WE ARE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF HAWAII

WORKING TO MAKE HAWAI'I GREAT AGAIN

Aloha & E Komo Mai

Virtual State Convention
25 July 2020

The Platform and Resolutions, in their entirety, were voted on and approved by the State Convention Delegates.

HAWAI‘I  REPUBLICAN  PARTY

PREAMBLE

In God We Trust

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ‘Āina i ka Pono

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The Hawai‘i Republican Party is a passionate group of citizens united by shared principles and values. We live by the credo of the Declaration of Independence:

“…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just
powers from the consent of the governed.”

We hold sacred and vow to defend what is established in the U.S. Constitution, limited government, separation of powers, the rights of the people, and the authority of states.  Our commitment to these Rights should reflect in our Party Platform and in all policies we support and pursue.  In all endeavors Hawai‘i Republicans are guided by the values of the American Trinity:  Liberty,  In God We Trust,  E Pluribus Unum

We honor the leadership of our Republican forefathers who passionately believed and applied these principles and values so well with special appreciation for the leadership of President Abraham Lincoln and Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole Piʻikoi.  And, we continue to believe in and support Prince Kūhiō’s application of our values through the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (see “Native Hawaiians”).

20  P L A T F O R M  20

G O V E R N M E N T
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America’s founding documents are clear on the form and role of government.  Primarily that governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed. In a recent poll conducted by the University of Hawai‘i nearly 40% polled said the state could seldom or never be trusted to do the right thing, and only 9% said they believe state government is run for the benefit of the people.         

The Hawai‘i Republican Party agrees, the current course of governing in Hawai‘i continues to stray further from that purpose.  Collectively, state agencies are not serving public interest.  We challenge all government bodies in Hawai‘i to do the following:

  • Identify the most urgent needs and issues challenging the majority then prioritize spending accordingly.   
  • Approve expenditures only if  defendable under scrutiny and justified by measurable benefits.
  • Operate under true transparency by allowing online public access to expenditures, contracts  and audit findings.
  • Require lawmakers to match proposed tax and fee increases with a cost reduction
  • Look at successful solutions to civic problems underway in other states.
  • Turn public services and programs over to private enterprise wherever possible.

We believe our government needs to provide an environment in which jobs can be created through unencumbered paths in order to keep up as technologies evolve and alter the way people live and work.

The threat of Socialism is becoming increasingly more real, and for Republicans the time has come to state:  We strongly oppose Socialism in all its forms.  Socialism dismantles the mechanisms of our free market system that promotes progress, competition and economic advancement.  Socialism masquerades as a gift to the people, but it’s simply a structure of total control; over the economy and social sectors of society.  A shift toward that form of power is a shift away from our power as individuals and a departure from true freedom.

ELECTIONS are the modern measure of democracies.  Maintaining the integrity of the vote is critical if we are to secure our republican form of government.  As such the Hawai‘i Republican Party calls for:

Passage of State House bill  HB 1668 which would prohibit ballot harvesting, making it a felony under voter fraud statutes. 

  • Repeal of  Act 136, SLH 2019 enacting all mail-in voting and, a return to in person ballot casting  where voter is immediately verifiable.   We support the Convention of States, and amendments that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its authority and jurisdiction, and that establish term limits.By applying common sense, trust in citizens and our founding principles,  Hawai‘i can return to good governance that serves the people and keeps them free.

T A X A T I O N and  E C O N O M Y
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Forbes magazine recently ranked Hawai‘i the worst state in the country for business.  Primarily due to taxes.                      

Hawai‘i has the 2nd highest tax burden in the nation, currently at 11.48%, and the highest cost of living, which is 92.9% higher than the national average.

In this environment, financial survival without government assistance is difficult for Hawai‘i’s working class.  To mitigate, the state must aggressively reform and measurably reduce current taxes and fees.  Specifically:   

  • Remove the Excise Tax from basic necessities: food, medicine and medical care.        
  • Limit property tax increases to 2% per year unless the property is sold     
  • Review current regulations, licensing and fees involved in small business ventures
  • Eliminate the Hawai‘i estate tax.
  • Cap property taxes for homeowners beyond age 65
  • We call on our Congressional delegation to:
  • Pursue action to amend the Jones Act to provide exemptions for Hawai‘i
  • See that the terms now being negotiated to renew the Compact of Free Association (COFA) agreement provide Hawai‘i with full funding for all costs incurred.

