New lawmaker facing resignation issue - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

New lawmaker facing resignation issue

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A pair of newly elected lawmakers are facing a tough choice in the wake of their wins. As University of Hawaii system employees, they must now resign from their posts due to a contractual policy.

Democratic State Representative-elect Jarrett Keohokalole says he'll do so without question, or regret.

"It was tough but, we went into it with our eyes open" he said.

Keohokalole worked as a legal fellow for UH Manoa, advising a group working on invasive species prevention.

"I'm a new legislator, there's a lot that I need to learn to make sure I'm doing the job right. In fairness to the folks at UH and the people working on invasive species issues, they don't need a half time guy, they need a guy who's full time" he continued.

For Republican Representative-elect Andria Tupola, the choice is much tougher. She says her work as a music instructor defines her.

"I'm concerned if I don't teach part time, teach music part time, that I might lose touch of who I am, and who people are" she said.

She's already filed grievances with the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, but says so far, the Board of Regents hasn't budged.

"It was basically a written decision, nine pages sent to me, 'I'm so sorry, this is the way we decided to do it".

Tupola filed for arbitration after that, but it too proved fruitless. For now, she --like Keohokalole---is settling in to her new surroundings.

"I'm so overwhelmed right now. I just feel like my whole life just changed. I'm just trying to accept the change because I know it's good for me. It'd be great to work for UH, but it sounds like I'm not going to be able to."

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