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MidWeek Staff

Sustainability A Big Issue For 2013 Senate Majority

Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz

The theme for the 2013 Hawaii State Senate majority is “No Na Mamo,” which means for all generations. The majority is committed to a future that will stabilize our economy and ensure a high quality of life. The Senate is focused on three priorities for legislation that will move us toward self-reliance and sustainability.

Food and Energy Resiliency

* Develop a strong foundation that will enhance the food and agricultural self-sufficiency. About 85 percent of our food is imported. We hope to reduce our reliance on imports and increase our food security.

* Committed to meeting the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative’s (HCEI) benchmarks. Resiliency in food and energy will have positive effects on our local job market and economy.

* Advance the HCEI. Significant progress has been made toward our goal of increasing the amount of locally produced, renewable energy.

* Align government regulations and policies with clean energy goals, facilitate processes for developing renewable energy, deploy renewable generation and grid infrastructure, and explore next-generation technologies and new applications of existing technologies.

* Encourage food resiliency across Hawaii by increasing production and consumption of locally grown food. The Senate will examine the progress of the HCEI and consider replicating those efforts into a workable Food Resiliency Initiative.

Supporting People, Strengthening Communities

* Continue to support programs to ensure that our keiki, kupuna, families and individuals are protected by supporting organizations that provide essential education, health, housing and welfare services.

* Education of our keiki remains a top priority. Collaborating with educators and interested stakeholders to identify educational needs and opportunities will help prepare our students to reach their potential and encourage them to be successful, productive members of the community.

* Support and strengthen Hawaii’s public higher education system, mindful that each of our 10 campuses is helping to prepare our students for career success.

Government Efficiency and Accountability

* Work toward greater efficiency across all branches of government by streamlining collaboration and communication with county, state and federal levels including stakeholders, private businesses and nonprofit organizations.

* Support accountability and transparency by insisting on high standards of ethical conduct and open decision-making.

* Encourage long-term planning and efficiency efforts to change the character and delivery of government services.

* Draw on the recommendations of the Senate Special Committee on Accountability for the improvement of the operational and financial management of University of Hawaii and continue to support it as it carries out those recommendations and initiatives.

Call me at 586-6090.

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