A diverse economy with an information based component and lower taxes and regulation will reduce poverty, reduce dependence on tourism, the “brain drain’’ and encourage entrepreneurs to come to Hawai‘i.

T O U R I S M
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Our Tourism objective should be to stimulate visitor revenue while limiting visitor impact on residents and Hawai‘i’s ecosystems. 

This can be achieved by improving infrastructure and expanding off times at all Nature, Marine Life and Forest Reserves.  And also by rebranding ‘Destination Hawai‘i’ with an emphasis on tourists as partners who play a critical role in Hawai‘i’s conservation.  We believe these actions will keep nature thriving for future generations and enhance the experience for everyone.

E N V I R O N M E N T
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The health and vitality of Hawai‘i’s environment is the priority from which all else flows, from the summit of Mauna Kea to the coral reefs below.

Hawai‘i’s Republican Party believes decisions regarding the environment should be based on science, backed by fact, proven in history and always made in consideration of Native Hawaiian cultural practices. To that end, we suggest:     

● Swift, drastic action by the state to close large capacity cesspools that continue to exist in violation of EPA regulation since 2005.  Aggressively work toward eliminating all roughly 90-thousand cesspools statewide, in order to become compliant with the Clean Water Act and in the interest of the safest drinking water for Hawai‘i residents.

● The State should also show response to the massive problem of illegally dumped and discarded trash. The Department of Environmental Services has implied jurisdiction but shows no plan or assigned services to deal with the volume of litter covering the islands, or the multitude of illegal dump sites.

● Employ quick fixes to control errant litter; replace open trash containers with fixed swinging tops, add more receptacles and increase collection in public areas following holidays.

Ocean Trash and Marine Debris are problems we inherit largely because of location. Hawai‘i is the first land stop for ocean currents that have been swirling and accumulating debris for thousands of miles – making our shorelines the catch filter of the Pacific. Republicans would like to see our Representatives in Washington D.C. pursue action and join efforts to stop ocean dumping. The fishing industry must also be held accountable. Discarded net and fishing wire account for a significant portion of Marine Debris, and has devastating effects on birds and sea life.

We applaud and support President Trump’s Marine Debris Program which expands U.S. efforts and commitment to clean the oceans.

And we support the good works of  NOAA  theoceancleanup.com  that have made it their mission to clean up beaches and oceans.

Finally, we would ask with respect to our view plane; we believe decisions to place large structures such as wind turbines, solar farms or telecommunications towers in residential neighborhoods or on agricultural land should involve home and land owners who will be impacted.

E N E R G Y
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Hawai‘i’s legal promise to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2045 has the rest of the world watching. Our state is seen as the nation’s leader in renewable energies;

The first to have wave-produced electricity to go online in the U.S.  The first to harness Ocean Thermal Energy

And now, deriving the largest portion of total energy (33%) from rooftop solar systems, which outnumber all other states.

We applaud those innovative leaps.  And, while we recognize the good intention of the 100% goal, HRP would like to see caution used to avoid negative impact to the environment, higher utility rates and overly intrusive construction.

We suggest a review of the 2045 mandate every 5-years beginning in 2025 to assess whether appropriate methods are in use and judge cost and resources against the end goal.

We do not want to be the first state to pass a Carbon Tax and oppose Senate Bill 3150 and its companion bill House Bill 2654

A G R I C U L T U R E
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Agriculture is our key to future sustainability, but there are disparities that require change. Land has been designated by the state for Agriculture use but is not being used to grow crops that can feed our population. The Republican Party of Hawai‘i would like to see more diversification of crops, and a focus on Agriculture to include:

● Long-term leases for farming on state land.

● Sustainable water resources, upgraded with irrigation systems and road access.

● Greater availability and access to water sources.

● Curricula developed to teach agriculture and regenerative principles in elementary and high school grade levels.

● Continued support of farmer’s markets and programs like neighborhood gardens that encourage and invite involvement in horticulture.

● Preserved prime agriculture lands for agricultural purposes, local food production and accessory Ag uses. 

  Organic and regenerative sustainable practices that improve the health of our soil and our ecosystem.

Change in state policy on Agriculture Land Use should be amended  to:

● Prevent agriculture lands from being subdivided or CPR’d without a major permit and public hearing.

● Allow housing for agriculture workers to help make farming more attractive and economical  for workers.

● Increase funding to the Hawai’i Department of Agriculture for additional positions for plant and animal industries, food safety education and compliance, invasive species control, farmer education and marketing.

