Our first significant deadline has passed, and bills are in their final House committee, either being heard or waiting for a hearing. I'm excited that 11 of the 16 bills I personally introduced are still "alive" and hopefully will pass their last committee and "cross over" on March 9 to the Senate for consideration. All bills must be heard and passed by their final committee by March 3 to be reviewed and voted on for Third Reading. As the primary sponsor, my bills moving forward include protections for water resources and our ʻāina, benefits for small farms, increased funding for houselessness and affordable housing, and extending the statute of limitations for sexual assault of a minor. These bills are now waiting to be heard in Finance.

I have back-to-back Finance Committee hearings this week as we review the Governor's budget and hundreds of bills in preparation for crossover. We are currently operating under the 2023-2025 budget prepared under the Ige Administration, and Governor Green recently submitted his proposed changes in GM1.

As the Vice-Chair of the House Water & Land Committee, I was honored to participate in Governor Green's proclamation ceremony this past Wednesday, declaring 2023 the Year of the Kāhuli. These colorful native tree snails were once abundant in forests across the state and have played a significant role in natural processes and traditional native Hawaiian culture.  

Considered the jewels of the forest and revered in Hawaiian cultural history, kāhuli, like many native species, are threatened by climate change, predators like rats and cats, introduced invasive snails, chameleons, and human encroachment into their original territories. By reducing invasive species' impact and planning responsibly for climate change, we will be able to better protect these important indigenous species.

Me ke aloha,


Celebrating Valentines Day with

the "Lead with Love" Rally

Hawaiian Electric Offering

"Advanced Meters" on Molokai Soon

We were informed yesterday that Hawaiian Electric will send letters to Molokai homeowners about their advanced meter installation program in March. These meters are free and there are no additional fees. Meter installation is not mandatory, and customers may opt out of having an advanced meter by contacting Hawaiian Electric.

According to Hawaiian Electric, the benefits of the advanced meters include the following:

  • No more estimated bills – electricity use data will be available in near real-time
  • Access to energy use information through an online portal to help understand your electricity consumption and better manage bills
  • For renters, transferring accounts can happen faster

Future benefits may include:

  • Time-of-Use rates to help save money (Please see article from bill inserts on Time of Use Rates attached)
  • Customized billing dates to align with your budget
  • Text alerts on outages or if your bill is running higher

For details and more information, including how to choose not to have a meter installed, visit Hawaiian Electric's FAQ page.

How to Keep a Bill Moving

Asking for a Hearing

One of the advocacy steps that can easily be overlooked is asking for a hearing on a bill. The chair of the committee to which the bill is referred has the authority to schedule or not schedule a particular measure. The lateral and first decking deadlines come up quickly, and if a bill is not heard by the designated deadline, it will "die."


It can be as simple as looking up the chair’s contact information, picking up the phone, and placing the call or sending an email. Have a sentence or two ready on why the bill is needed. The legislator may not be available, but often it’s possible to speak with the committee clerk or office manager.


Be aware that the chair has a number of things to consider when deciding to schedule a bill, including limited time slots to hold committee hearings, competing legislation, and the merits of the bill. Having trouble? Consider getting others to advocate, too! You may also reach out to the other members of the committee to see if they can help convince the chair that the bill deserves a hearing.

Apply for Specialty Crop Grants

The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Market Development Branch is currently accepting applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) Fiscal Year 2023.

The HDOA will be awarding a total of approximately $450,000 to Hawai‘i proposals that enhance the competitiveness of Hawai‘i specialty crops. Project awards may range up to $50,000.

Specialty crops are defined by the USDA as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). Much of Hawai‘i’s diversified agriculture falls under this specialty crop designation. Eligible plants must be cultivated or managed and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops.

The primary goal in this grant program is to support projects that could provide the highest measurable benefits or return-on-investment to the specialty crop segment in Hawai‘i. Projects must enhance the competitiveness of Hawai‘i-grown specialty crops, in either the domestic or foreign markets. Preference will be given to projects that measurably increase the production and/or consumption of specialty crops, and/or foster the development of fledging crops and organic operations.

Information on the Request for Proposals (RFP23-03-MDB) is available on the

State Procurement Office website

Soil Health Workshops

UH CTAHR Molokai Cooperative Extension Service staff will teach about the importance of soil health and innovative ways to increase the health of soil in a Soil Health Workshop series starting this week. UH CTAHR Molokai Cooperative Extension Service is offering the workshops in partnership with Sustainable Molokai. 

The next workshop, which is last in a three part series, is March 9 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Lanikeha Community Center. This series will include presentations, demonstrations and will have an interactive component.

Registration is now open. You can contact Kyle Franks, DHHL Extension Agent, at [email protected] for more information or to register.


Legislative Calendar

Deadlines for the 2023 Regular Session are set and the legislative calendar published.

The calendar can be found under the Public Access Room's (PAR) “Events” tab. It is also available on the Public Access Room (PAR) website on the “Current Legislature” page, where you’ll also find the famous “Which Deadlines Apply to My Bill?” handout.

You can access the calendar here.

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


Facebook  Instagram