The Chamber, along with more than 500 organizations from 50 states, signed on to a U.S. Chamber coalition letter urging Congress and the White House to take steps to fully restore operations of the federal government. While the longest-running shutdown has ended, the damage to families, businesses and the economy, as a whole, will continue to have near-term impacts. According to the Congressional Budget Office report released on Monday, the shutdown will cost about $3 billion to our economy. We thank the federal workers, like our TSA workers, who continued their work despite not being paid. We also thank the local companies who recognized the financial hardship and offered assistance through temporary jobs, food donations and other needed help.
On the legislative front, your Business Advocacy team reviewed the more than 3,000 bills introduced this session. Hearings will start soon. Bills include various versions of minimum wage and GET increases.
On the home front, we are excited to announce two new members of our team. First, is our Director of Communications Katie Arita-Chang. She brings fresh energy and perspective to new forms of communications, including digital. She recently worked for U.S. Senator Hirono. Second, is Program Coordinator Aran Wilson. He recently worked at the Hawaii State Capitol. Aran’s focus will be on working with Waipahu and Pearl City High Schools through our grant from the Harold Castle Foundation in support of workforce development.
With your support, the Chamber continues to grow and Raise the Bar so that we can provide more resources to our members and the business community.
Laulima & mahalo,
President & CEO
Many hands working together in collaboration and striving for a common goal.
Advocating for Business
Sign Up for Legislative Action Alerts & Submit Testimony on Minimum Wage Bills
January 24 was the deadline for bill submissions for the 2019 Legislative Session. Our Business Advocacy Team is hard at work reviewing the over 3,000 bills that have been submitted by State Legislators.
Some of the bills that our team is closely monitoring include bills to raise the minimum wage, bills related to affordable housing, workers’ compensation legislation, and bills to strengthen our educational system.
Our team will be at the Capitol throughout the Legislative Session submitting testimony and monitoring committee action on these bills. Your voice is an important part of the legislative process. Please be on the lookout for our Action Alerts relating to submitting testimony on important bills that would affect your business.
The first hearings on minimum wage increases will be held tomorrow, January 31. The Chamber will be at these hearings to ensure that our lawmakers know how these proposals could affect our members. Join us—make your voice heard by submitting testimony here.
Honolulu Theatre for Youth (HTY) will open its production of Home of the Brave in February. The play, which was co-commissioned by HTY and the La Jolla Playhouse and written by Lee Cataluna, is inspired by interviews conducted with children from all branches of the military.
Cataluna, a local playwright and popular Honolulu Star-Advertiser columnist, joined the Chamber’s Military Affairs Council for a visit to Leilehua High School’s transition center in 2017 while doing research for this play. According to HTY, Cataluna “has crafted a remarkable portrait showcasing the loyalty and fierce pride, as well as the anxiety, that comes with being part of a family that is serving in our nation’s military” and tells the story of some of Hawaii’s bravest kids. The challenges that military children face, such as relocating often and transitioning to a new school in the middle of the year, are not well understood by the civilian community. This play attempts to raise awareness about their inspiring resilience.
For more information, including showtimes and ticket information, please visit the HTY website by clicking here.
Building our Membership
Four Tips to Creating a Lasting Workforce
Chamber member Bank of Hawaii’s Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer, People Services Group Ed Hudson penned an article for Hawaii Business magazine on simple actions companies can take to grow a robust talent pool.