HOUSE MINORITY LEADER GENE WARD'S REMARKS AS THE LEGISLATURE ADJOURNS
The Hawaii Kai Republican's speech included the "unprecedented, unfulfilled, and uncertain" times in Hawaii and a farewell to fellow Republican, Rep. Cynthia Thielen
News Release from office of Rep Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai)
HONOLULU—After an unprecedentedly long Legislative Session, Minority Leader Gene Ward (R-17 Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley) described Hawaii's state of affairs as "unprecedented," "unfulfilled," and "uncertain."
"The people of Hawaii are facing a dead economy, and thousands are waiting in food lines to feed their families—unheard of!"
Rep. Ward further emphasized many of the recurring problems residents face have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic—including cost of living, housing, and homelessness.
"[The House of Representatives] leaves this chamber under a cloud of uncertainty. We thus have four imperatives to work on before we reconvene next year. We must
1. Open the economy,
2. Diversify the economy,
3. Help our small businesses, and
4. Open up this Legislature to the public."
"This will be a shell of a democracy if we reconvene without giving residents the ability to testify in front of legislators," Ward continued. "This will be a true test of leadership."
Ward concluded his speech with a farewell to fellow Republican, Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R-50 Kailua, Kaneohe Bay), who is retiring and thanked her for her service.
"You have served your district well, you have made an impact, and you leave this chamber forever known as the representative who brought hemp to Hawaii. We are proud you have served alongside of us, you will forever be known as 'The Hemp Lady'."