Legislators head to Boston forum
More than half of the 76-member state Legislature leaves next weekend for the National Conference of State Legislatures annual meeting in Boston, at a cost to taxpayers that could surpass $100,000.
Twenty-eight members of the state House and 15 members of the Senate will make the trip, along with 12 staff members from the House and seven from the Senate.
Lawmakers attending next week's National Conference of State Legislatures annual meeting in Boston:
Democrats: Roz Baker, Suzanne Chun Oakland, Carol Fukunaga, Gary Hooser, David Ige, Les Ihara, Lorraine Inouye, Donna Mercado Kim, Russell Kokubun, Ron Menor, Clarence Nishihara, Norman Sakamoto, Brian Taniguchi, Jill Tokuda and Shan Tsutsui
Republicans: Karen Awana, Lynn Finnegan, Barbara Marumoto and Colleen Meyer
Democrats: Joe Bertram, Tom Brower, Rida Cabanilla, Mele Carroll, Jerry Chang, Pono Chong, Faye Hanohano, Sharon Har, Ken Ito, Jon Riki Karamatsu, Marilyn Lee, Michael Magaoay, Joey Manahan, Angus McKelvey, John Mizuno, Marcus Oshiro, Alex Sonson, Joe Souki, K. Mark Takai, Roy Takumi, James Tokioka, Clift Tsuji, Ryan Yamane and Kyle Yamashita
Source: House and Senate Clerks' Office
The state picks up the tab for airfare and convention registration, and each of the 62 Hawaii travelers gets $145 a day for food and lodging.
House Clerk Patricia Mau-Shimizu said that if the Hawaii delegates run up living expenses of more than the $145 a day, they must request to be reimbursed. House Speaker Calvin Say or Senate President Colleen Hanabusa must authorize the additional expenses, she said.
Total per diem expenses are estimated at $45,000, and airfare could range from $40,300 to nearly $70,000 for the entire delegation.
Several of the Hawaii senators will be involved in presentations during the Aug. 5-9 convention. Sen. Carol Fukunaga will co-chair a two-day session on Internet policy, dubbed "Connecting America: Broadband Policy Issues and Options for State Legislatures."
Sen. Lorraine Inouye is expected to moderate a discussion on waterways and ports. She is vice chairwoman of the NCSL transportation committee. Sen. Russell Kokubun is also expected to give a presentation on sustainable growth.
Some of the other topics on the agenda include charting new trade policies, legislative flexibility in federal aid to needy families, and reforming and expanding access to health care.
Delegates will also be treated to a "Grand Spectacular at Fenway Park," closing ceremonies with the Boston Pops, and dinner and entertainment at the Boston waterfront's Bank of America Pavilion.