Better Government – Young people in politics

Host Beth Fukumoto, Director of Minority Research, at the Hawaii State House of Representatives, discusses young people in politics with guests Marc Takei, Legislative Analyst/researcher and Sarah M. Fukumoto Chief of Staff for the Office of the Minority Leader


Foodland should go to Kalama Valley

A10 >>Monday 7/23/2012

Yes, Hawaii Kai loves Foodland. (“Foodland considering a return to     Hawaii Kai,” Star-Advertiser, July 20).

This was clearly shown by our fight to keep their store open in Koko   Marina as long as possible.

But Hawaii Kai residents love their community more than they love Foodland, and residents are very concerned about over-development, traffic congestion and a lack of carrying capacity of our infrastructure.

Instead of a strip mall on the “great lawn,” which is the signature parcel across from Maunalua Bay which welcomes you to Hawaii Kai and its beauty and lifestyle, Foodland would better serve the community by downsizing and relocating in the still-empty Kalama Valley Shopping Center.

Of the people I’ve spoken to, 75 percent oppose the proposal to build on Kamehameha Schools land across from Maunalua Bay.

Bottom line: Hawaii Kai doesn’t need a fourth shopping center.

Rep. Gene Ward
Hawaii Kai-Kalama Valley


Des Moines, Iowa – Rep. Barbara Marumoto gave a presentation on the state of renewable energy in Hawaii at the Women in Government Fourth Annual Energy Summit in Des Moines, Iowa.  She, along with other women legislators from across the U.S., are discussing current and emerging energy policies, as well as energy efficiency, innovations, and new technology.  The summit is hosted by the Women in Government Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington, D.C.


Marumoto informed her fellow legislators that Hawaii’s dependence on fossil fuels is driving the development of renewable energy and desire for greater self-sufficiency, and that Hawaii’s Clean Energy Initiative (70% clean energy by 2030, with 40% coming from locally generated renewable sources and 30% from efficiency measures) is the most aggressive state policy in the country.


Mainland legislators are already familiar with wind energy, photovoltaic (PV) systems, and biofuel development, but Hawaii is uniquely positioned to lead the nation in the use of geothermal energy, wave energy, and ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) – a point emphasized by Marumoto.


According to Marumoto, “Since geothermal resources are found only on the neighbor islands, any energy produced there would be difficult to transmit to Oahu unless an undersea transmission cable is built.  Therefore, wind and wave energy – along with OTEC – may be the most economical and practical way to power Oahu, where most of the energy demand is located.”

Rep. Marumoto (front row, second from left) with members of the House Republican Caucus at a Kahuku wind farm.

Rep. Marumoto tours the Big Island Carbon plant.

Rep. Marumoto’s presentation handout can be downloaded from:




Justice Reinvestment

Rep. George Fontaine (R HD-11), Kihei, Wailea, Makena , The Maui Weekly   July 12, 2012

This month, I want to discuss two bills that passed this year and became law last month. Much of the driving force behind SB 2776 and HB 2515 comes from the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), which is part of the Council of State Governments – Justice Center.

Initially, there was some misinformation about what these bills were addressing and how the criminal justice system in Hawai’i would be affected. Some people feared that these bills would cause early release for prisoners. Others thought these bills were just about bringing more prisoners back from incarceration on the Mainland.

The reality is that these new laws, known as Act 139 and Act 140, are much more comprehensive than this. The goal is to enhance public safety, reduce recidivism (percentage of criminals that commit another crime after serving a sentence), and to scale the justice system to become more cost effective. It was for these reasons that I supported this legislation. I voted for HB 2515 in conference committee and I also voted in favor of SB 2776 in the House Judiciary Committee.

The three-part objective of Justice Reinvestment is to first analyze data and develop policy options; second, adopt new policies and put reinvestment strategies into place; and finally, measure performance.

Justice Reinvestment has had success in states such as Arizona and Texas. In Arizona, the legislature passed the Safe Communities Act in 2008. As a result, “the number of probationers who were convicted for another felony crime while on supervision also declined from 3,174 to 2,188, a decline of 31 percent” ( In 2006, Texas passed legislation based on Justice Reinvestment research. As a result, “between 1997 and 2006, the number of probation revocations to prison increased 18 percent, despite a three percent decline in the total number of persons under community supervision” (

Act 139 and Act 140 will allow the State of Hawai’i to provide a variety of opportunities for prisoners to rehabilitate. Research has shown that it is more effective to provide a variety of programs and opportunities for prisoners to rehabilitate; this approach is a more scalable-solution than more rigid one-size-fits-all solutions.

Here are some more benefits of these new laws:

Increases the amount of restitution paid to victims from 10 percent to 25 percent of any deposit made to an inmate’s account.

Savings are estimated at $9 million by the end of FY 2013 up to $26 million by FY 2015.

Increase capacity for victim services.

Approximately $1 million will be invested to enhance community-based treatment programs.

Pre-trial delays for risk assessment will be eliminated.

The data analysis portion of this plan is extremely important. Justice Reinvestment means that Hawai’i will be able to move in the direction of putting in place a sophisticated projection model for forecasting the growth of the state’s prison population. Up until this time, Hawai’i did not have this forecasting ability. Now the Department of Public Safety and lawmakers will have new analysis tools to help plan for the future.

If you need to contact me with any issues or concerns regarding Justice Reinvestment, please call my office at (808) 586-8525 or email

To receive an electronic version of our newsletter, visit  If you need to contact me with any issues or concerns regarding South Maui, please call my office at (808) 586-8525 or email  To receive an electronic version of our newsletter, visit


As of July 10, four 2012 Legislative session bills to curb Hawaii’s growing cyber crime trend have become law. A measure to combat cyber bullying (HB 2295) was signed by the Governor on June 28 and a measure to prohibit adults from soliciting minors to electronically transmit nude images of a minor(s) (SB 2222) was signed on July 3. On July 9, the Governor signed a measure to strengthen Hawaii’s existing computer fraud and unauthorized computer access laws (HB 1788). The Governor signed a measure allowing out-of-state records to be subpoenaed in criminal cases (HB 1777) on July 10.

As part of her efforts to protect cyber crime victims and aid law enforcement, Representative Kymberly Marcos Pine worked closely with prosecutors and victims throughout the legislative session.

“One of my major focuses this session was to protect victims from cyber criminals,” said Rep. Pine. “I am delighted that the Legislature passed these important measures and the Governor recognized the seriousness of cyber crime and its devastating effect on the people of Hawaii. These new laws give hope to victims that their perpetrators will be prosecuted.”

Under these laws, prosecutors and law enforcement will have increased ability to investigate, obtain evidence, and bring cyber criminals to justice with new or stiffer penalties.