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Saturday, January 20, 2018
False Alarm: 'Hearing' Leaves More Unanswered Questions
By Rep Gene Ward @ 2:08 AM :: 5536 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government, Military

“Representative Ward's Statement on the Missile Alert Informational Briefing”

News Release from Office of Representative Gene Ward January 19, 2018

HONOLULU, HAWAI’I - Representative Gene Ward (R–Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley), a member of the House Military Affairs & Int'l Relations Committee, issued the following statement following today’s joint legislative hearing on the January 13th missile threat:

“I am extremely disappointed with the Governor for leaving without receiving adequate questioning from the Legislature. As our State’s Commander-in-Chief, he owes the Legislature the time necessary to receive answers. Interestingly, he was at the microphone for about 38 minutes, the same amount of time the people of Hawaii were traumatized on January 13th. Why was he in such a hurry to leave today?

"After waiting a week for this hearing to take place, I was not allowed to ask more than one question.  After I was cut off on my second question, I walked out of the hearing. I was going to ask General Miyagi if he was still on active duty and this missile alert happened on his watch under his supervision, what would he do as the commander of the unit—would he sack somebody, and would the Generals above him sack or transfer him?  Maybe the Chair cut me off to not embarrass the General?

“I am disappointed that members were not given the adequate time needed to get our questions fully answered and I urge the respective Committee Chairs to convene another meeting in which the Governor and his Generals can fully be vetted by members of the Legislature.

"In lieu of another hearing, I had asked Governor Ige in a letter dated January 15th for a "forensic tour" of the HI-EMA headquarters where legislators can walk through what happened from start to finish and fully understand exactly what happened.

"Short of this, the only thing accomplished today was more unanswered questions and the announcement that we must wait and see what the Governor's study-report by General Hara turns up."

KHON VIDEO: Lawmaker storms off after heated exchange during missile alert briefing

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"The Minority Caucus Introduces a Resolution that Condemns the 38-Minutes of Terror on January 13, 2018"

News Release from House Republican Caucus

HONOLULU, HAWAIʻI (January 19, 2018) – The Minority Caucus is introducing legislation that urges the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency to improve its management, operations, and public education.

"No one should have had to experience what our state experienced on Saturday," said Representative Gene Ward, Minority Floor Leader. "That is why as a caucus we are introducing a resolution that ensures the public we will do everything in our power to prevent such a mistake from reoccurring."

"Our resolution also urges the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency to work closely with the schools and other community organizations," said Representative Andria Tupola, Minority Leader. "Can you imagine if a missile were to hit during school hours? There will be many frantic parents and children if they are not prepared. HEMA needs to do a better job in preparing the public. Even though it was a false alert, this missile threat is as real as ever."

In light of the false alert sent on January 13th, the Minority Caucus added this resolution to their Legislative Package. The Caucus will discuss this resolution and the bill package at a press conference today at 2:00pm in the State Capitol Rotunda. The Republican Representatives will be available for questions following the press conference.

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