As we begin our third year as your
governor and Lt. governor, we are as
optimistic as ever regarding the unique
opportunities we have to implement farreaching
actions to improve the lives of our
residents and visitors.
There are many reasons for our upbeat attitude, including a vibrant and robust
economy that is outperforming in many ways the nation as a whole. Tourism,
the construction industry and the real estate market are especially strong.
Personal income is up, bankruptcy filings are down and we enjoyed the lowest
unemployment rate in the country for much of 2004.
Certainly there are challenges which remain. These include traffic congestion,
affordable housing, crime and substance abuse, environmental threats and an
education system from pre-school through the university system that is showing
signs of progress but still requires much-needed improvements.
In addition, our most vulnerable residents require immediate assistance. We
must pass tax cuts and initiatives which will help our keiki, our kupuna and
those individuals and families who lack the wherewithal to maintain the daily
necessities of life including food, shelter and quality healthcare.
Our administration pledges to you to work closely this session with the federal
government, the state Legislature, the counties, the private and nonprofit sectors
and concerned community members to make 2005 a time of significant progress.
Throughout this booklet you will be able to read a brief overview of our
proposed common-sense legislation, divided into five overarching themes that
set forth our plan. They are: lowering the cost of living, keeping Hawaii