Legislatively speaking: Meet your District 7 team

Aloha. The 2019 legislative session is about to begin, and your House District 7 team is already busy at work. All of us work for you, so let me introduce our team.

YOUR HOUSE DISTRICT 7 TEAM

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Our office manager is Kristin Moala, who worked previously in the Hawaii State House as the committee clerk for the Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee, and as a policy analyst in the House Majority Staff Office. She has many years of experience working in the Alaska State Legislature. She is an avid photographer, loves knitting and is a competitive trap shooter.

Two very talented legislative aides are working on our team this session. Quincy Bedoya grew up on Maui and is a recent graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law. He has worked at the Hawaii State House and Senate in the past with experience working on environmental policy issues. Quincy will primarily be focused on subjects covered in the Energy and Environmental Protection Committee and on higher education issues covered in the Education Committee. He will also serve as our in-house legal analyst for all other matters. Quincy enjoys outdoor adventures and is always looking for new exciting hikes.

Zoe Sims is also working on our team as a legislative aide. She was born and raised in North Kona, graduated from HPA, and went on to Princeton to earn a degree in ecology and environmental studies. Zoe has a background in coral reef health and water quality issues. She will be focusing on topics under the Water, Land, and Hawaiian Affairs Committee, and K-12 education issues covered in the Education Committee. Zoe will also take the lead on constituent communications. She is an avid trail runner and free-diver.

2019 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

The 2019 Legislative Session begins on Jan. 16 and runs until May 2. During the session, several thousand bills will be introduced in the Legislature, and by the end, probably a couple hundred bills will be approved. The subject matter of these bills will cover all state statutes, policies and programs. We will carefully review the budget proposed by the administration and make adjustments so that the budget better reflects the Legislature’s priorities.

In my office, we are currently drafting bills to introduce and reviewing bills introduced by other representatives that I could co-sponsor. The bills I am preparing to introduce deal with renewable energy, boating facilities, ocean recreation, sea level rise, domestic violence prevention, opioid drug abuse prevention, mosquito control, rapid ohia death, and more. I am also working on a bill to request funding for various state facilities in the district. All bills must be introduced by Jan. 24, and the ones I sponsor will be listed on my legislative website for you to review.

HOW TO TRACK LEGISLATION AND GIVE TESTIMONY:

The House web system, www.capitol.hawaii.gov, provides tools to help you track legislation and submit testimony online. If you have not used the system before, visit https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/login/register.aspx to set up an account with your email address and a password. You can then sign up to receive email updates about any bills or committees that you are interested in, and submit testimony online about any bill or measure that is under consideration by the Legislature.

The Legislature’s Public Access Room provides free assistance to help the public engage with the legislative process, including using the capitol.hawaii.gov website and accessing legislative information or materials. You can reach the Public Access Room at 587-0478.

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MAHALO

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of District 7 at the State Legislature. Please contact your District 7 office anytime to inquire about legislation, tell us your views on pending legislation, or ask for assistance in dealing with state agencies. Contact us by telephone at 586-8510 (or toll free: 974-4000, extension 68510) and by email at reptarnas@capitol.hawaii.gov.