Legislature to open amid Hawaiian-rights protest
By Lynda Arakawa and Kevin Dayton
Advertiser Capitol Bureau
The 21st Hawaii Legislature opens this morning amid music, flowers and early partisan infighting.
There is more money available than ever before, with Gov. Ben Cayetano proposing general treasury spending of nearly $7.5 billion over the next two years. That would be a record.
|Timothy Toba of Rudys Flowers delivers arrangements in preparation for todays speeches, music and munching.
Richard Ambo The Honolulu Advertiser
But the states school system and social services need more money. And public employees want raises.
Senate President Robert Bunda (D-Wahiawa, Waialua, Sunset Beach) said: "I certainly would like to think that we have that much flexibility in the budget to be Santa Claus, but I dont think thats our approach."
There are 19 Republicans in the 51-member House, the most since statehood. Republicans are expected to use procedural maneuvers and their increased numbers to try to steer policy.
House Speaker Calvin Say (D-Palolo, St. Louis, Kaimuki) said House Minority Leader Galen Fox this year refused to sign a resolution nominating Say as speaker.
See it on TV
The Houses opening day ceremony begins at 9:40 a.m., the Senates at 10 a.m. House television coverage will be live on Oahu on Olelo, channel 53, and tape delayed on Neighbor Islands. Senate coverage will be live on Oahu on Olelo 54 and cablecast to the Neighbor Islands via the UH HITS system. Entertainers include Kaau Krater Boys, Ohana O Mele, Colon and Genoa Keawe.
Say attributed the move to partisanship, adding, "Im not going to play the game." He said he intends to work with the Republicans.
Fox (R-Waikiki, Ala Wai) said he refused to sign to protest the speakers selection by a voice vote, rather than a roll call.
Fox said he does not object to the choice of Say as speaker.
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