● Limit renewable energy projects on Ag lands to only those that make farming and agriculture operations more economically viable.

T R A N S P O R T A T I O N
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Civil engineers at the federal and state level have deemed Hawai‘i’s infrastructure to be in egregiously poor condition. Their reports filed for 2019 identified massive deficiencies in all 4-counties, finding ‘high hazard potential’ in nearly all dams and bridges, and a majority of roadways in need of  ‘imminent threat repairs’.

Further, the levels of daily traffic congestion in all four counties is evidence there is insufficient roadway. Synchronized traffic lights, additional exits and flyovers and creating round-abouts would ease the crush, aid emergency response and improve evacuation potential.  The problem is funding. Transportation has been underfunded in the state budget for too many years. It has fractured our infrastructure, and has Legislators looking at new ways to tax us for the fix. Under consideration:                                                                                                                                         

● Increases in gas tax, vehicle weight tax and registration fees

● Adding mileage-based user fees

● Creating a stormwater tax

● Raising utility rates for drinking water and wastewater

As an alternative Hawai‘i Republican Party suggests redirecting Honolulu’s revenue from the 1⁄2% G.E.T. Remove the earmark for RAIL and apply it to all transportation projects, as originally intended.  The future of RAIL and it’s ridership have been compromised by the COVID 19 outbreak. So too has revenue. Looking forward, with limited funding, spending priority should be based on public safety.

With respect to the Honolulu RAIL project: In light of a Grand Jury investigation into charges of fraud, incompetence, lack of oversight, illegal activity and billions of dollars mispent beyond budget and intentional delays; We support Honolulu City Council’s Resolution 19-29 calling for an independent forensic audit of HART in order to provide the public with a full accounting of the project including:

● Current projected total cost, taking into account:

Revenue loss following COVID19 shut down

The experience to date

● An itemized review of initial cost estimates and subsequent expenditures to determine whether they met or exceeded actual costs, or, were understated due to incompetence.

● Projected completion date.

● A revised analysis of benefits to road traffic.

These findings should be followed with a public hearing held by the Honolulu City Council to measure public opinion on the future direction of RAIL.

I M M I G R A T I O N
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HRP supports the Trump Administration’s current course of Immigration Reform:

Securing our border, ensuring the swift removal of unlawful entrants, ending chain migration, eliminating the Visa Lottery, and moving the country to a merit-based entry system.

We applaud the multi-phased, exhaustive vetting process carried out by the Department of Homeland Security which screens petitioners for infectious disease, investigates criminal history, and identifies affiliation with terrorist organizations.

We support temporary entry of green card and work visa holders to supplement seasonal work, particularly in support of farmers.   And understand that suspending these visas during Pandemic conditions is done in order to protect public health and reserve jobs for Americans first.

We support the President’s continuing efforts to end DACA (Deferred Action for Child Arrivals) and urge Congress to pass a reform bill that provides for those who were minors and innocent participants of their parents’ illegal entry.

When permissible, we welcome refugees who are escaping persecution in their home country.

And, The Party recognizes the rising need to tightly monitor Hawai‘i’s borders and enforce ports of entry to prevent the human trafficking that has become rampant in our state.

H O M E L E S S
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Hawai‘i’s homeless count has been the highest per capita in the nation for years. The volume of people living on our streets has reached such a capacity, the impact on society and the environment is measurable:

Public Domain: Tents block sidewalks, perpetual occupation of public restrooms, bus stops, parks and other public spaces (intimidate and) prevent use and enjoyment by tax-paying citizens.

● Environmental Hazards:  Homeless camps breed massive amounts of trash – much of which will leach into water systems, blow into the ocean and streams, and, contribute to the embarrassing blight of the world’s most beautiful land.

● Public Health:  The propensity to urinate and defecate in the open and the lack of general hygiene among a population that dwells in public poses significant health risks to the rest of the population. One threat is a Hepatitis outbreak similar to those in San Diego and Los Angeles.                                                                                  

The emergency proclamations issued by Hawai‘i’s Governor and Mayor(s) during the COVID-19 pandemic held exemptions for the homeless.  They are exempt from stay at home orders & therefore free to roam about; exempt from social distancing and mask requirements and were only encouraged to do what was mandatory for the rest of us.

These issues can be remedied with appropriate public policy, which starts with recognizing three different categories of homelessness…

  1. Individuals and families rendered homeless by circumstances, like loss of job or death of a spouse, and consider their situation temporary.

