Mahalo for Your Testimony!

Yesterday was our first lateral deadline, where all measures must be in their last committee before crossing over to the Senate on March 7. As Vice Chair of the House Committee on Water & Land, much of my time over the past two weeks has been spent preparing for and conducting numerous committee hearings. Mahalo to all of you who have come out via Zoom and in person to offer testimony.

HB2544 - Essential Medical Air Transportation Pilot Project

I am very grateful to our community for hearing the call to action and getting testimony submitted. Thanks to your support, HB2544 was passed out of the Health committee and is awaiting a hearing in the Finance committee. We received over

64 pieces of testimony for this measure. My hope is that this bill continues to move forward as the details are worked out with State agencies and the private sector. The stories reported in the testimony are heart-wrenching and emphasized Molokai and Lānaʻi's dire need for dependable transportation for off-island nonemergency medical care.

Fortunately, most of the bills I've introduced have made it to their last committee, and a final push will be needed so they will pass the House and continue to the Senate for crossover. Your testimony is much needed and appreciated as we continue the legislative process. Please contact us anytime at (808) 586-6790 or [email protected]

Me ke aloha,


WAL Chair Ichiyama with Vice Chair Poepoe on Agriculture Day at the Capitol

Evolving the

Commission on Water Resource Management

On February 8th, the House Committee on Water & Land heard Rep. Poepoeʻs bill (HB2703) which proposes to provide more autonomy to the CWRM and better protect our water resources through amending some of the current administrative practices of the Commission. If passed, this bill replaces the position of Deputy to the Chairperson of the Commission on Water Resource Management with the position of Executive Officer, who will be appointed and managed by the Commission. It authorizes CWRM to retain independent legal counsel. It also makes the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources an ex officio member of the Commission and provides that the Commission shall elect a chairperson from amongst its members. This bill requires the Commission on Water Resource Management and the Department of Land and Natural Resources to establish procedures and safeguards to avoid conflicts of interest.

Check out the video below, which shows a small portion of the hearing with a discussion between DLNR Chair Chang and WAL Vice Chair Poepoe regarding reorganizing CWRM.

Rep. Poepoe discussing her CWRM bill (HB2703) with DLNR's Dawn Chang

We've Expanded our Email List!

Though we are very excited to reach so many of you by email, we understand that some may not wish to receive these updates.

To unsubscribe, you may reply to this email with the message "unsubscribe" and we will remove your email address from the list.

Announcing CIP Funds Released for District Projects!

$467,310.00 Released to finance the construction of cesspool closeouts and replacement with Individual Wastewater Systems at Hāna Airport

$945,000.00 Released for design and construction to reroof and provide structural repairs to the Care Home at Kalaupapa, Molokai.

Congratulations to Na Moku Aupuni O Ko'olau Hui

On February 9th, Nā Moku Aupuni o Koʻolau Hui acquired a 65-year long-term lease to Ke'anae Uka and a lo'i kalo project site. This past Fall, the Chair and memberʻs of the House Committee on Finance were fortunate to visit Ke'anae Uka. We were greatly impressed by the stewardship of the non-profit Nā Moku ʻAupuni ʻo Koʻolau Hui and their work in educating, perpetuating, serving, and protecting the historical, spiritual, traditional, and environmental well-being of Keʻanae and Wailuanui. Nā Moku currently provides a variety of educational and cultural offerings for visiting groups, campers, and tourists. This generational community exemplifies what can be done to achieve sustainability while educating others on protecting and respecting our ʻaina.

Hearings 101

Ever wonder how to participate in hearings? Here are some quick tips on how to navigate the Hawaiʻi State Legislature website from our Public Access Room at the Capitol:

Find all the current hearings: Click the view button on the gray "Hearing Notices" box under the picture on the Legislature's homepage (

Watch what's going on: Click the view button on the "Live & On-Demand Video" box, 

also found in the row beneath the picture. Then choose either the House or Senate 

YouTube channel. (Tip: The "Playlists" tab on the YouTube pages shows you separate 

playlists for each committee.)

Quickly find video of a bill's hearing: Enter a bill number in the search bar (upper 

right) on the Legislature's website. On the status page, the YouTube link in the Hearing Notices box will open the hearing video.

Past informational briefings: Use the "Reports & Lists" page and select the "Hearing 

Notices" bar. This is helpful when you want to review any of the budget briefings conducted by the money committees last month.

Need help signing up for emailed hearing notices or offering testimony? Visit the 

"Engagement 101" page on PAR's website ( for instructions and 

videos. Or reach out to PAR for help (Email or call 808-587-0478) – they will walk you through it!

Come Visit the Capitol!

The Capitol is completely reopened to the public. However, it will continue to offer hybrid options for hearings and testimony. Following is specific information that may be helpful:

Capitol Hours: Building hours for the State Capitol are 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. Photo identification is required for entry into the building. All guests will receive an entry wristband upon completing the security checkpoint.

Paid Public Parking: The Capitol parking lot has reopened for paid public parking.

Rep. Mahina Poepoe

District 13 House of Representatives

415 S. Beretania Street Room 331

Honolulu, HI 96813

(808) 586-6790


Facebook  Instagram