By B.J. Reyes
Majority Democrats in the Senate unveiled Thursday their package of bills for the 2013 session with the theme of No Na Mamo, or “for all generations.”
In a news release, Senate President Donna Mercado Kim (D, Kalihi Valley-Moanalua-Halawa) said:
“The Senate Majority strives to be open, inclusive, and collaborative in its decision-making on initiatives impacting the State of Hawaii. We look forward to laying a solid foundation to build a stronger economy and move Hawaii forward for all generations.”
The majority package focuses on three areas: 1) food and energy resiliency, 2) supporting people, strengthening communities and 3) government efficiency and accountability.
Specific proposals in each of those areas include:
Food and Energy Resiliency
• The Senate Majority will continue to advance the Hawai’i Clean Energy Initiative. The State has made significant progress towards its goal of increasing the amount of locally produced renewable energy. The Senate Majority will continue to align government regulations and policies with clean energy goals, facilitate processes for developing renewable energy, deploy renewable generation and grid infrastructure, and explore next generation technologies and new applications of existing technologies.
• The Senate Majority will focus on efforts to encourage food resiliency across Hawai’i, such as increasing production and consumption of locally grown food. The Senate will examine the progress and goals of the Hawai’i Clean Energy Initiative and consider replicating those efforts and goals into a workable Food Resiliency Initiative.
Supporting People, Strengthening Communities
• Supporting the education of our keiki will remain a top priority for the Hawai’i State Senate. Collaborating with educational leaders and interested stakeholders to identify and focus on several priority educational needs and opportunities will help prepare our students to reach their potential and encourage them to be successful, productive members of the community.
• The Senate Majority will support and strengthen Hawai’i’s public higher education system, being mindful that each of our ten campuses statewide is helping to prepare our students for college and career success.
Government Efficiency and Accountability
• The Senate Majority supports accountability and transparency of government by insisting on high standards of ethical conduct and open decision-making.
• The Senate Majority encourages long-term planning and efficiency efforts to fundamentally change the character and delivery of government services. The Senate will continue to promote the enhancement of the State’s information technology services and support the Governor’s Chief Information Officer as he works on modernizing business and technology infrastructure for the people of Hawai’i.
• The Senate Majority will draw upon the recommendations of the Senate Special Committee on Accountability for the improvement of the operational and financial management of the University of Hawai’i and continue to support the University of Hawai’i as it carries out those recommendations and initiatives.