News Release by Rep Gene Ward April 6, 2010
Rep. Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai-Kalama Valley) spoke out today on the Floor of the House of Representatives for real change in our State's school system and offered his colleagues multiple opportunities to end furlough Fridays, save taxpayer money and make lasting improvements to education.
First, Ward offered an amendment to Senate Bill 2124 that would borrow from the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund (HHRF) to end furlough Fridays but require the state the pay the money back. The amendment would fix furlough Fridays, keep the legislators' word to taxpayers, and ensure that the HHRF is around when the State needs it.
"There is a big difference between taking and borrowing from the HHRF. And, last time I checked, we were still in a hurricane zone," Ward tweeted from the Floor.
Secondly, Ward proposed an amendment to remove political appointees in SB2571's process of selecting the governor's BOE appointees. The amendment, along with one that proposed to lift the cap on Charter Schools would have made Hawaii more competitive for Race to the Top funds. All three amendments were killed by the House.
"Today, we gave a lot of lip service to education and furlough reform, but we did very little to ensure anything really improves for our keiki. It's been 165 days since the Furlough Friday started, and today's actions are shameful for State policymakers," Ward said.
RELATED COVERAGE: April 7, 2010 News Read