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Legislature 2011: Senate sets priorities

From the Senate Majority:

The Hawaii State Senate today unveiled its legislative priorities for the 2011 Legislative Session that opened yesterday at the Capitol.

“As in years past, our efforts and concentration will be on stabilizing Hawaii’s economy and improving the quality of life for our residents,” Senate President Shan Tsutsui said.

“We realize Hawaii, like many other States, is coming out of an economic recession that has resulted in economic stagnation which has impacted and disheartened many people in our community,” Tsutsui said. “However, while we have major hurdles to overcome, economic signs are looking more positive than in the past several years. Moreover, we have a unique opportunity this year to join with the Executive Branch in passing legislation that can make a positive impact in a variety of areas.”

In that regard, Tsutsui said, the Senate Majority Caucus has drafted a legislative package for 2011 that will focus on the economy, education, energy and a variety of other impactful issues.

In the realm of job creation and the economy, the package calls for such things as investing in Hawaii’s infrastructure through CIP and Modernization projects; working with the County and State agencies to improve the permitting process for new business; diversifying the island’s agricultural sustainability and expediting the development of more affordable housing.

Concerning Education, the Senate Package calls for working with educational leaders and stakeholders to ensure they have the proper resources in place and the accountability that is necessary so that that every child can receive a quality education.

In the area of Energy, the legislative Package will prioritize moving towards energy self-sufficiency and job creation; ramping up alternative energy development and educating Hawaii’s people on energy efficiency programs.

The Senate Package also proposes for 2011 to work towards a Ceded Land Settlement with the Native Hawaiian community; to search for ways to ensure access to clean air, water, shelter, health care and public safety for Hawaii’s people; and to increase the overall efficiency of government by better collaboration between the various branches of Federal, State and County levels.

“I am confident that our priorities are correct and optimistic that by working together with the Executive Branch and our House of Representative partners, we will make some positive changes this year in the lives of our people.”

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