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MidWeek Staff

A Challenging And Productive 2013 Legislature

Rep. Richard Fale

With my first legislative session wrapped up and over, I have the opportunity to reflect on this year and its highlights. It was a lively session full of changes, and I truly enjoyed representing the people of the North Shore.

I served on five committees in the state House: Education, Higher Education, Energy & Environmental Protection; Ocean, Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs; and Water & Land. I also served on 31 conference committees at the end of session.

Conference committees are formed with members from the House and the Senate to negotiate a final form of a bill that can be approved by both chambers.

I helped to introduce and sponsor 81 House Bills and 42 House Resolutions. I also spoke up in opposition to many bills that might have a negative impact on our community, families and businesses. Many of these bills would have raised taxes and fees.

Much of the feedback I received from our community centered around economic opportunity and education, as well as land, water and cultural issues. I brought these concerns and ideas with me into the state Capitol and applied them to my votes and comments.

In terms of economic development, I supported HB 858, which appropriates funds to the Hawaii Strategic Development Corp. for the Hawaii Growth Initiative, an investment program to develop an ecosystem to support high-growth entrepreneurial companies.

I was pleased to vote in favor of HB 1133; it repealed the controversial Public Land Development Corp. (PLDC), an entity that had broad authority and exemptions to develop state lands. The PLDC was passed two years ago but, because of the public outcry, legislators returned this session to revisit the law and ultimately repealed it.

I supported SB 1093, which passed, to expand Preschool Open Doors. It enables low-income children to attend private pre-school programs.

SB 515, which addressed homelessness and drug abuse, also passed. It appropriates funds for substance-abuse treatment, mental health services, rental-assistance programs, housing-first programs and re-establishes the homeless prevention and rapid re-housing program.

Our office has put together more detailed information on important bills that passed, and they will be sent to your homes.

Please check your mailboxes and also our website at repfale.com.

Graduations

Summertime means children and young adults graduating from high school and college. I want to congratulate the graduates for their hard work and accomplishments. Summer also means graduation parties and celebrations. I want to urge everyone to be safe and make certain adults who drink do not drive.

Contact our office with any comments or questions at 586-6380 or at repfale@capitol.hawaii.gov.

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