House Majority outlines priorities - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

House Majority outlines priorities

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

It was short on specifics, but long on ambition, with a hedge on expectations. The House Majority unveiled its priorities for the 2015 legislative session Thursday.

"There are some issues and challenges that face our state that have been festering for the past few years" described Majority Leader Scott Saiki. "We know that these are more long term challenges that cannot be resolved quickly, or even over the course of the year" he continued.

The agenda includes fixing public infrastructure, facilitating business, and increasing participation in government.

Improving infrastructure includes brick and mortar fixes to the electrical grid, hospitals and correctional facilities, but also non-physical entities like the Hawaii Health Connector.

"As things develop on the national scene with respect to the Affordable Care Act, we may have to be responding to rules and regulations that are changing at the federal level" said House Health Committee Chair Della Au Belatti.

Facilitating business includes modernizing the tax system, responsible transit oriented development and increasing local food production. When it comes to increasing participation in government, the House is looking to make access to the capitol easier.

"We do want to move towards video testimony for all committees, to make people from my community and other neighbor island communities have just as strong a voice as other Oahu residents" said Maui State Representative Kaniela Ing.

The Senate Majority outlined its priorities Wednesday when the session opened. It includes energy and food resiliency, community well-being and smart growth and government effectiveness.

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