Hawai'i Minority Caucus responds to Ige's address
In the wake of Gov. David Ige's State of the State address, the Hawai'i Minority Caucus followed up with a response to Ige's plans.
HONOLULU - In the wake of Gov. David Ige's State of the State address, the Hawai'i Minority Caucus followed up with a response to Ige's plans.
"The state of our state is strong," Gov. David Ige said.
"I don't think we are strong in the state of Hawaii, I think we are weak," Rep. Gene Ward said.
Two very different views of the same Hawaii.
Republican lawmakers say they came away unimpressed with Governor David Ige's State of the State address.
"I think what we saw today was a typical David Ige speech tinkering around the edges, no big vision, no bold ideas. After several years, we've become used to it," Rep. Bob McDermott said.
The opposition party has just five members, but they're digging in and calling the Governor's agenda generic.
"I know it's a very short speech, 40-50 minutes. Hard to cover everything. But we just wanted our voices to be heard for those who didn't feel represented today," Minority Leader Rep. Andria Tupola said.
Republicans were quick to point out if you were looking for the governor to talk about the false missile alert, you didn't get it.
Ige never brought it up.
"That's where the credibility of his speech is hurt by the credibility of how he handled it, so I gave him a Pinocchio award for that one," Ward said.
And while Governor Ige touted his blueprint for education, Tupola wants to know the bottom line.
"I think that's been our biggest concern, with accessibility for education, is that we do not currently get equal funding for all schools," Tupola said.
Then there's working families, living paycheck to paycheck, but no talk of eliminating the General Excise Tax for food - a bill the minority members say could save families hundreds of dollars.
"Total silence on that matter and yet that's the fastest fix for working families," Rep. Cynthia Thielen said.
Caucus members say they're focused on making Hawaii more affordable, accountable and accessible. Issues they felt were left out in the governors agenda and ways to remind legislation not to forget about them.