The 2020 Hawaii State Legislature, must get back to work.

If sending flowers to mom is now considered an essential service, it would seem that it’s past time for the 2020 legislative session to likewise get back to doing “the people’s work”.

God knows, there is plenty of work to do.

Ensuring health care for the recently unemployed, standing up health screening/testing at airports, supporting local agriculture and food-self sufficiency, implementing remote testimony capability, passing automatic voter registration, and preserving the hard-fought Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and increases in Hawaii’s minimum wage are just a few of the critical items that must be addressed.

Kick-starting and diversifying our economy, implementing critical “Green New Deal” job-creating programs that focus on energy and food independence, and environmental resource management also require urgent attention.

With most of Hawaii either unemployed or otherwise fearing for their economic future, we are counting on you who were elected to represent our best interest, to in fact do your job.

There are no valid reasons to put off this important work.

The additional cost of an extended session is minimal as legislators and their core staff are paid year-round anyway. The cost of “session staff” and other incidental expenses are likewise minor in scope.

Public hearings and “floor sessions” can be conducted utilizing a combination of remote “Zoom type” technology and basic old fashion “social distancing”. House/Senate rules may need changing but that also is easily accomplished so long as the Senate President and House Speaker agree. Many other state legislatures and our own County Councils continue conducting their business in this manner, and there is no reason the Hawaii State Legislature cannot do the same.

Putting off these critical issues until 2021 will not serve us well. Please, reconvene the 2020 legislative session and extend into a special session if necessary. Do the work, until the work is done. Take whatever time is needed to accomplish the many tasks that await your attention.

Now is the time for Hawaii’s legislative leadership to rise to the occasion. We need you now more than ever before to show us what you got.

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About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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