We started this legislative session by laying out a bold plan to move Hawaii in a new direction. We were determined to conduct ourselves with a spirit of collaboration. We said repeatedly that everyone must contribute and that our decisions must reflect our values and priorities.
We have found that support for the political status quo, abetted by private interests, remains strongly in place. It will take time and action by the executive to change this culture.
While we did not get all we wanted in this legislative session, we have made meaningful strides forward.
We moved the Board of Education from an elected body to an appointed body embraced enthusiastically by the public. The Board of Education, comprised of diverse community leaders, has already begun moving our schools in a new direction.
We signed a civil unions bill that ensures equal rights for all people of Hawaii. We did this without recreating the heated battle lines of the past.
We secured private funding to transform the state’s antiquated technology system so we can streamline government services and save taxpayers millions of dollars.
The people of Hawaii don’t want to hear excuses and arguments about why things can’t be done. They want action. Our administration will take the budget we have and transform government as we know it by being innovative, resourceful and relentless in the face of our challenges.
In the coming weeks and months, you will hear of more partnerships and initiatives to move toward the New Day plan—educational excellence, energy independence and a sustainable economy.
My administration is ready and moving; our community partners are ready, and the people of Hawaii are ready to bring positive change. There is no doubt in my mind that, together, Hawaii is on the way to a New Day.