DOE Stimulus Spending
Senator Slom was interviewed by Hawaii News Now Jim Mendoza (photo above) on the subject of federal stimulus fund spending by the Department of Education (DOE). You can read and view the report at the following link:
Reapportionment Commission Votes on Final Redistricting
The Hawaii State Reapportionment Commission voted on the final redistricting plans yesterday at a meeting held at the State Capitol.
Now that the plans have been finalized the Commission will submit those plans to the the Chief Elections Officer. The Chief Elections officer will then have to publish the final plans by October 10, 2011. The Reapportionment Commission has to also file a report to the Hawaii State Legislature by December 29.
The redistricting maps were redrawn after the commission voted earlier this month to extract certain people residing in the state out of the population count for redistricting purposes, even though the U.S. Census Bureau includes them in the official count. We are talking mainly about military personnel, prisoners and college student populations.
Outspoken critics who opposed counting everyone continually forced the issue eventually getting the council to reconsider their original 8 to 1 vote to include the entire population and go with one of 3 population extraction plans (Extraction A). The opponents cited a 1992 state constitutional amendment as the basis for their opposition in hopes of getting a new Senate district for the Big Island. With extraction A, that did not happen.
Governor Neil Abercrombie weighed into the issue after sending a letter (9-12-2011) to the Reapportionment Commission stating “my strong support for drawing the lines on the basis of residency,” continuing that “the alternative of including non-residents in the count severely distorts the actual population shifts which have taken place across Hawaii over the past 10 years”.
Last month, the Honolulu Council Reapportionment Commission reached a decision to count all residents including military and dependents, students and prisoners residing in the State of Hawaii as it redrew lines for the Honolulu City Council districts.
Several individuals stated that the legislature needs to define what a “permanent resident” is in order to have clarity on the issue at the next reapportionment 10 years from now.
The possibility of a lawsuit on the residency issue looms in the near future.
The State’s proposed redistricting plans for congressional and legislative districts are available on the commission’s website at the following URL:
Copies are also available for public inspection at the main branch of the Hawaii State Public Library in downtown Honolulu, the City & County of Honolulu Clerk’s Office in Honolulu Hale, downtown Honolulu and the Kaimuki Public Library, 1041 Koko Head Ave.
The Oahu Apportionment Advisory Council will be holding another meeting public meeting at the State Capitol Room 312 on Thursday, September 29 starting at 1:00 p.m. The council will report on comments they got from various public meetings at neighborhood boards, community associations the the Reapportionment Commission itself. They will also discuss and take action or make recommendations on the Reapportionment Commission’s Final Report to the State Legislature.
Senate Confirms Karen Nakasone as New Circuit Court Judge
The Hawaii State Senate completed a two-day special session on September 1 and confirmed Karen Nakasone as the State’s newest judge to the First Circuit Court of Hawaii.
The Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee one of 14 that I am the minority member of, held a hearing for Ms. Nakasone’s confirmation on Monday, August 29. The testimony was highly favorable and her nomination unanimously passed out of committee on August 31 after the special session was gaveled into order. The full senate completed the process on September 1 with a 22 – 0 vote, 3 being absent. I was among the Senators who voted in her favor.
Governor Abercrombie nominated Karen Nakasone to the First Circuit Court on August 15. Since 1996 until her appointment, Ms. Nakasone was a Public Defender for the City & County of Honolulu. Prior to serving in the Office of the Public Defender, she served as a law clerk to the Judge Simeon Acoba, Jr. in the Intermediate Court of Appeals. She earned her law degree from Boston University School of Law, and holds a B.A. in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College.