State of Hawaii Archives: on Jobs

David Ige: Make Hawaii farms more sustainable; above 15% level now

We need to support agriculture and help our local farmers dramatically increase the amount of food we grow locally. Hawaii grows about 10% to 15% of the total foods residents consume. If we are to become a sustainable society, we must increase those numbers.

The cost of importing foods adds up to more than $3 billion leaving the state annually. If we replace just 10% of imports with locally grown food, it would generate $188 million in total sales, $94 million for farmers, $47 million in wages, $6 million in new taxes and 2,300 jobs.

To do that, we need to preserve farm lands, develop agricultural parks, combat invasive species, and reassess the areas that determine whether a local farmer can survive.

We will be meeting with farmers from each island to hear what they need to make Hawaii more self-sufficient. In the meantime, we are adding $5 million to the agriculture loan program and expanding use of the fund to include biosecurity and food safety needs.

Source: State of the State address to 2015 Hawaii Legislature Jan 26, 2015

Mark Takai: Equal pay for equal work for men and women

Throughout my twenty years of service in the State Legislature, I've stood up for our workers without exception. I have and always will oppose legislation designed to break unions. I will be a champion in Congress for workers and fight to make it easier to organize.

I believe there are many businesses that on their own do right by their employees in terms of pay and benefits. But too many employers continue to reject the idea of progressive workplace values--where men and women workers are treated equally, with dignity and respect. It's in these workplaces where unions play a critical role in fighting to ensure fairness, equal pay for equal work, strong workplace safety standards and reasonable job protections.

Source: 2014 Hawaii House campaign website, Nov 4, 2014

Neil Abercrombie: Put money back into state Employer-Union Trust Fund

Q: Are you satisfied with the current plans to pay for the state's unfunded liabilities?

IGE: Last year Hawaii became the first state in the country to enact a plan for handling unfunded liabilities for the State Employer Union Health Benefits Trust Fund.

ABERCROMBIE: The Employer-Union Trust Fund (EUTF) has never been prefunded until my administration came into office. With our financial turnaround of the state's finances, we've started to put money back into the EUTF to address its unfunded liabilities. Working with the Legislature, we passed Act 268 in 2013 to statutorily establish an annual required contribution. Hawaii was one of the first states to really address the unfunded liability for Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB).

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat Q&A on 2014 Hawaii gubernatorial race Jul 23, 2014

Neil Abercrombie: 2-year agreement with Legislature to raise the minimum wage

Q: Hawaii's cost of living is the highest in the country by many indicators. What can really be done to make things like housing, food and transportation less expensive?

ABERCROMBIE: We must acknowledge that living in the middle of the Pacific comes at a cost. After two years of lobbying the Legislature, I am pleased that we have finally come to an agreement to raise the minimum wage. Raising the purchasing power of our residents through higher incomes not only benefits our citizens directly, it also helps to stimulate our economy.

IGE: We must build homes that Hawaii's working families can afford--not luxury condominiums for out-of-state speculators. With average new home prices approaching $700,000, there needs to be leadership to increase the supply of housing at all price points while protecting Hawaii's natural beauty. The construction of the Honolulu rail system provides the opportunity for Transit Oriented Development incorporating housing along its 21-mile route.

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat Q&A on 2014 Hawaii gubernatorial race Jul 23, 2014

Linda Lingle: OpEd:Did nothing to save jobs when Aloha Airlines went under

And as the hour flew by, the attacks kept coming. "Who can forget Furlough Fridays on her watch or the Superferry fiasco? Or the fact that 2,000 jobs were lost when Aloha Airlines went under--direct jobs--while [Lingle] sat on her hands," said Hirono.

"It's just too risky to send my opponent to the Senate. [Hirono]'s not a strong leader, has no history of getting things done and doesn't work well with others," said Lingle.

Source: KITV coverage of 2012 Hawaii Senate debate Oct 17, 2012

Benjamin Cayetano: Increase the minimum wage

Last year, I asked you to increase the minimum wage. Our bill was bottled up in committee and died. I will again submit a new bill and ask you to support it. An increase will uplift the lives of more than 16,000 of Hawaiiís workers. If we want more people to get off welfare and back into the workforce letís make sure they get paid a decent wage, and letís do it now.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to Hawaii Legislature Jan 22, 2001

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