HIILO, Hawaii – Lawmakers listened at a community meeting in Hilo on Saturday.
Hosted by Representative Richard Onishi, the event gave House leadership the chance to brief the community of the 2013 legislative session and hear feedback on issues that matter to constituents.
Joining Onishi were State House Vice Speaker John Mizuno, Majority Leader Scott Saiki, Majority Floor Leader Karen Awana, and Big Island State Representatives Mark Nakashima, Clift Tsuji and Faye Hanohano.
What they heard was a lot about the University of Hawaii-College of Pharmacy, which the state house failed to appropriate funding for this session, even the state senate did so in their version of the proposed budget. The room was full of university supporters, and the audience pleaded with the lawmakers to consider the project next session. Representative Clift Tsuji tried to explain.
Another hot topic was Genetically Modified Organisims, or GMO’s, which were the focus of some high profile measures this session.
County officials also tried to advocate for certain home rule issues during the meeting.