‘āina: climate change

Learn more about the state’s department directors and deputies who will be handling the challenges facing Hawai’i. Please go to  https://governor.hawaii.gov/about/team/the-governors-cabinet/  (Senate confirmation for directors of Budget and Finance, Defense, Hawaiian Home Lands and Taxation is pending.) Read more in the February Capitol Connection newsletter Subscribe to the Capitol Connection newsletter