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Senate Majority 2015 legislative program

Hawaii State Senate
Senate Majority Legislative Program
Twenty-Eighth Legislature
2015

We, of the Democratic Majority of the Hawaii State Senate, are committed to a vision and future for Hawaii that will stabilize Hawaii’s economy and improve our quality of life for generations to come. We have a unique opportunity to serve the people of Hawaii.

In that spirit, the Senate Majority is committed to being open, inclusive, and collaborative in its decision-making on behalf of the people of the State of Hawaii.

We enter the first year of the Twenty-Eighth Legislative biennium with three over-arching themes and priorities for legislation that will improve the quality of life for everyone in Hawaii, including our keiki, kupuna, and Ohana who are most in need.

The Democratic Majority of the Senate will focus on the following areas during the 2015 Session:

Energy and Food Resiliency
• Ensuring a sustainable future for Hawaii will continue to be a priority. Improving energy resiliency and food self-sufficiency will have positive effects on our local job market and economy.

• We will focus on renewable energy alternatives that are practical and economical for the State that take into account Hawaii’s unique geographical and topographical circumstances. As Hawaii continues to make progress in this area and with our overall clean energy goals in mind, we will encourage the availability of renewable energy, facilitate processes for the development of renewable energy, and advance projects to improve energy efficiencies.

• We will ensure that Hawaii is well-prepared for any disaster, economic disruption, or other external factor by encouraging the production and consumption of locally grown and locally raised food through good agricultural practices and support of local farmers.

Community Well-Being and Smart Growth

• We will strengthen our social safety net to ensure that our keiki, kupuna, family care givers, and all members of a family are healthy and safe, while continuing to work together in the community development process of any and all lands to address housing, agricultural, environmental, and health concerns. Smart growth allows for future thinking on how to best utilize the different types of land available for Hawaii’s myriad of communities and their needs.

• We will explore opportunities to protect Hawaii’s natural resources through preservation and protective measures, including addressing agricultural practices, climate change, and zoning concerns. Because of Hawaii’s unique geographical features, including coastline, volcanoes, and watersheds, we can implement innovative processes and procedures, as well as explore new technologies and applications to existing systems, to accommodate Hawaii residents for today and the future.

• We will focus on efforts to create a holistic overview and understanding for community development in the State, such as transit-oriented development. Because comprehensive community development presents an opportunity for the State to solve many socio-economic challenges that face Hawaii’s residents, understanding the issues from various parties will further synergize the development to meet housing, critical infrastructure, and community needs.

Government Effectiveness

• We will support efforts that ensure that the government is providing effective services in which residents are well-served, safe, and protected. We will work toward greater efficiency, security, and accountability.

• We will encourage effectiveness, transparency, and accountability across all branches of government by insisting on high standards of ethical conduct, proper training, and reliable systems and procedures.

• We will strengthen and protect government infrastructure by upgrading technology and services to meet the demand of Hawaii’s residents and visitors. We will continue to promote the enhancement of the State’s information technology services and concentrate on our critical infrastructure, including broadband.

It is our sincere hope that we can work collaboratively with the House of Representatives and the Governor to achieve all the goals outlined in this 2015 Senate Majority Legislative Program.

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