I’m honored to serve as your representative.
As we begin the new year, I am confident that we can achieve great things by working hand-in hand to move our community forward. While it is easy to become cynical about our society, I believe that change is possible when legislators use their power not to help themselves, but to uplift our most vulnerable neighbors.
I will never stop fighting to boost prosperity for working families, preserve our ʻāina for future generations, and provide a quality education for our keiki. I look forward to partnering with you during the 2023 legislative session. Below you will find my office's policy priorities for this year.
When we remain committed to the public good, we can build a better future for ourselves and our children. We just need the courage to keep marching forward, for the sake of the generations to come.
2023 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
Agriculture for ʻĀina and Kaiāulu
1. ACCOUNTABILITY: Local government has an important role to play in building a diversified agricultural industry and a sustainable food system. We can address the climate crisis at the local level by divesting from fossil fuels and making changes to the ways that institutions consume at the state and county level, primarily by increasing local purchasing and diverting organic and food waste.
Organic Waste- Direct counties to identify and evaluate specific measures for diversion of all organic waste produced within the county by 2030.
Farm to School: Update the benchmarks and reporting obligations for local purchasing, restructure and decentralize the DOE School Food Authority, create four grant-based programs under CNP to fund local food procurement, school cafeteria upgrades, school cafeteria staff training and garden to cafeteria curriculum.
ADC Reform: Ensure that the agribusiness development corporation is transparent and accountable, and that it coordinates and administers programs to reduce the State's reliance on imported agricultural products, increase local production of agricultural products for local consumption, reduce use of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, and increase access to farmland and related infrastructure for local farmers, and cooperatives.
Divestment from Fossil Fuels: Protect the State employees' retirement system from financial and moral risk by requiring trustees to reevaluate future investments in fossil fuels, divest at appropriate times over the next five years, and seek green investment opportunities
2. BEST PRACTICES AND SUSTAINABILITY: We cannot repeat the mistakes of our plantation past by continuing to farm using resource- and pesticide-intensive methods that harm our soils and deplete our natural resources. Instead, we must incentivize sustainable best practices and support local farmers in their efforts to produce healthy food for local people.
Healthy Soils Practices: Establish a farmland and forest soil health carbon smart incentive program that will promote keeping forests and farmlands intact and sequester additional carbon on those lands.
Pollinator Habitat: Provide funding for UH system to create pollinator habitats with native plants on all campuses.
Pesticides: Add neonicotinoids to RUP list, require reporting on neonicotinoid seed coatings, modify HRS to include malathion on DOA list, require improved RUP reporting via geolocation technology, expand buffer zones to half mile around schools and hospitals, and increase fines for violations of pesticide regulations.
3. EQUITY & EFFICACY: For too long, we have handed over public lands and resources to corporate giants who engage in mono-agriculture. Now, we must leverage public resources to build an agricultural industry that is diverse in both its products and its producers.
Farmer Equity: Support socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers by creating an income tax credit for ranchers, fishers, and farmers who qualify for the single estimated tax payment for farmers for federal income tax purposes.
Agricultural Education: Provides resources for place-based CTE teacher training in Agriculture and Natural Resource pathways so that students in all secondary public schools can learn about traditional practices including lo'i kalo, loko i'a and traditional hale building.
1. GRADUATE STUDENT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING: Establishes collective bargaining rights for graduate students at the University of Hawaiʻi, so that they can negotiate for better pay and work conditions, including protections against sexual harassment and workplace retaliation.
2. TAX FAIRNESS: Our tax code is a reflection of our values, and if we want to create a more equitable and just social system, we must begin by changing our tax law.
Estate Tax: Lowers the exclusion amount of Hawaii's estate tax to $1,000,000. Eliminates reciprocal exemption.
Income Tax with Rate Recapture: Creates a more progressive personal income tax structure.
Addressing Tax Haven Abuse: Requires corporations to include the income of all foreign subsidiaries to the State. Applies the state's apportionment formula to determine the share of reported profits subject to the appropriate tax.
Creating a Vacant Homes Conveyance Tax: Established a conveyance tax vacancy surcharge on the conveyance tax for a prolonged vacant property.
Elimination of Vehicle Tax Registration Exemption for Military: Eliminates registration tax exemption for active duty members of the military (retains exemption for National Guard and disabled vets).
3. FROM HOUSING AFFORDABILITY TO HOUSING JUSTICE: A comprehensive housing agenda must focus not only on housing production, but also on preserving existing affordable units, protecting against displacement, and fostering neighborhood stability. While supporting the construction of truly affordable housing units, we must also work to regulate the housing market and keep local folks in their homes.
Just Cause/ Anti-rent gouging: Establishes that landlords can only evict tenants for specific, justified reasons, such as violations of lease terms or non-payment of rent. In the case of no-fault evictions, landlords would be required to provide relocation payments to tenants. This proposal limits rent increases to 5% plus the cost of living increase per 12 month period.
Eviction Sealing: Requires that eviction records are immediately sealed in cases where the tenant retains residence. This proposal additionally requires that eviction records are sealed after three years in cases where a landlord regains possession.
Right to Counsel: Provides for state-funded access to legal services for residential tenants. This proposal would authorize attorneys, paralegals, and law students to provide the legal services. It appropriates funds to the judiciary to contract with legal service organizations or clinical training programs to carry out this purpose.
Human and Women’s Rights
1. PAY TRANSPARENCY (WOMENʻS CAUCUS): Conforms statutory prohibitions against wage discrimination with other prohibitions on employment discrimination. Clarifies allowable justifications for compensation differentials and remedies for pay disparity. Requires employers to disclose wage ranges to employees and prospective employees.
2. ERIN'S LAW (KEIKI CAUCUS): Mandates that DOE provide sexual abuse education to all students (K-12), educators and parents/guardians.
3. VOTE 16 CONAM (KEIKI CAUCUS): Amends the State Constitution to allow 16 year olds to vote in all local and state public elections.
Capital Improvement Projects & Grants-In-Aid
2. SCHOOL FACILITIES: In Hawaiʻi, public school buildings are over 60 years old on average, with many facilities in decay or outright disrepair. I am committed to requesting facilities funding for improvements to schools that serve State House District 46, so that our children can enjoy safe and modern learning environments.
3. HOMELESS CARE: Itʻs imperative that we find creative solutions to address our stateʻs homelessness problem. I will work to increase funding for the crItical care facilities that our houseless neighbors need, including centers that provide transitional housing, additional shelter space, and mental health and drug treatment services.
Download a copy of our 2021 legislative proposals here: 2022 LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS.
Download a copy of our 2021 legislative proposals here: 2021 LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS.
Download a copy of our 2020 legislative proposals here: 2020 LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS.
Download a copy of our 2019 legislative proposals here: 2019 LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS.