Archive for the ‘Representative George Fontaine’ Category

Rep. Gene Ward Addresses HR88 and HCR117 – Micronesia; Palau; Marshall Islands

April 13, 2013

HR88 – URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO INCLUDE RESIDENT CITIZENS OF THE FREELY ASSOCIATED STATES AS “QUALIFIED ALIENS” UNDER THE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND WORK OPPORTUNITY RECONCILIATION ACT IN RECOGNITION OF THEIR UNIQUE HISTORIC AND ONGOING SACRIFICES AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Report Title: Micronesia; Palau; Marshall Islands; Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act
4/12/2013 H Reported from JUD (Stand. Com. Rep. No. 1636) as amended in HD 1, recommending adoption.
4/12/2013 H Adopted as amended in HD 1 with Ward voting aye with reservations; none voting no (0) and Har, McDermott, Oshiro, Tokioka excused (4).
4/12/2013 H Resolution adopted in final form.

HCR117- URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO INCLUDE RESIDENT CITIZENS OF THE FREELY ASSOCIATED STATES AS “QUALIFIED ALIENS” UNDER THE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND WORK OPPORTUNITY RECONCILIATION ACT IN RECOGNITION OF THEIR UNIQUE HISTORIC AND ONGOING SACRIFICES AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Report Title: Micronesia; Palau; Marshall Islands; Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act
4/12/2013 H Reported from JUD (Stand. Com. Rep. No. 1637) as amended in HD 1, recommending adoption.
4/12/2013 H Adopted as amended in HD 1 with Ward voting aye with reservations; none voting no (0) and Har, McDermott, Oshiro, Tokioka excused (4).
4/12/2013 H Transmitted to Senate.

ward HSC 117 88 photoContact: repward@capitol.hawaii.gov Excerpt from Capitol TV

Fontaine Factor – Rotary Club — District 5000

October 18, 2012

Date:  Tuesday, October 16
Topic:  Rotary Club — District 5000

Host:  Representative George Fontaine / HD 11
Guest 1: Chet Dal Santo — District Governor / Rotary District 5000
Guest 2: Clint Schroeder – Metropolitan Honolulu Rotary Club Chair – District
Vocational Chair

Contact:  repfontaine@capitol.hawaii.gov

Fontaine Factor — Veterans Services in Hawaii

September 27, 2012

Host:  Representative George Fontaine / HD 11 speaks with
Guest 1: Ron Han / Director — Office of Veterans Services and
Guest 2: Robert Kent / Veteran Services Officer American Legion
Vice Commander Disabled Veteran Americans

Contact: repfontaine@capitol.hawaii.gov

House Republicans oppose proposed GET increase

September 11, 2012

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.”

HMIN_Letter_10_11_2012

Better Government – State and Federal issues Aug. 2012

August 21, 2012

Representative George Fontaine discusses state and federal issues with Charles Djou and Beth Fukumoto, Minority Director at the  Hawaii state capitol.

Contact:  repfontaine@capitol.hawaii.gov

Fontaine Factor-Economic Development & Community Action

August 21, 2012

Host:  Representative George Fontaine / HD 11

Guest 1: Debbie Cabebe / Chief Programs Officer – Maui Economic Opportunity inc.
Guest 2: Karl Espaldon, Esq., Director of Planning, Pgm. Development & Communications – Honolulu Action Program.

Contact repfontaine@capitol.hawaii.gov

Fontaine Factor – Hawaii Charter Schools

July 20, 2012

Host:  Representative George Fontaine / HD 11
Guest 1: Lynn Finnegan / Exec. Director of Hawaii Public Charter Schools Network
Guest 2: Representative Aaron Ling Johanson / HD 32

contact:  repfontaine@capitol.hawaii.gov

Justice Reinvestment

July 16, 2012

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” (justicereinvestment.org). 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” (justicereinvestment.org).

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 repfontaine@capitol.hawaii.gov.

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

Fontaine Factor – Justice Reinvestment Initiative

June 25, 2012

Host:  Representative George Fontaine / HD 11
Guest 1: Ted Sakai, Director Public Safety
Guest 2: Andrew Barbee, Council of State Governments Justice Center

Contact: repfontaine@capitol.hawaii.gov

Better Government with Reps. Fontaine, Marumoto and Senator Slom

June 25, 2012

Representative George Fontaine hosts a conversation about the 2012 Legislature with Representative Barbara Marumoto and Senator Sam Slom.

Contacts:  repfontaine@capitol.hawaii.gov, senslom@capitol.hawaii.gov, repmarumoto@capitol.hawaii.gov