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Capitol Connection

February 28, 2013
Representative Kaniela Ing , The Maui Weekly

I want to thank the people of South Maui for electing me as your representative and throwing me into the whirlwind that is our State Capitol! For the last three months, I have been hard at work both in Honolulu and in our community. I want to keep you all up-to-date.

Working alongside my colleagues from around the state has been exciting for me and undoubtedly beneficial for the South Maui community. For the first time in years, South Maui will have a representative with the title of vice-chair (Public Safety Committee) and a seat on the all-powerful House Finance committee. These appointments--the highest a freshman legislator can obtain--will be vital in securing funding for the Kihei High School, my number one South Maui priority.

As you may have seen in recent headlines, other issues that remain my priority include repealing the Public Land Development Corporation, meeting our unfunded liabilities, labeling GMO products, encouraging renewable and sustainable practices and refreshing government by reforming elections and our ethics code. I am championing and speaking for these measures that were introduced by their respective chairs. These are my statewide priorities.

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Rep. Kaniela Ing has initiated bills that are now “moving along through committees;” one being HB713 which prohibits employers from demanding password information for subordinates’ social media accounts, thus protecting privacy rights.

To reduce redundancy, since the aforementioned issues have already been introduced, I have focused my own bills on lesser-known yet equally important issues. Specifically, I have introduced 19 of my own bills and co-sponsored approximately 100 others. While it is extremely uncommon for freshman legislators to pass bills that they have primarily introduced (or even have them heard in committee), I have been fortunate enough to have a number of my bills moving along through committees.

Here are some of these bills: HB713 prohibits employers from demanding password information for subordinates' social media accounts, thus protecting privacy rights; HB321 allows for election day voter registration to encourage young voters to participate in our democratic process; and HB1440 requires organ donation awareness in driver's education programs. I believe these new-age ideas will move our global society in the right direction and help create a fresher and more transparent government.

While lower in priority, I have also introduced a bill designed to spark meaningful discussion. That is a statewide ban of smoking on beaches. I understand this issue will be controversial, but when beach clean-ups in South Maui uncover nearly 5,000 cigarette butts in just a couple hours, it is important to bring this issue to the public eye. However, I am not fighting very actively for this bill to pass. This initial introduction, like most new ideas, will allow lawmakers to find out if this is something the public supports.

As always, I am happy to listen. Please contact my office at (808) 586-8525 or with your concern, and I promise to get back to you personally. If you have a specific concern that is important to you, or you feel that I should direct my focus on other issues, please let me know. I will make your concern my priority, and we will tackle it together. I'm here to represent your interests! Mahalo Maui.



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