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MidWeek Staff

Big Things Are Happening For Central Oahu Youths

Sen. Michelle Kidani

Congratulations, Chelsea! Last week I had the honor of introducing Mililani’s Robinson family to my Senate colleagues. They came to the Capitol so that we could recognize Hanalani School senior Chelsea Marie Robinson for being named Hawaii’s Distinguished Young Woman for 2013. Chelsea’s mother, Sherry Robinson, and her sister Brittany were there for the occasion.

The Distinguished Young Woman program was, until a few years ago, known as the America’s Junior Miss program and is Hawaii’s oldest such scholarship competition.

It’s open to high school seniors from public and private schools who demonstrate exceptional leadership and academic excellence and are active in their communities.

Chelsea easily meets all of those criteria. She’s off to the finals in Mobile, Ala., in June where she will compete for more scholarship awards. Good luck, Chelsea!

Trojan Triumphs

This has been a great season to be a fan of Mililani Trojan athletics. Congratulations to the MHS girls soccer team, winning the OIA Division I title and making it all the way into the state tournament, where they placed fourth.

The Mililani boys soccer team won the OIA championship for the fifth time in six years, and its 10th championship since 2002. The boys finished sixth in the state tournament.

The boys swim team won its seventh consecutive OIA championship, finishing third in statewide competition.

Both the girls and boys basketball teams advanced to post-season play in their respective state tournaments. The girls made it into the quarterfinals, and the boys tournament is just getting started as this column is prepared. Congratulations to all for this season’s successes.

Legislative Session Continues

I am pleased to report that a number of bills I introduced this session continue to move through the legislative process. Here are just two of them that I believe deserve further consideration:

Senate Bill 573 authorizes a state income tax credit of up to $250 for certain out-of-pocket expenses incurred by a school teachers. So many teachers expend their personal dollars to supplement classroom resources, and this would recognize that extra effort in a meaningful way.

The Legislature is also considering the governor’s budget request for a comprehensive overhaul of the state’s information technology which is woefully inefficient and outdated.

As a part of revamping our IT capability, I have proposed in SB 961 that state agencies be required to share information to the extent possible to increase efficiency and eliminate duplication in their operations.

Too many times, agencies act as guardians rather than providers of information, even when dealing with other state entities.

The state’s information technology director has plans to change this through upgraded IT systems that will greatly facilitate services to the public. My bill would assure that this becomes a required standard practice.

You can follow the progress of these bills and others on the Legislature’s Web site – http://capitol.hawaii.gov – by entering bill numbers or searching key words

in the appropriate boxes.

Contact Sen. Kidani at SenKidani@Capitol.Hawai i.gov, call 586-7100, or visit the Senator’s office in State Capitol room 228.

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