A historic collaboration for Hawai’i: Excerpts of the governor’s 2020 State of the State AddressPosted on Jan 30, 2020 in Capitol Connection, Featured
“Today, at the start of a new decade, we have it within our power to change the lives of our working families . . . to change the trajectory of Hawaiʻi’s future.”
On January 1, we welcomed the dawn of not only a new year, but a new decade. For those under 30, that may not seem like a big deal. But for those who grew up without the internet — when The Lord of the Rings was a book you read and not a movie you watched — time has a way of sneaking up on us. Could any of us have imagined the changes and discoveries that have already taken place in this century? Smart phones, 3-D printers, Facebook, and self-driving cars. And it seems that each year, change happens faster and faster.
How do you keep up with it all? If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit, we can’t. We go along with the flow and hang on for dear life. But the issues that concern our families haven’t changed for as long as I can remember: finding a job that pays the bills, dealing with Hawaiʻi’s high cost of living, and taking care of our family. A study sponsored by the Aloha United Way reported that a family of four in Hawaiʻi needs a combined annual income of $77,000 just to survive . . . to pay for food, housing, health care, childcare and, yes, taxes.
Too many in our community simply gave up and moved away. And so, at the start of this new decade, it is appropriate to ask ourselves: Does it make any sense to continue to do business as usual? That’s why House and Senate leadership, community leaders and my administration got together to look for a better way of helping working families. We committed to a package of bills that was outlined in our joint press conference to make life better for our working families.