President's Message (Jim Koshi)
Education Fund Programs
Hawai'i and Health
Health Care Reform Forum (Irene Coogan)
Members Appreciated / Corporate Contributors Given Thanks
Foreign Policy in Flux
LWV-HI Proposed Budget 1994-1995
The LWVUS National Convention will be held in Washington, D.C. in June. Attending for LWVHI will be Vice-President Cira DeCastillo and Secretary-Treasurer Sue Irvine.
National Program for 1992-1994 has been grouped into government, international relations, natural resources, and social policy areas. Members have had first input into changes and additions; leagues have had time to provide the national board with their recommendations and will be receiving national's response based on those grass-root reflections. Delegates will go with their league's desires in mind but will vote independently as floor discussion raises issues. The final outcome will provide the league's focus for the coming years.
Believing that the economy is the top of the nation's agenda, the Chicago and Monterey, California leagues will be urging modification of the LWVUS-suggested emphasis on the federal deficit. Lively floor discussion will no doubt ensue.
The state board discussed program suggestions and other areas presented for consideration at the coming LWVHI Council. Discussion will focus on program and the resolution of Home Rule. The adoption of this item in 1991 has not led to a smooth study-to-consensus process as is the usual route for league programs. Delegates will need to decide whether to recommend continuance, modification or dropping of this subject.
Hawai'i is not alone on this quandary. LWV of Iowa notes, "The LWVIA fought long and hard for home rule for cities and counties in Iowa. Now, we must ask ourselves, is this power slowly being eroded by the legislature and the governor?" Their Voter cites three familiar examples: state placing more and more mandates on local governments without supplying the funds to carry out the mandates; passing legislation saying cities could not pass gun restrictions more stringent than state statutes; and discussing passage of an amendment that would severely restrict spending by cities and counties.
A second item which the board will bring to the floor for discussion is the LWV of Honolulu's proposal to combine the Honolulu and LWVHI leagues. The reflections of the delegates will be noted.
Honolulu's premise is that state and Honolulu issues often overlap (land use issues, transit, water, sewer) and human and financial resources might be better utilized if there was one league. They suggest that many have difficulty differentiating between the two levels [of league].
The LWV of Honolulu was formed in 1948. The state league was established in 1965 following the formation of leagues on Kaua'i and Hawai'i.
The League of Women Voters was formed in 1920 on the heels of the suffragette movement. The founders wanted the newly won vote to be an intelligent one. They formed the league with the concept that the organization would be structured as our government is: on local, state, and federal levels. Thus leagues study, reach consensus, and act on issues at the level of government where the issues are politically decided.
Current LWVHI programs cover those issues which are addressed by our state legislature and are administered by the governor and appropriate departments and agencies. These are: education, health, energy, solid waste, campaign finance, initiative and referendum, legislative reform, state constitution, election laws and procedures, vacancy in public office, leasehold reform and juvenile justice. As do all leagues, LWVHI adopts priority lists for action. Thus, while some of the aforementioned issues may be less visible sometimes than they are at another times, they are nonetheless "on the books" for action.
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