October 16, 2001
Contact: Rep. Marcus R. Oshiro
Phone: 586-8505


The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) will hold its regular Executive Committee and Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee meeting this week at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, according to Rep. Marcus Oshiro, House Majority Leader who was recently named to a second term on NCSL's Executive Committee.

Planning for this meeting actually began several years ago after a recommendation from Oshiro's predecessor on the Executive Committee, State Auditor Marion Higa. "Marion set this in motion during her tenure and she remains instrumental in helping us organize this week's activities," Oshiro said.

The meeting starts Thursday and concludes on Saturday, October 20, with a reception at Washington Place. Legislators from more than 35 states have registered to attend, including current NCSL President Steve Saland, state Senator from New York. In addition, legislators from American Samoa and the Canadian province of Quebec have confirmed their attendance.

In all, more than 70 delegates are expected in Hawaii, including staff representatives from the various states, NCSL staff members, and guests.

NCSL is a bipartisan, non-profit organization composed of the nation's state legislators and staff. It is the largest and most influential organization of its kind in the country, Oshiro said.

He said the Hawaii meetings will cover issues facing many states around the country, including state responses to the 9-11 attack, state and local taxation of telecommunications, as well as budget and strategic planning for NCSL for the coming year.

"The issues before state legislatures today are challenging, especially in the aftermath of the events of September 11," said NCSL President Saland. "This is our first executive committee meeting since those events and consequently will give legislators and staff from across the nation an opportunity to discuss some of the steps legislatures are and will be taking in the future to keep our democracy protected."

The meeting will also showcase Hawaii's capacity to host business gatherings and provide delegates with a multitude of recreational and leisure activities. Oshiro said it's important that everyone get involved in restoring visitor confidence in Hawaii and tourism in general.

California state Sen. Jim Costa, NCSL Immediate Past President, said he has worked with various Hawaii legislators in the past and is eager to renew acquaintances and "discuss ways to promote the state's important tourism industry."

"It's a terrific opportunity to demonstrate to this influential national audience that Hawaii remains a safe and premier destination," Oshiro said.

The Wahiawa legislator said he also will use the opportunity to try and secure one of NCSL's major meetings for Hawaii. "This was my goal when I first agreed to serve with NCSL and I will continue to pursue it."