   2. The mentally ill; Substance abusers who are willing and could be helped through treatment.

   3. Intentionally transient; those who choose to live on the street.

…and then applying the appropriate services and programs and enforcing existing laws.  HRP sees the following as workable policy solutions:

● Provide mental health evaluations for repeat offenders, followed by residential or out-patient treatment programs that are enforceable by ordinance and funded by the Department of Health.

● Update civil liberties law to ensure enforcement with appropriate habeas corpus recourse to limit overzealous confinements.

● Employ the homeless: Hire homeless individuals for civic labor like cleaning up illegal dump sites, litter control and clearing roadsides of overgrowth. Similar programs have been successful in Arkansas, California, Oregon and several other states. It provides opportunity, financial help and a new pattern of living, and improves public condition.

● Identify dedicated encampment zones for tent communities in order to remove associated blight from public areas and allow the homeless to exist legally.

● Enforce permit requirements for overnight camping in parks, the sit-lie ordinance and other existing laws that prohibit loitering, squatting and panhandling.

● Apply the same code of public health and safety to the homeless population.

We support the privately funded ‘Repatriation Program’ which has relocated 744 homeless back to their state of origin,  in place on O‘ahu, Maui & Big Island.  It pays for half of an airline ticket to home of origin provided family members pay the other half and assist the person upon arrival.

F A M I L Y
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The Republican Party of Hawai‘i endorses the Hawaiian concept of ‘ohana and sees family as a crucial pillar of the community.

It has been proven that the family structure, whether brought together in marriage, by guardianship or through adoption, benefits both the individual and society.

The inclusion of the father or a male role model is critical whenever possible. Studies show the lack of paternal involvement leads to an increase in juvenile delinquency, high school dropout, greater risk for using illicit substances at a younger age. In a sense of wanting to belong, the minor may fall victim to gangs, for a sense of community and acceptance, and in addition, the gang leader may fill that role of father.

There is also evidence that when individuals are part of an extended family, even when not blood related, they are less reliant on government assistance.

When people start families, they stimulate the economy. They are more than twice as likely to purchase a home, buy additional vehicles, hire local landscapers and repair technicians and frequent neighborhood restaurants and shops.

Because families play a large and positive role in the economy The Hawai‘i Republican Party pursues legislation and supports government incentives that will benefit and encourage family unification.

Families benefit the community overall. That ought to be recognized by local leaders and met with more reasonable access to home ownership, assistance with small businesses and a pledge to lighten the weight of taxes on all they work hard for.

L I F E
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The Republican Party of Hawai‘i acknowledges the truth, that life begins at conception and ends with natural death. And, that all human lives existing within those markers have the same rights and protections guaranteed to all Americans.

We see the sanctity and value of every human life as equal, no matter the physical or mental diagnosis given before or after birth.

Hawai‘i Republicans remain committed to defending the unborn and will continue to endorse measures that protect babies in the womb, including:

● Born Alive Protection Act

● Heartbeat Protection Act

● 20- Week Pain Capable limits

● Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act          

We support bills limiting abortion procedures in scope and occurence.

We are firm in our opposition to the State’s current practice of voluntarily providing Medicare funds for “medically necessary” abortions.  And, call for the Department of Health and Human Services to adopt specific language that defines the criteria for determining “medical necessity”.

Hawai‘i Republicans oppose the allocation of any public funds for abortion.

We will continue to promote annual passage of the Hyde Amendment as part of the Federal Spending Budget and encourage members of Congress to make the Hyde Amendment – which prohibits the use of federal funds for abortions – permanent by passing it as law.

And, we fully support the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy; it places a condition on USAID        to foreign organizations. They must first agree not to perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.

We are opposed to the recently enacted Assisted Suicide law in Hawai‘i.

Queen’s Medical Center and Hawai‘i Pacific Health – the 3rd & 4th largest employers in Hawai‘i – are resisting the law. They do not allow their pharmacies to fill end-of-life prescriptions or allow assisted suicide on their campuses. We advocate repeal of the Our Care, Our Choice Act.

H E A L T H C A R E
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In state by state assessments on Healthcare and the health of residents, Hawai‘i consistently ranks in the top three.  High marks are given for the Prepaid Healthcare ACT, the first in the nation to set minimum standards of benefits for workers.

