OC16 has prepared a series of profiles featuring Oahu's elected government officials. The video profile focusing on Senator Kidani has been aired during coverage of Mililani High School Trojan football games.
The State Office of Elections is now accepting online voter registration applications. The new system is another way to encourage and simplify public participation in the elections process. The secure online process allows you to update your voter status with current address information and to request an absentee ballot for mail-in voting.
This is one of several improvements in the elections process by which we hope to increase voter turnout that has proved to be a challenge in the past several years. For the first time in the next elections - in 2016 - voters will be able to register to vote at early voting sites up to 10 days before Election Day. By 2018, same-day voter registration is expected to be available.
To learn more, click here.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Mililani Uka Elementary School Cafeteria
View the flyer for more details.
I encourage Senate District 18 residents to attend this public session. It's an opportunity to learn about planned improvements to the aging but still heavily-used major thoroughfare between Mililani and H-1.
Here are some details about school improvement, campus repair and renovation projects I voted for in the Legislature's budget earlier this year:
$313,000 for new equipment in the kitchen and improvements to the fire alarm system at Waikele Elementary
$1.683 million for extensive renovations for the whole school at Kaleiopu‘u Elementary in Village Park
$92,000 to replace the irrigation system and outdoor performance area at Kanoelani Elementary in Waipio
$677,000 for replacing stadium light poles at Waipahu High School
$294,000 for several re-roofing projects at Kipapa Elementary
$725,000 for fire alarm upgrades, re-roofing, electrical system improvements and stadium lighting replacement fixtures at Mililani High School
$151,000 for re-roofing projects at Mililani Uka Elementary
$54,000 for re-roofing at Mililani Waena Elementary
The Legislature is committed to ensuring that our public school students have the safest and most secure learning environments and up-to-date campus facilities possible. In addition, these projects are awarded to local contractors, contributing to the state's economy and a stable workforce.
The State operates on a two-year budget cycle and this year gave us a chance to formulate a spending plan for fiscal period beginning July 1 and continuing through June 30, 2017. Both the Senate and the House money committees reduced spending levels in the already-slim budget sent to us by the Governor, and revenue projections reinforced the idea that we should not be looking at any large-scale new initiatives this year.
This session I accepted the Chairmanship of the Committee on Education, one of the most broadly-based committees in the Senate. It has responsibility for early education programs, all K-12 public schools, including charter schools, continuing education, and Hawaii's Public Library System. I am pleased to report that even in a relatively tight budget year, we did manage to pass key legislation that supports the State's commitment to early learning programs.
Senate Bill 820 - already signed into law - establishes in statute a prekindergarten program in the Executive Office on Early Learning that makes available preschool options for families who do not qualify for existing programs such as Head Start or Preschool Open Doors (POD) but who cannot afford private preschool. SB 64 appropriated $6 million for POD positions and subsidies for the program for another year.
Another bill - HB 11 - authorizes a $5,000 bonus incentive for teachers who are national board certified and who teach in a focus, priority or hard-to-fill school. That's in addition to the $5,000 per year bonus for earning board certification.
Under provisions of SB 374, the "running start" program is renamed the "dual credit" program. It expands this early college course program to include ninth and tenth graders who will now be able to enroll in classes at University of Hawaii campuses tuition free.
And finally, SB 1345 requires the Department of Education to come up with a plan to phase out multi-track schedules in the four public schools on Oahu where they are currently in place - including Mililani Middle School. It requires the DOE to give priority to overpopulated schools in making its annual construction budget request. I am especially grateful to Mililani Middle School Principal Elynne Chung who helped us work through several critical issues based on her school's experience with the multi-track, year-round school calendar.
Please review my End-of-Session newsletter that offers a more complete summary of our accomplishments this session.
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