Moloka'i Island Times
Monday, February 7, 2006
By Chris Vandercook
Senator J. Kalani English (D-Hāna, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka'i, Lān'i, and Kaho'olawe) has introduced bills for the 2006 legislative session aimed at facilities improvements within the 6th District, encouraging the development and use of renewable energy, and promoting Hawaiian language and culture.
"As the Senator from the state's most rural district, and its only multi-island district, I have a special responsibility," Sen. English said today. "It's important that my fellow legislators understand the needs of underserved areas and join me in giving them the support they deserve."
Several of the bills provide funds for improvements to health care facilities that serve rural populations in the 6th District. One measure (SB3152) appropriates funds for annual operating expenses at the Hāna Community Health Center. Another, SB3153, authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and appropriates funds to complete construction of the Hāna Health Nutrition Training Center. An appropriation of more than $600,000 for a hemodialysis facility in Hāna is made in SB3154. Appropriations for Moloka'i General Hospital are contained in SB3155 and SB3156. An appropriation in SB3158 would pay for two vehicles to be used for patient transport at Lāna'i Community Hospital. Plans for expansion of Moloka'i Public Library are addressed in SB3157.
Throughout his legislative career, Senator English has introduced measures aimed at reducing Hawaii's dependence on fossil fuels. He says he's encouraged by a new wave of support from the administration and the private sector. "A worldwide crisis in energy has made more people take a look at the benefits of renewables -- especially as they relate to Hawai'i," Sen. English said. "the time is right for meaningful energy reform in our state."
Renewable energy measures for this session include SB 3161, which refines the definition of "renewable energy," SB3162, which provides for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and SB3163, which calls for the use of renewable technologies in state-owned facilities.
The future of the island of Kaho'olawe is addressed in SB3159, which appropriates funds to install renewable energy systems for a kahua kauhale, or encampment, on the island. SB3160 calls for the use of the Hawaiian language in state documents and establishes a Hawaiian language interim task force.
Progress of bills introduced this session can be monitored online at the Hawaii State Legislature's website at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/. By clicking on the words "Bill Status and Docs" and entering the appropriate bill number, citizens can learn how individual lawmakers have voted, which committees are scheduled to hear the measure, and which legislators have signed on as sponsors of each measure.
Original article URL: http://www.molokaitimes.com/articles/627171433.asp