Rep. Sam Kito’s Newsletter: Bills on the Move

This week, the education debate has heated up with House Finance releasing a Committee Substitute and considering amendments to the omnibus Education bill (HB 278). The bill that finally came out of the committee included some troubling changes from the Education Committee version. I am especially concerned about the changes to the Teachers Retirement System (TRS), which could cause the insolvency or exhaustion of the trust fund in ten years. This would result in a pay-as-you-go plan that would make active teachers pay for retired teachers and significantly increase the required contribution by active teachers.

Read more

Rep. Kawasaki’s Juneau Note: LNG, GMOs and Flint Hills

On Tuesday evening, the Senate voted 15-5 to advance SB138, the Governor’s Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) proposal. The House will now have a mere 30 days to analyze the details of SB138, weigh the pros and cons, hear from the public, offer amendments and consider the impact to the state. This hurried pace once again has me concerned with the lack of due diligence that has become far too common this legislative session.

Read more