Kanuha named Senate majority leader


State Sen. Dru Kanuha (D-Kona, Ka‘u) has been named the new Senate majority leader.

His appointment Wednesday follows the May 1 retirement of former Sen. J. Kalani English of Maui.


Kanuha, a former Hawaii County Council chairman, has served as the majority caucus leader since being elected to the Senate in 2018.

He’ll continue to maintain caucus leader responsibilities, according to a statement. He’ll also continue to serve as a member of the Ways and Means, Housing and Education committees.

Sen. Lorraine Inouye, a Hilo Democrat, will continue as the body’s majority whip. She’ll also continue to serve as chairwoman of the Water and Land Committee, as vice chairwoman of the Transportation Committee and as a member of the Ways and Means Committee.


Sen. Joy San Buenaventura, a Puna Democrat, will continue to serve as chairwoman of the Human Services Committee and as a member of the Health and Commerce and Consumer Protection committees.

And Sen. Laura Acasio — a Hilo Democrat who was appointed to her seat earlier this year after Kai Kahele was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives — will continue to serve on the Agriculture and Environment, Hawaiian Affairs, Human Services and Judiciary committees.

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