Tsutsui's promotion causes ripple effect

Senate to vote on new president on opening day

Published  10:40 PM HST Dec 27, 2012
HONOLULU -

Shan Tsutsui officially accepted the position of lieutenant governor Thursday.

This means his former role as Senate president, as well as his Senate seat, need to be filled.

Senate vice president Donna Mercado Kim says she will fulfill Tsutsui's duties as Senate president.  Senate members will vote on a new president on the opening day of the session.

"This has happened so quickly, we haven't even begun the caucusing and talks," said Kim.  "I believe we'd like to see a smooth transition with the least amount of disruption as possible because of the timing. We're also set to begin budget hearings next week already."

In addition to the Senate president vacancy, someone will have to fill Tsutsui's Senate seat representing central Maui.

"The central committee within the former senator's district will meet very shortly and come up with three names." said Senator J. Kalani English. "They will send those names to the governor and the governor will pick one of those three."

Sen. Engilsh says filling Tsutsui's seat is crucial to get the Senate in order. Whomever the governor appoints to replace Tsutsui will serve until 2014.

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