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Representatives react to Ige's State of the State address

Hawaiʻi state House of Representatives jan
Audrey McAvoy/AP
The Hawaiʻi House of Representatives meets on opening day of the legislative session at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol in Honolulu on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)

Gov. David Ige delivered his last State of the State speech on Jan. 24 to address some of his plans for the 2022 legislative session. One proposal would give all Hawaiʻi taxpayers a $100 refund per person.

The House of Representatives gave a mostly favorable response to the agenda. Rep. Della Au Belatti said she hopes to present a more systemic tax relief system. She said if the $100 per person tax refund is carried through, it will cost the state about $110 million.

There is also a $1 billion surplus in the state budget this year.

One of the agenda items Ige plans to carry out using this money is to build a universal preschool system in Hawaiʻi.

Ige also mentioned extending broadband reach and defueling the Red Hill fuel storage facility.

Towards the end of his speech, the governor became emotional, saying, “I am proud of the work that we do. And I am proud to be your governor.”

Rep. Sylvia Luke said this is the first time he has shown his emotional side in public, stating, "It’s too bad that the public has not gotten to know him [in a way] that I have, because he cares about certain things and it bothers him, and people don’t think things bother him because he’s very logical and engineering-like."

"But you look at what he had to go through, and the emotion that he has shown the last couple sentences, I think that signifies how hard it was for him. I thought that was very touching," said Luke.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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