Capitol Connection

Maybe you’ve seen the headlines, “National opioid crisis kills thousands” and think it couldn’t happen here in Hawai‘i. Well, think again. Department of Health (DOH) officials are sounding the alarm now about painkiller abuse to get ahead of the problem. “Drug abuse is a public health issue. People of all ages are at risk when ...
Read More Governor takes action on opioid abuse, prevention

It’s a big ask: How do you improve the well-being of local  families, especially the most needy, and help them on their way to self-sufficiency? The answer from the governor and the Ige administration is ‘Ohana Nui (the extended family) — what coordinator Kimberly Miyazawa-Frank calls “the golden opportunity” for Hawai‘i — the chance for ...
Read More ‘Ohana Nui: The ‘golden opportunity’ to help families

Hawai‘i’s Governor Ige has been elected vice chairman of the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) and will serve for one year before becoming WGA chair next year. The WGA represents the governors of 19 western states and three U.S. flag islands — American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. As vice chair, Gov. Ige will ...
Read More Gov. Ige in line to lead Western Governors’ Association

Ferocious hurricanes. Raging wildfires. Rising seas and coastal flooding. As we in Hawai‘i and other parts of the world can attest, climate change is real. To highlight how states can work together to take action, Gov. Ige joined national leaders for Climate Week in New York last month. “This was a great opportunity for Hawai‘i ...
Read More Hawai’i joins other Climate Week leaders at summit

Librarian Curt Fukumoto’s story hours have become the stuff of legend. He draws crowds of up to a hundred excited preschoolers and grateful parents to his weekly Kāneʻohe Library sessions with books, puppets and songs on his guitar. “Uncle Curt,” who has been twice nominated by the library system as its Outstanding Employee of the ...
Read More Uncle Curt: A story hour ‘rock star’

Mention state government, and cynics see only bureaucracy. But Gov. David Ige sees the future. He has challenged state departments to modernize, innovate and make government work better for all of us. That includes tackling tough issues with aggressive goals to show results, replacing antiquated systems and saving taxpayer dollars. The goal? Measurable, visible progress ...
Read More From the governor: Delivering on promises for the future

No issue has galvanized the community more than homelessness — with the governor’s homelessness coordinator Scott Morishige and his team leading the charge. For the first time in eight years, the latest Point in Time count of Hawai‘i’s homeless population showed a 9 percent overall decrease compared to the same time last year, with Hawai‘i, ...
Read More Progress on homelessness: First statewide decrease in 8 years

To meet the governor’s goal of 10,000 new housing units statewide by 2020, the state’s housing agencies are working with the counties and home builders to streamline processes and improve financing tools. The focus is building more affordable units for working families. This includes tripling the supply of affordable housing in Kaka‘ako and opening new ...
Read More More housing for middle-income families

DLIR’s Three Amigos: Streamlined workers’ comp They’ve been dubbed “The Three Amigos” by their co-workers at the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations — three millennials hired as office assistants to help digitize the mountains of paperwork from some 20,000 claims a year in the disability compensation division. Jodie Nakamura, Ryan Mercado and Liam Tobin ...
Read More State MVPs move governor’s priorities forward

It’s not often a state agency completely changes the way it does things. Yet that’s what has happened, thanks to manager Peter Oshiro and his team of inspectors in the Department of Health’s (DOH) sanitation branch. Now customers can check for color-coded placards at Hawai‘i’s 10,500 restaurants, food trucks, grocery stores, schools and other facilities. ...
Read More DOH transparency equals food safety