The Republican Caucus today announced it is moving forward with committee assignments regardless of the Minority Democrats dispute with Speaker Say. The committee lineup highlights the strengths of each of its eight members, including the three Republican freshmen who will bring a wealth of experience to their subject committees.
Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson, a graduate of Moanalua High School and Yale University, will serve on both the Education and Higher Education committees. Representative Johanson gained experience in higher education administration, serving in various capacities at Yale University following his graduation, and during his tenure at the White House where he oversaw presidential appointments for senior positions within the U.S. Department of Education.
“As a proud product of Hawai`i public schools and the representative of three school complexes, including my alma mater, I am excited to represent my district on the education committees and stand as a strong advocate for Hawai`i’s schools,” said Representative Johanson.
Another Republican freshman, Rep. George Fontaine will bring his 25 years of experience as a captain in the Maui Police Department to the Committee on Public Safety.
“After years spent in the Maui Police Department, dealing with public safety issues on a daily basis, I’m eager to bring those experiences to the table as a legislator and start improving public safety from a different perspective,” said Representative Fontaine.
Like Representatives Johanson and Fontaine, Rep. Gil Riviere brings years of community service to the State Capitol both as President of Keep the North Shore Country and as a member of the North Shore Neighborhood Board.
“My first choice was to serve on the Committee on Agriculture because the decisions made by this committee closely affect the heart of my district, which contains much of Oahu’s agricultural lands and many of its farms,” said Representative Riviere.
Other notable assignments include Rep. Cynthia Thielen returning for her 21st year on the Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, Rep. Barbara C. Marumoto using her experience on the Committee on Economic Development, Business and Military Affairs (EBM), Rep. Kymberly Marcos Pine joining Representative Marumoto for the first time on EBM, Rep. Corinne Ching applying her small business and historical preservation expertise to the Committee of Tourism, Culture and International Affairs, and Rep. Gene Ward returning to the Committee on Finance.
In total, the eight members of the Republican Caucus will cover 30 positions on the 18 different subject committees in the State House.
“The Republican caucus is organized and ready to move forward with three talented freshman and five veteran legislators who are ready to use their skills to attend to the important issues facing the State of Hawai`i,” said Minority Leader Ward. “Additionally, on Tuesday, January 17, we will be presenting our comprehensive legislative package, which will further emphasize that we are laser-focused on achieving meaningful solutions that position our state for long-term prosperity. It’s not just about who we are now, it’s about investing in our future and ensuring our children’s success for decades to come.”
The House Republican Legislative Package works to:
- Ensure taxes are not raised
- Control government spending and maintain fiscal discipline
- Increase government accountability and reduce the size and scope of government
- Create an economic environment to help local businesses thrive, create jobs and attract international investments
- Stimulate and accelerate student learning
Together, the five areas are best described as a dynamic initiative which links our people, their knowledge and ideas with sound, common-sense policies that will increase Hawai`i’s competitiveness in today’s ever expanding global economy.