Keeping Current Troops And Saving Military Jobs
Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz
Happy New Year! I hope you had a great holiday season.
As we prepare for opening day of the Legislature Jan. 21, we would like to share with you the following information that will help you stay current on our work during the session.
Our legislative website provides tools that will allow you to track specific issues that may be of interest, review hearing notices and submit testimony on bills scheduled for a committee hearing. You can search and track online at capitol.hawaii.gov.
For selected scheduled hearings, Capitol TV provides a live stream online. Log on to capitoltv.org for more information and a broadcast schedule.
The Legislature’s public access room offers information and assistance on the bill-making process. Stop by the office at the State Capitol, room 401.
On-hand staff have many resources available to assist the public throughout the legislative session. You also can find these resources online at lrbhawaii.org/par, or call 587-0478.
Keep Hawaii’s Heroes
The Keep Hawaii’s Heroes campaign is gathering support in an effort to avoid a massive cut in the work-force at Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter. The Army is considering downsizing the force at Schofield by 16,000 and Fort Shafter by 3,800 for a total reduction of 19,800. In addition, Hawaii would lose more than 30,000 family members, bringing the total to nearly 50,000. That accounts for 5 percent of Oahu’s population. Hawaii’s economy would lose more than $1.35 billion as well as a loss of $9.2 million in sales tax receipts.
The cutbacks would severely impact the economy of Central Oahu. In addition, the Army provides valuable support locally as it has partnered with the community on many projects, especially at the public schools where they offer academic help through mentoring and tutoring.
The goal is to gather more than 40,000 signatures by Jan. 20. Schofield and Fort Shafter are among 30 Army installations nationwide being evaluated for potential cutbacks. Other jurisdictions are conducting their own campaigns to preserve troop strength.
No decisions will be made until each installation has had an opportunity to describe the impacts on their respective locations. We encourage everyone to sign the petition by going online at keephawaiisheroes.org. We want to assure that we reach the number we need.
The public is invited to attend an Army-hosted community listening session regarding the proposed personnel reduction in Hawaii at: Hale Koa Hotel, DeRussy Hall, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Jan. 27 or the same time Jan. 28 in Leilehua High School cafeteria.
This is your chance to show your support and let the Army know we need and want the Army at its present numbers in Hawaii, and we need to show that we support our troops as well.