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Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Kim Announces Senate Leadership Team and Committee Chairs
By News Release @ 10:19 PM :: 5093 Views :: Hawaii State Government

Leadership Team and Committee Chairs for the 28th Legislature

News Release from Senate Democratic Caucus November 5, 2014

The Hawai‘i State Senate has organized today and selected Donna Mercado Kim to continue as Senate President for the 28th Legislature, which will convene on January 21, 2015.

“I appreciate the confidence the members have in my leadership and I am pleased that we were able to organize so quickly,” said Senate President Kim (D-14 Kapalama, ‘Alewa, Kalihi Valley, Ft. Shafter, Moanalua Gardens & Valley, portions of Halawa and ‘Aiea). “This is a strong leadership team that will waste no time in preparing for the upcoming legislative session.”

Sen. Will Espero (D-19 ‘Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, ‘Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point, portion of ‘Ewa Villages) will serve as Vice President and will continue to chair the Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs committee.  Sen. Jill Tokuda (D-24 Kane‘ohe, Kane‘ohe MCAB, Kailua, He‘eia, ‘Ahuimanu) will chair the Ways & Means Committee and Sen. Ron Kouchi will serve as the Vice Chair.  Sen. J. Kalani English (D-7 Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Kaho‘olawe) assumes the Majority Leader position.

“Our State continues to face a number of fiscal challenges, and the Senate Majority stands ready to work with both the House and the Ige administration to address these issues and help Hawai‘i families,” said Sen. Tokuda.

“The Senate will focus on sustainability and resiliency as an overall theme for the next legislature,” added Sen. English. “We will work diligently to ensure that all of Hawai‘i’s people move forward together.”

The State Senate leadership and committee chairs are as follows:


  • President – Donna Mercado Kim
  • Vice President – Will Espero
  • Majority Leader – J. Kalani English
  • Floor Leader -  Josh Green
  • Caucus Leader – Gil Kahele
  • Policy Leader -  Les Ihara, Jr.
  • Majority Whip – Brian Taniguchi


  • Ways & Means – Jill Tokuda
  • Ways & Means, Vice Chair – Ron Kouchi
  • Judiciary & Labor – Gil Keith-Agaran
  • Consumer Protection – Roz Baker
  • Hawaiian Affairs – Maile Shimabukuro
  • Education – Michelle Kidani
  • Health – Josh Green
  • Economic Development and Technology – Glenn Wakai
  • Water and Land – Laura Thielen
  • Tourism and International Affairs – Gilbert Kahele
  • Human Services and Housing – Suzanne Chun-Oakland
  • Higher Education and the Arts – Brian Taniguchi
  • Government Operations – Donovan Dela Cruz
  • Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs – Will Espero
  • Energy and Environment – Mike Gabbard
  • Agriculture – Russell Ruderman  (Anti-GMO Crackpot Chairs Agriculture)
  • Transportation – Clarence Nishihara

NOTE: Twenty Democrat Senators have either a leadership position or a committee chairmanship.  The only incumbent Democrat to get nothing is Brickwood Galuteria.  Newly elected Democrats without a position are: Harimoto, Inouye, and Riviere.  As the sole Republican, Sen Sam Slom will serve as a member of every committee.


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