By Stephanie Salazar
Wednesday was the opening day of the Hawaii State Legislature.
State House of Representatives convened the 26th session of the State Legislature, and taking the helm at the very start – as per tradition – was the representative from the First District of Hamakua, Mark Nakashima.
Nakashima spent a little more time than usual that morning at the podium as the Temporary Speaker of the House, since lawmakers had yet to agree on who would be the speaker.
Eventually, the representatives unanimously elected Calvin Say – once again – as Speaker, ending an arduous pre-session power struggle.
Governors – past and present – were in attendance, and all the politicians were aware of the challenges that lie ahead.
Opening day remarks on behalf of the Democratic Majority were delivered by Rep. Blake Oshiro, Majority Leader from last session.
Republican Minority Leader Gene Ward, representing an 8 member GOP caucus, directed the attention of the house to the ambitious clean and renewable energy goals set in motion by the Lingle administration.