Lawmakers set stage for legislative session - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lawmakers set stage for legislative session

Rep. Marcus Oshiro Rep. Marcus Oshiro
Sen. Sam Slom Sen. Sam Slom
Sen. Jill Tokuda Sen. Jill Tokuda
Sen. Brian Taniguchi Sen. Brian Taniguchi
Sen. Glenn Wakai Sen. Glenn Wakai
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

After the 27th State Legislature convenes Wednesday, expect the state budget to dominate discussion. Front and center will be finances and how to reconcile Gov. Neil Abercrombie's wish list with the state's bottom line.

"I think there are going to be issues of revenue, hotel room tax, GET increase, renewable energy tax credits," said Rep. Marcus Oshiro (D-Wahiawa, Whitmore Village, Launani Valley).

"I still maintain we have not turned the corner. We have not gotten better. Yes, the visitor industry is terrific. But construction, retailing, wholesaling, manufacturing, are still on the bench," said Sen. Sam Slom (R-Hawaii Kai, Aina Haina, Kahala).

A lot of ink will go to early education. For grades K through 12, Sen. Jill Tokuda feels the focus should be on student achievement.

"At the end of the day, how are we helping students to progress? Are students learning? And how are we putting students at the center of all of our decisions and our discussions?" she said.

In the wake of the Stevie Wonder concert fiasco and a committee's grilling of University of Hawaii officials over policies, Sen. Brian Taniguchi said expect UH to be under intense scrutiny.

"There's a lot of concern about high salaries, about overlapping of responsibilities, about how they handle money," he said.

Another area to keep an eye on is technology.

"We need to have that third leg of our economic stool to provide jobs for our youth that are high-paying and uses the brain instead of the muscle," said Sen. Glenn Wakai (D-Kalihi, Moanalua Gardens, Salt Lake).

Slom doesn't want diversions to get in the way of key issues.

"Marijuana, gambling, assisted suicide, all these things from the past to divert our attention from what really is important. And what really is important is the budget and the economy," he said.

Lawmakers have 60 days to sort it all out.

 

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved

  • Hawaii News Now headlinesNewsMore>>

  • In Oscar nominations, fresh voices lead the way

    In Oscar nominations, fresh voices lead the way

    Tuesday, January 23 2018 12:18 AM EST2018-01-23 05:18:02 GMT
    Wednesday, January 24 2018 6:30 AM EST2018-01-24 11:30:45 GMT

    Guillermo del Toro's lavish monster romance "The Shape of Water" will vie for the most Oscar nominations Tuesday, but just as much attention may be focused on categories where women could history.

    More >>

    Guillermo del Toro's lavish monster romance "The Shape of Water" will vie for the most Oscar nominations Tuesday, but just as much attention may be focused on categories where women could history.

    More >>
  • Uber driver in US illegally charged with 4 California rapes

    Uber driver in US illegally charged with 4 California rapes

    Monday, January 22 2018 4:27 PM EST2018-01-22 21:27:48 GMT
    Wednesday, January 24 2018 6:23 AM EST2018-01-24 11:23:41 GMT
    California prosecutors say a Mexican Uber driver living in the country illegally has been charged with raping, assaulting and robbing young women.More >>
    California prosecutors say a Mexican Uber driver living in the country illegally has been charged with raping, assaulting and robbing young women.More >>
  • breaking

    2 dead, 18 injured in Kentucky high school shooting; suspect in custody

    2 dead, 18 injured in Kentucky high school shooting; suspect in custody

    Wednesday, January 24 2018 5:49 AM EST2018-01-24 10:49:57 GMT

    Two students died in a school shooting at Marshall County High School in western Kentucky on Tuesday morning, January 23.

    More >>

    Two students died in a school shooting at Marshall County High School in western Kentucky on Tuesday morning, January 23.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly