Colleen Hanabusa

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Colleen Hanabusa, a member of the Democratic Party, represents the 21st Senatorial District in the Hawaii State Senate of the Hawaii State Legislature. The 21st District includes the Waianae, Nanakuli, Lualualei and Makaha areas of the island of Oahu, in the state of Hawaii. Hanabusa is the Senate President of the 2007 Hawaii State Legislature.

Sen. Hanabusa is currently a candidate in Hawaii's first congressional district special election to be held on May 22, 2010. The seat has been vacated by former Rep. Neil Abercrombie in his bid for Hawaii's governorship. (see Hawaii U.S. House district 1 special election, 2010)

Hanabusa, the eldest of three children is a fourth generation Japanese-American was born in 1951, in Waianae on the island of Oahu. She is a graduate of St. Andrews Priory. Hanabusa recieved her BA in economics and sociology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She recieved her JD degree from the Richardson Law School of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

A private attorney for more than 20 years, Hanabusa first ran for public office in 1998 and won.

Contents

January 2003 HI-02 election

Hanabusa ran unsuccessfully in a special election held in January 2003 to represent the 2nd Congressional District. (Ed Case had won the December 2002 election to fill the remaining five weeks of the late U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink's current term and also won the January 2003 special election.) Mink died Sept. 28, 2002 of viral pneumonia following a bout with chickenpox.

2006 run for HI-02 seat

Hanabusa came a close second to Mazie Hironoin her 2006 bid for the 2nd congreassional district seat, HI-02, vacated by Rep. Ed Case. See the Hololulu Weekly Voters Guide

Crystal methamphetamine legislation

In a Honolulu Advertiser article dated August 29, 2006, Gordon Y. K. Pang writes:

Former state Sen. Bob Nakata credits Hanabusa for playing a key role in shepherding through a package of bills designed to battle Hawai'i's crystal methamphetamine problem, first as co-chairwoman of the Joint Senate-House Task Force on Ice and Drug Abatement in 2003-04 and later moving the bill through the Legislature.
"She was the one, more than anybody, who put the legislation together," said Nakata, a social justice advocate. "She talked to a lot of people and put together a very good package. And she moved it through very efficiently."
Supporters said the bill toughened criminal penalties for ice offenses and promoted substance abuse treatment. But not everyone was pleased with the package. Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed the key bill in the package on the grounds that it softened penalties for some drug-related crimes, but Democrats in both houses were successful in overriding that action. [1]

Felix Consent Decree

Hanabusa "co-chairing the Joint Senate-House Investigative Committee on the Felix Consent Decree that looked into how well the state was complying with a federal court mandate to provide educational services to students with mental and emotional disabilities." [2]

Hawaiian rights

Hanabusa invoved herself in "various Hawaiian rights issues, and held hearings on the potential impacts of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Rice v. Cayetano, a decision that ultimately led to the opening of elections for Office of Hawaiian Affairs board members to non-Hawaiians." [3]

Ko Olina tax credits

"Hanabusa introduced a controversial bill to offer tax credits of up to $75 million for development at Ko Olina Resort, a move she defended as necessary to spur development for the Leeward area." [4] Hanabusa, the lead backer of the $75 million tax-credit program benefiting Ko Olina resort developer Jeffrey Stone, lived in a luxury Ko Olina townhouse purchased by her fiancé from Jeffrey Stone and worked in a downtown law office subleased from Stone. Although some questioned this as a possible conflict of interest, Hanabasa stressed that her financial connections to Stone were indirect. [5]

Hanabusa unsuccessfully sued to overturn the initial veto of the bill, though it was reintroduced approved during Republican Governor Linda Lingle's Administration. [6]. Ko Olina Resort eventually returned the tax credit, but the Lingle Administration and Hanbusa disagreed on how to use the returned funds. Ko Olina Resort returns tax credit of $75 million -- Lingle and Hanabusa have different plans for how to use it Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 18, 2007.

Sierra Club ratings

Hanabusa's environmental voting record according to the Sierra Club Hawaii Chapter's Legislative Scorecard shows increasing improvement in her voting record over the years. (see Sierra Club Scorecard 'grades' below)

National Rifle Association Rating

Senator Hanabusa is normally opposed to second amendment legislation backed by the NRA. The NRA has assigned her a "D" grade.

Member of the following Senate committees:

  • Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs (Chair)
  • Energy, Environment, and International Affairs
  • Health

Contact:

     Hawaii State Capitol, Room 214
     415 South Beretania Street
     Honolulu, HI 96813
     Phone: 808-586-7793
     Fax: 808-586-7797
     Email: senhanabusa@Capitol.hawaii.gov

External Links

  • Hanabusa 2010 congressional campaign website
  • Coleen Hanabusa (Hawaii State Legislature)
  • Friendly Caricature
  • Colleen Hanabusa Hawaii Business Magazine, October 2003.
  • Queen of the Senate -- Colleen Hanabusa of Wai‘anae has what most Hawai‘i politicians don't: character Honolulu Weekly, June 12, 2002.
  • The Mouse That Roared -- The state Legislature finally shows some courage. Honolulu Weekly, May 23, 2001.
  • Frosh question their leadership Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 3-19-1999.
  • Senate confirms Foley to Appellate Court in 14-8 vote Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 8-04-00, via GayLawNet.
  • Labor overhaul passes Legislature -- The historic reform dramatically changes public worker laws Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 5-2-01.
  • Waianae’s noncompliance troubles senator Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 2-25-02.
  • Suicide bill still alive -- Lawmakers OK the budget and resurrect a death-with-dignity bill in a long voting session Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 5-1-02.
  • Senators’ political power play hurts Hawaiians Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 5-12-05.
  • Official reverses finding that state is OK on special-ed -- The federal court has reportedly been asked to continue oversight Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7-19-02.
  • Candidates for Congress disagree over Iraqi war -- 2 leading Democratic candidates take part in a TV debate Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 12-22-02.
  • Waimanalo Gulch is far from being best dump site Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 12-28-03.
  • Act 44 best weapon against ice problem Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 5-9-04.
  • Watchdog’s wishes await fate -- Campaign spending reform proposals are contained in a Senate bill that is progressing Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 2-22-05.
  • Senators’ political power play hurts Hawaiians see next article Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 5-12-05.
  • Law, not politics, guides funding for legal aid Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 5-20-05.
  • Reyes, B.J. Hanabusa gasses up campaign -- The Waianae attorney formally launches her bid for Congress Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 15, 2006.
  • Pang, Gordon Y.K. Is 2nd time charm for U.S. House candidate? Honolulu Advertiser, August 29, 2006.
  • Borreca, Richard. Hanabusa takes over as Senate president -- 2 key committee leaders change Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 15, 2006.
  • Kiely, Kathy. Hawaii's incoming Senate president driven by issues that hit closest to home USA Today, January 3, 2007.
  • Hanabusa, Colleen. Challenges of Moving Hawaii Forward in the 21st Century (Legislative Opening Day Speech) Hawaii Reporter, January 17, 2007.
  • Godvin, Tara. New Senate leader brings high regard -- Observers believe Colleen Hanabusa's efficiency will serve her well in her post Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 22, 2007.
  • Borreca, Richard. Hanabusa reorganizes Senate panels Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 31, 2007.

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