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June 2019 Chamber Connection Newsletter

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President's Message | February 2019

Wishing all of you a great start to 2019!

Hopefully you’re not like me and will continue to maintain the resolutions you made January 1. Of the three I made, two have already been broken. I still have the remaining one to work on. I won’t tell you what it is, or what the others were. If I succeed with the last I may tell you. Maybe.

By the time you receive this newsletter, the 2019 Legislative Session will have convened and Governor Ige will have given his State of the State message. We anticipate several bills which we support or oppose. President-Elect Rhea Lee-Moku is working hard through the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) to provide our Hawaii Island Legislators with our positions. Other bills may surface which we may not be aware of now. As in previous years the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce will provide testimony throughout the Session. We will also ask for your written testimony which is very important, as our Legislators must know of our position and how certain bills will affect Hawaii Island.

Some of the bills we will track relate to minimum wage increase, Airport Corporation, fuel tax increase, funding for the Hilo Medical Center, Rural Residency Program for Hilo Medical Center, funding for the University of Hawaii-Hilo, Mauna Kea issues and others. On the Hawaii County side there are the Vacation Rental issue and increase in the General Excise Tax. As I mentioned earlier, there may be other bills coming which we are not aware of.

As you can see, the Government Affairs Committee will be very busy this Legislative Session. One of ways you can help is by submitting written testimony upon the request of the GAC. We will typically have 48 hours to submit testimony to the appropriate Legislative Committee. It is very important that we stay active during the session and monitor pending bills.

Mahalo and Aloha,

Gordon Takaki

February 2019 Chamber Connection Newsletter