Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui signed into law today a measure foundational to the future implementation of an international flight training center on the Island of Hawai‘i.
Senate Bill 1221 appropriates $100,000 to hire a program coordinator and a technical support staff member for an international flight training center and associated aeronautical training programs at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo and Hawai'i Community College.
"Hawai‘i Island and in particular Hilo has everything you need to support a world class aviation university program," said Senator Gilbert Kahele, who represents District 1 (Hilo) and was one of the bill's primary introducers. "Today's investment by the State creates the initial foundation for a program that will create additional opportunities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for our local youth and students in the Asia-Pacific region. I commend the Abercrombie administration for their support and commitment to this important investment in Hawai‘i's future."
The Lieutenant Governor also enacted a measure to address the State's primary care physician shortage.
House Bill 417, relating to the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation, appropriates $1,800,000 for the interdisciplinary Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program at Hilo Medical Center.
"The measure provides an innovative approach to resolving the severe shortage of healthcare providers that the State continues to face," said Kahele. "The success of this statewide training program, administered by Hilo Medical Center, will help the State to meet the needs of our rural area residents by generating interdisciplinary teams capable of caring for four times as many patients as independent practicing physicians and eliminate our need to train or attract unattainably high numbers of physicians." View the media release.
(Photo Caption: Senator Gilbert Kahele joins his House colleagues and Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui for the enactment of Senate Bill 1221 and House Bill 417.) (Photo Courtesy: Senate Communications.)
The Hawaii State Senate today unveiled changes to its committee lineup and chairmanships. Two committees have been added, splitting the current Committee on Tourism and Hawaiians Affairs (THA) into two separate subject matter committees. The new committees are Tourism (TSM) and Hawaiian Affairs (HWN).
Senator Gilbert Kahele will chair TSM with Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran serving as vice-chair. Senator Maile Shimabukuro will chair HWN with Senator Clayton Hee serving as vice-chair.
"In the beginning of the session we acted quickly to organize and kept changes to a minimum so that we could focus our attentions on the issues and prepare for the 2013 session," said Senate President Donna Mercado Kim. "Now that session is over, we are afforded the capacity to listen to feedback and evaluate ourselves. In doing so, we have been able to make some positive changes. These new assignments maximize the skills and interests of each of our members, while providing us with greater opportunity to focus on the individual subject areas."
Currently, Senator Brickwood Galuteria has served as both the Majority Leader and Chair of THA. The new committee assignments will allow the newly appointed chairs to take on greater leadership roles while providing Galuteria with more flexibility to serve in his continued capacity as Majority Leader.
"I am pleased with this new leadership lineup for the committees," said Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria. "Understanding the role of a chair makes my Senate Majority Leadership assignment more effective. I look forward to working with both Chairs Kahele and Shimabukuro in their new capacities and most importantly to continuing to work with my Senate colleagues to advance the priorities of the Senate Majority."
Additionally, the Senate announced changes to the vice-chairmanships of the Committees on Commerce and Consumer Protection (CPN) and Water and Land (WTL). Under the new changes Senator Brian Taniguchi will serve as vice-chair of CPN and Galuteria as vice-chair of WTL.
The change in committee assignments will take effect July 1, 2013.
View the media release.
Governor Neil Abercrombie yesterday announced the release of $134.7 million for various capital improvement projects (CIP) for Hawai‘i Island schools. The Governor's CIP package included allocation of funds for priority projects identified by members of the State Legislature.
Senator Gilbert Kahele, who represents Senate District 1, encompassing Hilo, issued this statement in response to the Governor's release of funds:
"I would like to thank the Governor for releasing the funding for these much needed projects," said Kahele. "It is important that we invest in repairing and maintaining our public school facilities so that we can continue to provide safe learning environments for our island keiki."
$500,000 towards additional construction for all-weather track and field facilities at Waiakea High School and $350,000 for the design and construction of ADA accessible playground equipment at Waiakeawaena Elementary School are among the projects identified in the Governor's CIP package.
Kahele, who lobbied hard at the State Legislature to obtain funding for these two projects, said that they are essential to the safety and co-curricular development of the students.
"These two projects will not only provide a safe place for students to train, practice and play, but also encourages them to excel in and outside of the classroom," Kahele explained. "I appreciate the Governor for funding the Waiakea High School's all-weather track and field facilities and Waiakeawaena Elementary School's playground equipment. Our students will be able to enjoy using these facilities for years to come."
Additional construction for all-weather track and field facilities at Waiakea High School will be shared with Hilo High School. Both schools are currently using county facilities to host track and field events. Funding for this phase of the project will involve the replacement of grass turf with all-weather surfacing and drainage enhancements.
Design and construction at Waiakeawaena Elementary School will provide safe and accessible playground equipment to meet ADA accessibility guidelines.
View the media release.
Through working together, Senators Malama Solomon and Gilbert Kahele, along with Representative Mark Nakashima are improving the quality of life in their districts. Together, the legislators secured $292.6 M in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding for the Hawai‘i Island districts, ensuring that many of their district goals were met. The project funds were allocated in the CIP portion of the State budget, House Bill (HB) 200. These appropriations represent new jobs and job training, education and healthcare, roads, airports and harbor improvements, and vital "safety net" services for our keiki, kupuna and less fortunate. This bill is currently awaiting Governor Abercrombie's signature.
