Jump start on legislative leadership

  • Contributed photo

    State Rep. Nadine Nakamura

  • Contributed photo

    State Rep. Dee Morikawa

LIHUE — State Reps. Dee Morikawa and Nadine Nakamura have hit the ground running in leadership positions with the House of Representatives, flying to Oahu for meetings the day after the election.

“We were both here and this morning we were meeting with the leadership team,” Nakamura said. “We had a majority caucus, too, so two meetings already this morning,” she said Wednesday.

Morikawa is again majority floor leader, and Nakamura was designated one of the nine majority whips, people who help the leadership team coordinate and facilitate policy discussions — the support for the leadership team.

A sophomore in the Legislature, Nakamura said she’s was pleasantly surprised at the designation.

“I’m excited about having a leadership role and I support the direction of our House Speaker Scott Saiki,” Nakamura said. “I’m happy to be part of the team that’s going to be moving the House agenda forward.”

Morikawa was already the House majority floor leader, and said she’s looking forward to rolling up her sleeves with the new legislative team as well.

“The great thing about being organized the day after an election is we can start working soon,” Morikawa said. “This is the soonest I’ve ever in all my years that we’ve been organized this fast to start doing things like talking policy.”

Both Nakamura and Morikawa were re-elected outright during the primary election, Nakamura running unopposed and Morikawa winning her Democratic primary over Stephanie Iona. So their names did not appear on Tuesday’s general election ballots.

Saiki announced the House leadership team and committee chair assignments Wednesday.

“The House of Representatives has organized in record time. Our new leadership team and committee chairs reflect the diversity of the House and the entire state,” said Saiki. “We know that there are significant policy issues that need to be resolved and our team is prepared to address them in the upcoming legislative session.”

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Jessica Else, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or jelse@thegardenisland.com.

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