State HouseThe state House is coming back next year almost the same as this year, with Rep. Calvin Say as speaker, Rep. Dwight Takamine as Finance Committee chairman and Rep. Eric Hamakawa as Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee chairman.
Calvin Say will be
the speaker; a few
committee chairs change
By Richard Borreca
The 32 Democrats in the House voted yesterday by secret ballot on a slate put together by Say. In almost all cases, the slate maintained the status quo.
Rep. Ed Case left his majority leader position after a series of disagreements with House leadership. Former Vice Speaker Marcus Oshiro becomes Democratic leader and Rep. Sylvia Luke, who was an assistant floor leader last year, becomes vice speaker.
While Say had recommended that a former speaker, Rep. Joe Souki, take over as chairman of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee, the representatives voted, 16-15, in favor of Rep. Ken Hiraki as chairman.
The tension lingering from the departure of Case as a leader in the House remained, however, because Case said Takamine and Hamakawa, who are both from the Big Island and draw their support from labor unions, are part of the Democratic past.
"It is a past philosophy that doesn't work well now. It is a 1960s Democrat philosophy," Case said.
He said both the House and Senate have heavy union representation on all the key committees, while unions only represent about 15 percent of the state.
Takamine, a labor lawyer, declined to comment on Case's charges.
Speaker: Calvin Say
The lineup in the House
Vice speaker: Sylvia Luke
Democratic leader: Marcus Oshiro
Democratic floor leader: Marilyn Lee
Agriculture chairman: Jun Abinsay
Consumer Protection chairman: Ken Hiraki
Economic Development & Business Concerns chairwoman: Lei Ahu Isa
Education chairman: Ken Ito
Energy and Environmental Protection chairwoman: Hermina Morita
Finance chairman: Dwight Takamine
Health chairman: Dennis Arakaki
Higher Education chairman: Roy Takumi
Human Services and Housing chairman: Michael Kahikina
Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs chairman: Eric Hamakawa
Labor and Public Employment chairwoman: Terry Yoshinaga
Legislative Management chairman: Nathan Suzuki
Public Safety and Military Affairs chairman: Nestor Garcia
Tourism chairman: Jerry Chang
Water and Land Use chairman: Ezra Kanoho