PAHOA, Hawaii – A special meeting between the public and Hawaii State House leadership will take place tonight in Puna.
During a community meeting held Wednesday night (Nov. 4) in Pahoa, State Senator Russell Ruderman talked about the trouble he has had convincing the state legislature to take Puna’s problems seriously.
“I’m sorry to sound like a victim mentality, but its very hard to get he state to care about Puna,” Ruderman said during the meeting. “Its very hard. If we’re looking for the state to step in and say ‘we really care about what’s going on in Puna, we’re gonna give you money to fix it’ … That’s not gonna happen.”
However, Puna residents will have a chance to express their feelings directly to state lawmakers tonight at the same location.
Puna’s State House Representative Joy San Buenaventura has arranged for State House leadership and Big Island representatives “to hear feedback on issues that matter to constituents” at a meeting set for Thursday evening (Nov. 5) at the Pahoa Community Center. The event begins at 5 p.m. and is scheduled to go on for two hours.
Joining Rep. San Buenaventura will be House Speaker Joe Souki, Vice Speaker John M. Mizuno, Majority Leader Scott Saiki, Majority Floor Leader Cindy Evans, Finance Chair Sylvia Luke, Rep. Mark Nakashima and Rep. Richard Creagan.
Meanwhile, Sen. Ruderman will continue his community meeting series in Kea’au at the Neighborhood Place of Puna (16-105 Opukahaia Street) starting at 6 p.m.
MORE: Sen. Ruderman talk story (Nov. 4 in Pahoa)