The 2022 legislative session mandated an economic impact study of the 10% blend law on Kona and other Hawaiian coffee farmers. Will you support the prompt completion of that study and a thorough airing of its contents? Will you support reform of Hawaii’s 10% blend law? And what will you pledge to do to support the change?
Yes, I will support prompt completion of the EIS of the 10% blend law on Kona. At this point in time, however, it is premature to make a commitment to any reform on the 10% mandate until we have had a chance to review and discuss the results of the study. That being said, the completion of study and analysis of its contents in regards to potential policy reform should be done as soon as possible.
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture has said repeatedly over the last number of years that its budget has been cut so drastically that it cannot perform the various tasks assigned to it by the Legislature. The HDOA’s share of the State’s annual budget is less than one-half of one percent (<.005). To strengthen support for Hawaii farmers, will you support measures to significantly increase funding for the HDOA?
If additional funding is necessary to perform the function of HDOA and we have fiscal resources that are in accordance with the Executive’s Branch fiscal budget, I would not hesitate to increase funding.
Please close by telling us a bit more about yourself and your commitment to agriculture. Mahalo!
Serving eight years as Lt. Governor, nearly 12 years of service as a state judge, numerous years of service as a mediator and litigator, grandfather of eight, father of four, and keiki o ka aina, have provided me with the unique knowledge, skills, experience, and wisdom that is essential to serving as governor. This is what differentiates my candidacy from all the other candidates running for governor. The decision to run for governor was a very difficult one. Like many, I believe that we have lost our way as a nation and a state. Our moral compass is broken, we have lost our Spirit of Aloha. Unity and civil discourse must replace the division which currently defines our community. Trust and respect are essential to bringing balance back to our state. I am committed to establishing a sustainable food supply for the State of Hawaii. Identifying agricultural lands and transforming it into productive staple and crop resources is a priority. Assisting in addressing the challenges and issues facing agriculture and its workforce is also a necessity. I believe that our agricultural industry can be much more productive.