Legislatively Speaking

Mahalo to each and every one of you who reached out and voiced your concerns on the bills that are moving forward this legislative session.

There is one bill in particular that many residents of our South Kohala community have expressed an interest in. It addresses the desire for high-speed broadband services.

Senate Bill 1201 SD 2 HD3 establishes a task force to create a statewide broadband plan so the Legislature can determine if there is a need for changes to current law, the costs associated with building infrastructure, and how to pay for it, provided that any proposed fees shall be fair and reasonable to consumers.

Broadband technology can benefit our rural communities. Improved communications and faster speeds will provide, for example, enhanced educational opportunities, expansion of telehealth capacity, strengthened safety and civil defense communications, increased global economic competitiveness, access to real-time vital information, and improved marketing of tourism services and locally grown food.

I believe this plan will move us in the direction of acquiring high-speed broadband services for our community and will work diligently to get it passed. You can find out the status of the bill and read the bill by going to www.capitol.hawaii.gov and entering SB1201.

Do you want to weigh in on the final outcome? If the bill passes both houses, it will go to the governor for action. To contact him to voice your support or opposition of a bill, go to http://governor.hawaii.gov/contactus.

If you have any comments or questions, please call my office at 586-8510, email me at repevans@capitol.hawaii.gov, or write to Rep. Cindy Evans, Hawaii State Capitol, Rm 438, Honolulu, HI 96813.

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