2019 State of the State

Governor David Ige and Marti townsend, sierra club of hawaiʻi director

Governor David Ige and Marti townsend, sierra club of hawaiʻi director

In his fifth annual State of the State Address, Governor David Ige came out strong, prioritizing the restructuring of Hawaiʻi’s education system, reallocating the Transient Accommodation Tax, building more affordable housing, and investing in Hawaiʻi’s open spaces and special lands.

Marti Townsend, Director for the Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi issued this response to Gov. Ige’s speech:

“Clearly, Governor Ige is committed to following through on his promises to the people of Hawaiʻi. He laid out a plan to ensure a brighter future for everyone here by preserving Hawaiʻi’s watersheds, investing in state parks, trails, and beaches, exploring innovative technologies in clean energy and carbon sequestration, and increasing local food production.

His well-received speech recognized the interconnectivity of the environment, housing, public infrastructure, and the economy and emphasized a holistic approach to ensuring a sustainable future for us all in Hawaiʻi.

He demonstrated real out-of-the-box leadership by identifying specific creative solutions to long-standing challenges. Although he did not specifically mention the climate change concerns, they appear to be motivating everything he is working towards to protect our collective future.”

Gov. Ige’s commitments include:

  • Increasing funding for land conservation by removing the $6.8 million cap on the 10% conveyance tax to the Legacy Land Conservation Program

  • Committing $3.9 million over two years for Sustainable Hawaiʻi Initiatives to support our biosecurity plan, watershed protection, and the agricultural loan revolving fund.

  • Removing the $103 million cap in the Transient Accommodation Tax—allocating a percentage to the counties and increasing the earmarked $3 million to $10 million for trails, parks, and waters.

  • Exploring innovative technologies in renewable energy, carbon sequestration, and local food production, including sequestering carbon in locally produced concrete.

  • Constructing permanently affordable housing on state land in the urban core of Honolulu and along established public transportation routes.

You can watch the State of the State on Hawaiʻi News Now’s Facebook.