HONOLULU (AP) - The Hawaii State Senate is splitting its committee on tourism and Hawaiian affairs into separate committees for each subject.
Senate President Donna Mercado Kim said in a statement Friday that the new assignments will give lawmakers better flexibility to focus on the subject areas.
The Tourism Committee will be led by Sen. Gilbert Kalehe, while Sen. Maile Shimabukuro will head the Hawaiian Affairs Committee.
Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria had been chairman of the combined committee. He says he'll be more effective as a majority leader with his understanding as a committee chairman.
The Senate also announced smaller changes to its commerce and water committees, with Sen. Brian Taniguchi to serve as vice-chairman of the commerce committee and Galuteria to be vice-chairman of the water committee.