Chamber of commerce
Bill tracking begins
And so it begins. On Jan. 16, the 27th session of the Hawaii Legislature convened with its 76 members — 25 senators and 51 representatives.
Hawaii Island has four senators and seven representatives at the Capitol this session — one more senator than in the past because of the redistricting/reapportionment following the 2010 Census.
On Jan. 28, 2,872 bills had been introduced, 1,484 from the House and 1,388 from the Senate. A hefty number of measures to examine, interpret, comprehend, translate and then track as they progress from one committee to the next — often reinventing, rewriting, redacting and reversing themselves in the process.
As part of its mission to provide leadership and advocacy for a successful business environment in West Hawaii, the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce will again be tracking much of this legislation, focusing on bills and resolutions that affect the cost of doing business in Hawaii.
Understanding that individual businesses often do not have time to focus on the legislative process or follow bills that will affect their bottom line, the chamber will do its best to be a voice for business and issues that affect West Hawaii.
More specifically, the chamber will be keeping a close watch on workforce mandate issues, taxes and regulations, and capital improvement project funding.
We’ll be communicating with and working along- side our island legislators to ensure West Hawaii’s concerns are acknowledged and addressed.
When there is an issue of statewide concern, Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce will often combine its voice with our fellow neighbor island chambers to establish a stronger presence.
But do not leave the legislative process entirely to others. Our system works when everyone gets involved.
I encourage individuals and businesses to preview the measures posted on the Hawaii State Legislature website and contact their legislators.
If you are unsure which state senator or representative is from your district, visit the state’s legislative website: portal.ehawaii.gov/government/legislature.html. There, you can not only identify your senator or representative, you can also track bills of interest to you or your organization.
Or, feel free to contact the chamber (329-1758) with questions or concerns about bills in the 2013 legislative session.
Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce
Coconut tree kindness
I would just like to take the time and say hats off to Mr. Les Thuet for all his hard work and volunteered time he has spent, along with his own money to buy the irrigation materials needed to get water to the thirsty coconut trees that line the entrance to the much-used Honokohau Harbor.
There was, at one time, an irrigation system that was installed years ago but was not working for quite some while. With the little rain Kona has been getting, the coconuts where looking very sad.
Did I mention that Mr. Les Thuet is 96 years old? Thanks again to Les for his hard work. He is a real class act.