Like many other states Hawaii‘i is suffering the side effects of surging malpractice suits. It’s causing doctors to practice ‘Defensive Medicine’- ordering additional, often more expensive tests, screenings and exploratory procedures to overcompensate diagnoses.  The estimated inflation in medical costs is 13%.

Though Hawai‘i Tort Law does cap pain and suffering damages, our Party supports efforts for furter Tort reforms in order to stop the exodus of doctors and lower overall cost.

We object to one size fits all insurance policies and support proposed legislation to approve Health Savings Account (HSA) plans in Hawai‘i.

 

E D U C A T I O N
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The Republican Party of Hawai‘i believes families are the best stewards of a child’s education. Therefore parents should be involved in choosing curriculum. We believe the following policy positions would bring options for alternative forms of education and more equitable access to funding:

● We support homeschooling and charter schools and believe they deserve equitable funding from the D.O.E

● We applaud financial mechanisms like Education Savings Accounts (ESA), vouchers, and tax breaks on tuition.

● We support Title I grants for the poor and IDEA aid for the disabled.

● We encourage efforts to cut Planned Parenthood involvement in public education and remove Comprehensive Sexuality Education from all grade levels (K-12) and propose further that the subject matter of procreation be limited to human physiology and reproduction.

We object to a ‘one size fits all’ approach to learning as it embraces low expectations. Instead, we favor a learning environment that allows for the natural incentives that come from competition and, where advanced students are encouraged to proceed at a faster pace.

The Republican Party of Hawai‘i believes high schools need to include classes in vocational, technical and trade skills to prepare those who plan to start their careers upon graduation instead of pursuing a college degree.

And, we support the development of remote learning strategies for use in the event of another public health crisis, natural disaster or weather emergency.

C R I M I N A L   J U S T I C E   and    P R I S O N   R E F O R M
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The reach of a criminal justice system spans the crime scene, to arrests, through the court  system, corrections, rehabilitation and parole.  At each step there are authorities who hold great influence on an individual’s future.

HRP believes that level of responsibility should be met with the same degree of scrutiny. When those sworn to uphold the law, violate it, the consequences should be no different.

We support the review of the exemption that shields police disciplinary records from the public.   Removing the exemption would be applying the same standard as other public employees. Those records would only be made available after a disciplinary case has gone through both the department’s internal review and Union arbitration process.  And, only then where disciplinary actions are imposed.

The arbitration system in police union contracts ought to be modified to ensure it does not protect bad officers or impair good policing.

Whistleblowers who reveal wrong doings of their superiors deserve protection from administrative retaliation.

We believe everyone should have access to seek mental health services confidentially.

We endorse and support the commitment and sacrifice of all law enforcement officials and the protection and peace-keeping they provide.

N A T I V E    H A W A I I A N S
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The Party recognizes Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole Piʻikoi, a Republican, as the first Native Hawaiian elected to Congress.  And acknowledge his 19-years in office and his many achievements; most notably the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act which gives land rights to Native Hawaiians.

In keeping with the Hawaiian Homes Legislation, and in light of a State Supreme Court ruling against some of the State’s procedures in this regard, we urge the State Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the U.S. Department of Interior to do all that is necessary to accelerate awarding of homestead leases.  And also to consider lowering the blood quantum requirement, the possibility of a leasehold, and support conversion to fee simple.

Department of Education should provide equal support, including funding, to Hawaiian Immersion Charter Schools commensurate with other schools.

‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i is an official language of our state.

Because we respect the language and don’t want to see it disappear from our communities, we encourage the state to include ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i in school curricula.

We endorse ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i translation services in public proceedings. (Hawaiian-to-English and English-to-Hawaiian) which further encourages proper pronunciation and use of ‘Ōlelo.

And, we fully support the Native Hawaiian right to participate in traditional cultural practices.

P O S T A M B L E

Our Republican principles are based on truth, equality of opportunity, limited government and justice for all.  Government that governs least governs best.

The welfare of our citizens and their continued prosperity is our number one priority.  We know liberty is a God given right supported by equal opportunity, not equal outcome.  This is what differentiates us from every other nation on earth, and is the key to our military strength, economic success and spiritual fulfillment.

We firmly stand behind the strong Republican leadership of Abraham Lincoln, Prince Kūhiō, Governor William Quinn (the 1st in statehood), President Ronald Reagan, and our current President Donald Trump who has led the most accomplished administrations in modern history, and is dedicated to making and keeping this country free, safe and great again.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream.  It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children”s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” 

Ronald Reagan

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