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West // West Oahu News
MidWeek Staff

Budget Balanced, Area Projects Secure Funding

Aloha friends,

We finished the 2013 Legislative Session May 2. Some of the highlights are that we didn’t raise taxes, we provided the necessary funding for the new teacher contract, deposited $50 million into both our Rainy Day Fund and the Hurricane Relief Fund, and balanced the budget.

Here are a few things I’d like to share with you. Please contact me at 586-6830 or sengabbard@capitol.hawaii.gov if I can help you or your family in any way.

Senate District 20 scores big for state construction projects

I was very pleased that Senate District 20 was able to secure $90,849,000 in construction funding as part of the 2013- 2015 budget. This funding will help improve our roads, university, schools, community groups, National Guard, and harbor. Here’s a rundown of some of the key projects:

* Kualaka’i Parkway Extension – Kapolei Parkway to Roosevelt Ave. – $15,001,000

* H-1 Westbound PM Contraflow Lane – $15 million

* H-1 Kunia Interchange Improvements – $780,000

* UH West Oahu Allied Health Building – $11.8 million

* UH West Oahu Road B – UHWO to Kualaka’i Parkway – $3.5 million

* East Kapolei High – $5 million

* East Kapolei Middle – $3 million

* Mauka Lani Elementary Electrical Upgrades – $700,000

* Seagull Schools Childcare Center Grant in Aid (Kapolei Elemen-tary School) – $1.2 million

* Kapolei Community Development Corp. Grant in Aid (Heritage Center) – $1,150,000

Energy and Environment Committee wraps up session work

I just completed my fifth session as the chairman of the Senate’s Energy and Environment Committee. This year we passed several good pieces of legislation that will serve our community well. Here’s an overview of some of those bills:

* SB 1087 – This bill will allow for the establishment of a Green Infrastructure Financing Program. It will help us leverage private investment to assist lower- and middle-income folks in purchasing solar PV and other energy efficiency improvements through loans, which they would pay back with their electricity bill.

* SB 19 – This bill will clarify the law to allow renters and commercial tenants to also gain access to the benefits of lowering their electricity bills through solar PV. This will greatly benefit the Kalaeloa residents and businesses that are faced with a steep increase in electricity costs which was recently announced by the Navy.

Bill passes to honor U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye and U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink

I introduced SB 614 this session to honor the late U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye and U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink. The bill passed the Legislature with a $500,000 appropriation and now awaits the governor’s signature. The bill directs the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts to commission a permanent, three-dimensional work of art to portray the life, vision, accomplishments, impact and legacy of these extraordinary leaders. These works of arts will serve as an inspiration for current and future generations.

“Listen-Story” Meeting

My next “Listen Story” meeting will be at 9 a.m. June 22 at the Kapolei Starbucks (next to the Chevron Station).

State Sen. Mike Gabbard represents District 20 (Kapolei, Makakilo, portions of Kalaeloa, Ewa and Waipahu.)

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