Capital Improvement Projects Appropriations Released

Representative Barbara Marumoto is happy to hear that the state administration has released her $550,000 appropriation to design a new women’s locker and shower room at Kalani High School.  The Kaimuki-Kahala community has not seen a new building on the Kalani campus for decades. This gender equity project will be a welcome addition.

Marumoto also welcomes $50,500 for replacement of an electrical transformer at Leahi Hospital.




Rep. Marumoto takes fellow Representatives on a tour of Kalani High School.

House Republicans oppose proposed GET increase

September 11, 2012

Honolulu – Today, House Republicans presented a letter to the Tax Review Commission opposing the commission’s proposal to increase the GET and other taxes. In the letter, Republicans argue that increasing taxes would hurt Hawaii’s most vulnerable citizens and negatively impact Hawaii’s economic recovery.

The letter reads as follows:

“Dear Chair Iwase and Members:

The House Minority Caucus would like to express its appreciation to The PFM Group for their work in developing their report titled Study of the Hawai‘i Tax System: Final Report, dated August 28, 2012.  We would like to note that the report contains a number of recommendations we agree with and support including the elimination of the .5 percent GET and Use Tax rate on business-to-business transactions, the elimination of the individual income tax on the first $20,000 of adjusted gross income, the increase of refundable food/excise tax income tax credits, and improvements in tax administration.  These recommendations would improve system efficiency and reduce taxes on low-income individuals.

Unfortunately, the report also contains a number of recommendations that we vehemently oppose.  The most egregious of these recommendations are the increase of the GET rate from 4.0 percent to 4.5 percent (which is actually an increase to 5 percent for the majority of people of Hawai‘i), the implementation of income tax on pension income, the elimination of the income tax deduction for property taxes paid, and the increase of the corporate income tax rate.  We find these recommendations, as well as others in the report, disappointing and disagreeable as they increase taxes on individuals and businesses placing a greater burden upon them.

This is especially problematic given the state of Hawai‘i’s economy and the significant cost of living faced by residents of the state.  An increase in taxes would be a detriment to individuals and businesses at this most inopportune of times.  Rather than exploring ways to increase revenue, we believe government spending should be curtailed and be done in a smarter and more efficient manner.

Furthermore, we feel the business climate should be improved in the state through improved regulatory procedures and greater government efficiency.  A more business-friendly environment would help companies conduct business thereby growing the economy and helping the people of Hawai‘i.”


McMurdo reformed state Legislature



August 23, 2012

As an “independent” at the 1978 Constitutional Convention, I agreed with citizen leaders like Mary-Jane McMurdo that Hawaii needed the power of initiative in the state Constitution. Later I encouraged Mary-Jane to run for elected office, but was unsuccessful at getting her to run as a Republican. Mary-Jane continued to be a strong outspoken senator for the Sandy Beach initiative and keeping the convention center out of Fort DeRussy.

I will also remember her for encouraging an end to alcohol-laced opening-day parties at the Legislature. In the old days there were many lavish receptions and a few went on into the wee hours. After Mary-Jane railed against these festivities, the open houses became shorter, simpler and generally non-alcoholic.

Gone are the days of dozens of bouquets, leis, plateloads of food, crowds and busloads of tourists. Opening Days have become more work-oriented. Thanks to Mary-Jane we have 60 legislative days, not just 59.

Rep. Barbara Marumoto
R-Kalani Valley, Diamond Head



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: