State of the State: Kauai legislators like what they heard

HONOLULU — For Kauai representatives, Gov. David Ige’s plans to address homelessness and enhance the school system were some of the main takeaways from his State of the State address.

“The one thing that jumped out to me was the plan to expand the Early College Program. The program gives students a head start in high school on college curriculum and credits,” said Rep. Jimmy Tokioka. “That’s one of the best ways for us to help our kids going into college — helping them get ahead in college credits and helping them save money in college.”

Early College is a program that allows high school students to take college level classes. Students in the program can take six or more credits before graduating high school. Currently, the program is on the Big Island, Kauai, Molokai and Oahu.

On Kauai, Waimea, Kapaa and Kauai High schools all participate in the program. Ige wants to expand it to every school in the state.

“Mr. Arakaki (Kauai Complex Area Superintendent) supported about it when it first came out, and now I’m excited to see it go statewide,” Tokioka said. “To me, that was the most exciting part of the address.”

During his address, Ige said the administration was going to have to trim his proposed $28.5 billion operating budget.

“Readjusting the budget is a must, but where the cuts will be is worrisome,” said Rep. Dee Morikawa.

But Morikawa said she is happy to hear homelessness addressed during the speech.

“Homeless services are a priority that my committee will be addressing throughout the session and we will be working closely with his administration to accomplish as much as we can,” she said.

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