Green, Luke say they’re ready to ‘hit the ground running’ to tackle top issues
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Following a big win on election night, Gov.-Elect Josh Green and Lt. Gov.-Elect Sylvia Luke told HNN they’re already working hard to prepare for their new positions ― and priorities.
“We’re ready to hit the ground running. We have a lot of experience, we have great relationship, but we’re not shy either. We want to go at these problems,” Green said.
One of the biggest issues Hawaii residents care about is the need for affordable housing.
Green said he is making it a priority to build up the housing inventory.
“We don’t have enough nurses because they can’t afford houses, we don’t have enough teachers who can’t afford houses. So what we need to do is crack the code on housing,” Green said.
“We’ll cut red tape aggressively, even if we have to use executive orders that we’re going to work in partnership with the Legislature because we have a great relationship. And Sylvia has had this power relationship at the Legislature for many years.”
He added that there’s also additional funds set aside — including the $600 million that was appropriated for Hawaiian Home Lands.
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Furthermore, Luke emphasized her plans in expanding access to preschool. She said that they are already starting strong with $200 million already put aside to tackle this issue.
“Pre-K is not just about preschool, it is really about allowing people the opportunity to send their kids to affordable childcare, an affordable early-learning setting so that they can go back to work,” Luke said.
Green added that the need for early-child care all goes back to addressing the cost of living in Hawaii.
While Green and Luke are eager to reach their goals, they admit it won’t always be perfect.
“I want to prepare everyone in advance, we will make some mistakes but we will make them passionately. And we will go at these challenges, so that we go at a problem, if we have to course correct, we will. But we won’t wait to take action.”
In next steps moving forward, Green announced the launch of a new transition website seeking applicants to join his cabinet, staff and board members.
“We want passionate caring people with a skillset to get jobs done,” Green said.
He added that he will also be traveling to Japan next week with his wife to foster a relationship as governor-elect in an effort to “bring back tourism to Hawaii more aggressively.”
In speaking of tourism, both Green and Luke mentioned the importance of investing in regenerative tourism with Green floating the idea of a “climate impact fee.”
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