Meet the Caucus!

The House Minority Caucus is made up of five members.

photoRep. Gene Ward – Minority Leader (District 17)

Room 318
repward@capitol.hawaii.gov
(808) 586-6420

 

photoRep. Lauren Matsumoto – Minority Floor Leader (District 45)

Room 315
repmatsumoto@capitol.hawaii.gov
(808) 586-9490

 

photo

Rep. Bob McDermott – Asst. Minority Leader (District 40)

Room 330
repmcdermott@capitol.hawaii.gov
(808) 586-9730

 

photoRep. Cynthia Thielen – Asst. Minority Floor Leader (District 50)

Room 443
repthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov
(808) 586-6420

 

photoRep. Val Okimoto – Minority Whip (District 36)

Room 319
repokimoto@capitol.hawaii.gov
(808) 586-9460

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2019 Caucus Package

Calling all Kama‘aina!

We want to make Hawaii more affordable for you and your family! Our 2019 Caucus Package focuses on economical, educational, and medical efforts to make Hawaii a reasonable place to live.

How you can get involved!

The 2019 legislative session begins in January. We need your help! If these bill ideas resonate with you:

  • Voice your support! Contact your representative and encourage them to vote in support of these bills.
  • Suggestions! Make an appointment with a Republican legislator to discuss the bills.
  • Testify! Attend the hearings during the legislative session and testify in support of the bill or submit testimony online at capitol.hawaii.gov.

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More about the bill ideas:

Kama’aina Come Home
The cost of living in Hawaii is one of the highest in the nation and as a result, more of our families are relocating out of state for better financial security. This bill establishes a qualified returning resident down payment program funded by revenues collected from real estate investment trusts. With the return of our Kama’aina, it will strengthen our local economy through social, economic, and cultural growth.

Building Wealth For Renters
The path to home ownership becomes out of reach for families in Hawaii when a large portion of their income goes to paying high rents instead of going towards saving for a down payment on a house. In order to assist local renters, this rent-to-equity bill requires that developers receiving any publicly funded tax breaks or incentives to create a profit sharing agreement between the developer and tenant to eventually get families on the road to home ownership.

Cultivating Successful Futures
A little more than half of our high school graduates pursue college degrees while the rest look for other opportunities. This bill will encourage more vocational training at the high school level and give students the opportunity to learn trade skills, such as carpentry, computer technology, and photography to name a few. By expanding funding and facilitating these types of learning opportunities, we’ll be giving our young men and women a head start to their futures.

Steering Resources To Students
The Works of Art Special Fund is used to acquire and store pieces of art for State buildings. However, we see an opportunity to put these funds to better use by steering these resources to student art programs. In doing so, students will receive invaluable experiences for a well-rounded education and cultivating creativity.

Curbing The Doctor Shortage
There are limited residency programs offered at our Hawaii hospitals. As a result, our local medical school graduates are forced to pursue residency programs on the mainland and some don’t return. In order to tackle our current doctor shortage, this bill will provide state matching funds to local teaching hospitals so Hawaii can increase the number of residency spots and encourage our graduates to continue their medical practice here at home.

Making Hawaii More Affordable
Expenses definitely add up. This bill aims at making Hawaii more affordable by eliminating the General Excise Tax (GET) on food, medical services, and feminine hygiene products. This could save the family household hundreds of dollars a year – far more measurable than the current low-income tax-credit.

See the info sheet for more information on other bills in our caucus package.

2019 caucus package - final