House Minority Leader Gene Ward
House Minority Leader Gene Ward will make a speech opening day

Legislature’s Party Poopers

The Hawaii State Legislature will convene on Wednesday, January 18, but many years of tradition will be broken, because Democratic leadership that wants to appear serious, frugal and focused.

Normally the legislature’s opening day features speeches and Hawaiian entertainment.

Legislators invite their family and friends to sit with them on the chamber floor.

Following the speeches and entertainment, which lasts about 2 hours, the public is invited to meet with lawmakers in their offices and enjoy food and beverages.

But this year, there will be no opening day celebrations, entertainment or official office receptions.

The House and Senate Majority party wants to keep the opening day all business.

Several lawmakers believe the tradition should remain because this may be the only time the public comes to the capitol.

Some lawmakers – including Sen. Sam Slom and Rep. Kymberly Pine – are planning their own public receptions on their own dime.

To hear interviews with the House Speaker and several other lawmakers about the upcoming session, log on to Hawaii Reporter Television.

An update on Our Running Rail Poll, which has a total of 2,498 participants: 

QUESTION: If Hawaii does not get $1.5 billion in federal funds for the $5.3 billion elevated steel on steel rail system, should the city still build it?

ANSWERS:

  • I don’t support the steel on steel rail system as it is now proposed and don’t believe it should be built. (77%, 1,921 Votes)
  • No, the city should halt the project now until federal funds are secured; (13%, 327 Votes)
  • Yes, the city should build the proposed rail system no matter how expensive it is; (10%, 250 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,498

Want to cast your vote? Log onto HawaiiReporter.com’s home page and scroll to the bottom.

Hawaii Senior Senator on Whirlwind Worldwide Tour

U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye is on a worldwide whirlwind, most recently meeting with Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi in Rome, Italy.

Inouye, who is President pro-tempore of the United States and Hawaii’s Senior Senator, also traveled with, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-MISS, and Sen. Barbara Mikulsky, D-Maryland.

The delegation was in Italy following a trip to North Africa and Tunisia, Israel and Jordan. The travel was coordinated by Senate Defense Subcommittee headed by Inouye (President) and Cochran (Vice-President).

According to an Italian news report, during a meeting with the Italian Minister, “Full consensus of opinion was confirmed regarding the Arab spring, along with mutual appreciation for respective commitments to the region’s democratic transition, stabilisation and economic growth, nevertheless in full awareness of the major challenges still to be met. Views and information were cordially exchanged, in particular regarding the situation in Libya, ahead of Premier Monti’s upcoming visit, in the company of Minister Terzi, and in consideration of Italy’s respected role.”

“Minister Terzi and the Senators shared international worries about Iran’s uranium enrichment operations at the Fordow plant, which cast further doubt on that country’s declared intentions to employ nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Minister Terzi reiterated Italy’s full agreement with the “dual track” strategy on Iran and reported on prospects for the EU’s adoption of additional sanctions aimed at convincing Iran to assume a more cooperative attitude on the nuclear dossier.

See for details AVIONEWS.

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