"A special thanks to everyone who called, emailed or sent testimony supporting these important projects. You made a difference!" said Senator Malama Solomon (District 4, Hilo, Hāmākua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona). "We also made progress on addressing the financial crisis our State faces by passing a bill that protects our all-important AA bond rating. This is how we finance major infrastructures to get results that benefit our community."
"The projects funded by the budget will help move the Island of Hawai‘i forward by creating jobs, enhancing our public infrastructure and facilities, and investing in education," said Senator Gilbert Kahele (District 1, Hilo). "Through projects at our schools like Waiakea Elementary and Waiakea High, we invest in our children's educational development and provide a safe environment in which they can achieve success. "
"I am particularly pleased that funds have been allocated for a new rescue and fire fighting facility at Hilo International Airport, as well as runway improvements. In addition, we are addressing the critical shortage of primary care providers by establishing the training program," said Representative Nakashima (District 1- Hamakua, Hilo). "By working collaboratively with my colleagues in both the House and Senate we will continue to secure funds to drive our economy and improve our quality of life."
Senators Solomon and Kahele and Representative Nakashima, will hold a community meeting on Thursday, June 6, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, UCB 127. Legislators will be giving residents a post 2013 Legislative Session update, including a discussion on CIPs.
Here are highlights of the CIP funding secured for the Hawai‘i Island districts:
$2 Million WAIMEA IRRIGATION SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS
$4.4 Million LOWER HAMAKUA DITCH WATERSHED PROJECT
$43.4 Million HILO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, NEW AIR RESCUE AND FIRE FIGHTING FACILITY, RUNWAY 3-21 RECONSTRUCTION, SECURITY ACCESS CONTROL
$113.5 Million KONA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, SECURITY ACCESS CONTROL, TERMINAL EXPANSION, INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS BUILDING
$3 Million ELLISON S. ONIZUKA SPACE MUSEUM; IMPROVEMENTS
$12.017 Million NELHA SEAWATER SYSTEM UPGRADES, ROAD AND NEW INTERSECTION CONNECTIONS
$5.9 Million YOUTH CHALLENGE ACADEMY (YCA) UPGRADE & IMPROVEMENTS
$300,000 WEST HAWAI‘I VETERANS CENTER; PLANS & DESIGN
$1 Million HONOKAA HIGH SCHOOL; ATHLETIC FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS
$5 Million WAIMEA MIDDLE SCHOOL; 9-CLASSROOM SCIENCE-TECHNOLOGY
$300,000 KEALAKEHE HIGH SCHOOL; ALL-WEATHER AND SYNTHETIC TRACK
$1.5 million WAIAKEA ELEMENATARY SCHOOL; PLAY COURT
$450,000 WAIAKEA HIGH SCHOOL; NEW BATTING CAGE
$1 Million HILO HARBOR MODIFICATIONS
$1 Million HAWAI‘I ISLAND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION; CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW ADULT DAY CARE FACILITY
$4 Million KONA COMMUNITY HOSPITAL; RENOVATIONS AND UPGRADES
$1 Million KOHALA COMMUNITY HOPITAL; RENOVATIONS AND UPGRADES
$1.8 Million HB417: PRIMARY CARE TRAINING PROGRAM AT HILO MEDICAL CENTER
$643,000 THE SALVATION ARMY FAMILY INTERVENTION SERVICES
$9 Million KONA JUDICIARY COMPLEX
$1.2 Million HAWAI‘I COUNTY ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY COUNCIL; EMERGENCY REPAIRS AND HANDICAPPED ACCESS IMPROVEMENTS
$1.5 Million KAHILU THEATRE FOUNDATION; IMPROVEMENT OF EXISTING FACILITIES
$30,000 BRANTLEY CENTER, INC.; RENOVATIONS OF EXISTING FACILITIES IN HONOKA‘A
LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
$6.5 Million PUUANAHULU SHOOTING RANGE FACILITY
$7.5 Million AKONI PULE HIGHWAY, REALIGNMENT AND WIDENING
$4 Million HAWAI‘I BELT ROAD ROCKFALL PROTECTION & DRAINAGE IMPROVEMENTS AT PAPAALOA
$27.7 Million QUEEN KAAHUMANU HIGHWAY WIDENING
$15.7 Million SADDLE ROAD EXTENSION TO KAAHUMANU HWY & MAINTENANCE BASEYARD
$1 Million IMPROVEMENTS TO INTERSECTION AND SIDEWALK OF MAMANE STREET, HONOKAA
$6.25 Million PUAINAKO ST. WIDENING/REALIGNMENT, KANOELEHUA AVENUE TO KOMOHANA STREET
UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I
$2.4 Million UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I PALAMANUI CAMPUS, PHASE I
$2 Million UHH OFFICE OF MAUNA KEA MANAGEMENT; IMPROVEMENTS AND RENOVATION
$600,000 NORTH HAWAI‘I EDUCATION AND RESEARCH CENTER; RENOVATIONS
$5 Million WAIMEA DISTRICT/REGIONAL PARK; PHASE 1, FOR A ONE-TO-ONE MATCH OF COUNTY FUNDS OF $2.5 MILLION
View the media release.
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