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Sen. Green diving in to legislative session

Karin Stanton/ Contributing Editor

Sen. Josh Green said he has identified top priorities for this session, all of which fall under the quality of life umbrella.

“I am taking action to protect and strengthen our health care system, invest in renewable energy that will preserve our environment and decrease our reliance on fossil fuels, and to improve our public schools so our students get the best education possible,” he said in his latest e-newsletter.

Top on his agenda, again, is health care.

“It is vitally important that our health care system provide statewide access and comprehensive care, and remain financially stable,” Green said. “We can’t afford to have one or more of our hospitals close or cut access and services to neighbor island communities because it is financially crippled.”

West Hawaii’s freshman senator has sponsored legislation to keep hospitals open and provide care to rural communities statewide by restructuring the administrative and financial foundation of the public hospitals. The bill aims to make hospitals more flexible, and better able to partner with private foundations and public entities.

Green also advocates the Hawaii Heath Corps, which will provide annual stipends to doctors and dentists who work in shortage areas.

“Making sure every person in the state has access to care is perhaps the most important piece of the healthcare package I have submitted,” he said. “Finally, I have proposed a patients’ bill of rights that will stop insurance companies from canceling or denying coverage based on pre-existing health conditions.”

Green also supports Gov. Linda Lingle’s renewable energy initiative and has introduced legislation that requires maximum possible use of geothermal energy on the Big Island.

“With the right plan and infrastructure, Big Island geothermal, wind and solar sources can generate clean, renewable energy that will meet all the power needs of our island and more,” he said.

His third priority is bolstering the state’s public education system, by investing in schools, providing the best teachers, and encouraging and expecting excellence.

“I am proposing that no classroom has a student-teacher ratio more than 18:1,” he said. “This first step in education reform will give every student in Hawaii more time and attention from every teacher.”

— Find out more:
Josh Green M.D.
State Senate
State Capitol, Room 223
415 South Beretania
(808) 586-9385
FAX (808) 586-9391

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