Minority Leader’s Statement on using the Hurricane Relief Fund for Furloughs

The House Republicans will be voting in favor of taking money from the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund when the bill comes to the House floor for a vote (SB2124). Throughout the session the Republicans suggested the bill be amended to borrow from the fund instead of raiding it. Earlier this month the House Republicans released their version of the budget.

“The House Republican’s balanced budget and six year financial plan borrows funds from the Hurricane Relief Fund and pays it back in future years. That would be the responsible thing to do,” stated Minority Leader Lynn Finnegan.
The House Republicans support the Governor’s plan to give the principals, teachers and parents the decision-making ability to choose who are essential employees in order to reinstate instructional days and who will remain on the existing furlough schedule.

“The legislature and the Governor are faced with balancing our statewide budget. If done right this plan will give those closest to the students the flexibility to meet the student’s needs first,” said Finnegan.


 State Representative Cynthia Thielen (R, 50th District) hailed today President Barack Obama’s acknowledgement of wave energy as one of the crucial resources to achieve energy security for the United States.

 Speaking at Andrews Air Force Base recently, President Obama recognized Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, stating “He’s changing the way the Department of Interior does business so that we’re responsibly developing… renewable sources of energy,” including “the waves off our coasts.” 

 Rep. Thielen, an ardent supporter of wave energy technology, met with Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack, and other members of President Obama’s “Green Team” in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in January.  Rep. Thielen carried informational packets, with a cover picture of a wave energy buoy in action offshore of Marine Corps Base Hawaii.  She distributed these packets to Secretary Vilsack, as well as later to Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Carol Browner, Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy.

 “I asked all to speak with President Obama about wave energy and its tremendous potential,” Thielen said.  “Until now, the President had not included this powerful technology in any of his remarks,” she noted.  “I’m happy that my message reached the President,” she continued, “and I take it as a sign that wave energy will play a significant role in federal energy policy that will transform the way our nation generates electricity.”