By Representative Gene Ward – May 25, 2017 – Civil Beat
From reducing poverty to increasing affordable housing, lawmakers could have done much better for the people of Hawaii.
In the wake of the 2017 legislative session, some commenters have given the Legislature an undeserved pat on the back. The truth is that we could and should have done much better for the people of Hawaii this session.
The heart of a strong, healthy democracy should be vigorous debate. Unfortunately, outside observers agree that this was a banner year for secrecy and behind-the-scenes maneuvering at the Legislature.
As former Speaker Rep. Joe Souki – who wasn’t “former” until the final hours of the 2017 session – recently admitted, “We are always secretive. It’s part of being a legislator.”
When it came to doing the people’s business, the Legislature repeatedly dropped the ball.
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