Big Island Election Challenged in Hawaii Supreme Court

On August 6, 2014, Governor Abercrombie signed an emergency proclamation, in advance of two anticipated storms projected to impact Hawai‘i: Hurricanes Iselle and Julio. The proclamation – valid from August 6 through August 15 – included a statement that “the danger of disaster is of such magnitude to warrant preemptive and protective action in order to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the people.” Facing massive damage from Iselle on August 8, and thousands of Hawai‘i County residents dealing with historic flooding, power outages, property damage, and road closures – some of which continue even now – the Chief Elections Officer determined that the primary would go on as scheduled on August 9. the Chief Elections Officer went on to change the rules of the election (who could vote, where and how) at least two more times over the course of three days. This series of decisions led to the denial of the right to vote for many Hawai‘i County residents. Indeed, Precinct 04-03 had among its lowest voter turnout ever. [...]

Obama praises Sen. Inouye upon his passing

“Tonight, our country has lost a true American hero with the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye. The second-longest serving Senator in the history of the chamber, Danny represented the people of Hawaii in Congress from the moment they joined the Union. In Washington, he worked to strengthen our military, forge bipartisan consensus, and hold those of us in government accountable to the people we were elected to serve. But it was his incredible bravery during World War II – including one heroic effort that cost him his arm but earned him the Medal of Honor – that made Danny not just a colleague and a mentor, but someone revered by all of us lucky enough to know him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Inouye family.” [...]

Governor: Invest now for Hawaii’s future

There was no way for us to have balanced our budget and achieved today’s fiscally favorable outlook without the commitment of everyone. To all of you who came to work each day bearing the burden of cuts and slashes to your programs for the past three years; and to those of you who gave up furloughs because of your commitment to serving Hawaii’s people, I thank you. Mahalo plenty to each and every one of you. Together, we are moving forward. And moving forward means leaving behind the drama of the recent past. [...]

Lawmakers to host live video chat Tuesday

Sen. Will Espero will host a live streaming video conversation tomorrow, along with Sens. Carol Fukunaga and Clarence Nishihara, as well as Rep. Angus McKelvey. Sen. Espero (Sen. District 20), the Senate Public Safety, Military and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee Chairperson and his team are desccribing the event as a “Ustream Legislative Sit-Down.” The broadcast will begin at noon. Sen. Espero will use this online platform to talk with other State Legislators about the 2011 Legislative Session, find out what they are doing in the interim, and discuss any upcoming plans for next session. [...]

Capitol chamber to open to the public

The House of Representatives today announced that the House Chamber will be open daily for Hawaii State Capitol visitors and guests to tour the gallery area during the remainder of the month of February as a pilot project. After February, the project will be evaluated and a decision will be made on whether to extend access to the Chamber year round beyond the months the legislature is in session, January to May. Access to the Chamber will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., including the hours that the House is normally in session. [...]

Abercrombie names first cabinet members

Governor-Elect Neil Abercrombie today appointed five Cabinet members in his first announcement on leadership positions in the Abercrombie Administration. William J. Aila Jr. was named the Chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, an appointment that Robert Harris, director of the Hawaii Chapter of the Sierra Club, called “an outstanding choice.” In addition to Aila, Abercrombie’s appointments are Richard Lim as the Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism; Jodie Maesaka-Hirata as the Director of the Department of Public Safety; and Alapaki Nahalea and Bobby Hall as the team leading the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands as its Director and Deputy Director, respectively. [...]

Republican Caucus Selects New Leaders

House Republicans selected Representative Gene Ward Ph.D. as Minority Leader and Representative Kymberly Pine will continue to serve as the Minority Floor Leader. Cynthia Thielen remains the Assistant Minority Leader, Corinne Ching will be the Assistant Minority Floor Leader and Barbara Marumoto will be the Minority Policy Leader. The three freshman George Fontaine, Aaron Johanson and Gil Riviere will serve as Whips. [...]