President's Message (Evelyn Bender)
Access to Legislative Information
There is No Excuse for Inaction
Reflections on Home Rule (Jana Chang)
Help the Kauai League
Bylaw Changes Proposed
League on the Light Side
Corporate America Turns on to the Environment
Critic Confuses Function of League of Women Voters
Neighbor Island News - Hawaii County (Dorothy Doudna)
Contributions are Appreciated
The elections are over. A new national administration much more favorable to League positions has been elected and installed. Hopefully many of the League-supported measures on reproductive rights, campaign financing, motor-voter registration, etc., which were vetoed by the previous administration, will quickly pass Congress and be signed by President Clinton. Since several new House members and Senators were elected, some of these issues may face more opposition in Congress this time around. In addition, several members, aware that the bills would be vetoed and would not become law, voted for them so they could tell their constituents at election time they supported such matters.
While there was little change in the membership of the Hawaii legislature, the biggest unknown will be the leadership of the new House Speaker Joseph Souki and the new Senate President James Aki. It appears that the coalitions which elected those leaders are fragile, especially in the Senate where some Republicans were given committee chairmanships. Only time will tell how this unsteadiness will affect legislation.
The biggest obstacles facing legislators on both the state and national levels will be the budget deficits and the need to bolster the economy and produce jobs. This will not be easy. We only hope that our legislators will not be penny wise and pound foolish in their deliberations. Many small expenditures now for preventive programs, such as contraceptive services, education programs, early intervention education, immunizations, family counseling, etc., will save many more dollars down the road in medical costs and corrective measures.
Early intervention does help. Instead of putting out fires, try to prevent them. Not only are such measures the morally right and humanitarian things to do, they are cost effective and break the cycle of fear and victimization as well as offering a future of achievement and economic productivity to America.
Our policy makers must take this into consideration in deciding where our tax dollars are spent. We all must remember that it will be the healthy, welleducated citizen of tomorrow who will be able to pay the taxes to sustain our present, and hopefully an improved, quality of life for us all.