Hawaii State Legislature Opens to the Smell of Sweet Flowers, Delicious Food, and Sometimes Rotten Ideas

article top

“Malia Lt Blue top Image”

The Hawaii State Capitol was filled with stunning flower arrangements and plants, Tuesday, as harried florists delivered gifts to each lawmaker from family, friends and those hoping to affect public policy.


The more powerful the lawmakers, the more flowers they receive at the opening of the 60-day working session, which began Jan. 18 and wraps up in early May.

Opening day is like no other in the nation. Lawmakers covered in colorful, sweet-smelling leis, greet each other warmly, and pretend to like each other, as leaders from the majority and minority of each party lay out their plans for the coming year in a speech from the floor of each of their respective Houses.

After the political speeches, in which legislative leaders make all kinds of promises — most they probably won