Maui News

Senate Announces Appointment of New Majority Leader and Committee Changes

May 5, 2021, 6:50 PM HST
* Updated May 5, 4:56 PM
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Senator Dru Kanuha (District 3 – Kona and Kaʻū)

Following the retirement of former Senator Leader J. Kalani English on May 1, 2021, the Hawaiʻi State Senate today announced the appointment of Senator Dru Kanuha (District 3 – Kona and Kaʻū) as the new Senate Majority Leader.

Senator Kanuha served as the Majority Caucus Leader since being elected to the Senate in 2018. He also serves as a member of the Senate Committees on Housing, Education and Ways and Means. 

Prior to being elected to the Senate, he served six years as a member of the Hawaiʻi Island County Council, including two years as Council Chair.

In addition to his new role as the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Kanuha will maintain the responsibilities that he previously held as Caucus Leader.

“Senator Kanuha is an experienced legislator who has served as an integral part of our Senate leadership team since being elected to our chamber in 2018,” said Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi (District 8 – Kauaʻi and Niʻihau). “I am confident that as Majority Leader, he will help shape our priorities and guide our caucus as we begin to prepare for the next legislative session.”

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The Senate also announced today that Senator Bennette Misalucha (District 16 – Pearl City, Momilani, Pearlridge, ‘Aiea, Royal Summit, ‘Aiea Heights, Newtown, Waimalu, Hālawa, Pearl Harbor) has been appointed to replace Senator English as a member of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

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Leadership and members in the sixteen standing committees are:

LEADERSHIP

  • President: Senator Ronald D. Kouchi
  • Vice President: Senator Michelle N. Kidani
  • Majority Leader: Senator Dru Mamo Kanuha
  • Majority Policy Leader: Senator Les Ihara, Jr.
  • Majority Floor Leader: Senator Jarrett Keohokalole
  • Majority Whip: Senator Lorraine Inouye
  • Assistant Majority Whip: Senator Brian Taniguchi

Senator Gilbert S.C. Keith-Agaran

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Senator Clarence Nishihara

  • Minority Leader/Floor Leader: Senator Kurt Fevella

COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS

Agriculture and Environment (AEN)

  • Gabbard, Mike (Chair)
  • Nishihara, Clarence (Vice Chair)
  • Acasio, Laura
  • Rhoads, Karl
  • Fevella, Kurt

Commerce and Consumer Protection (CPN)

  • Baker, Rosalyn H. (Chair)
  • Chang, Stanley (Vice Chair)
  • Nishihara, Clarence
  • Riviere, Gil
  • San Buenaventura, Joy
  • **District 7 Senator
  • Fevella, Kurt

Education (EDU)

  • Kidani, Michelle N. (Chair)
  • Kim, Donna Mercado (Vice Chair)
  • Dela Cruz, Donovan
  • Kanuha, Dru Mamo
  • Fevella, Kurt

Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism (EET)

  • Wakai, Glenn (Chair)
  • Misalucha, Bennette (Vice Chair)
  • Lee, Chris
  • Riviere, Gil 
  • Fevella, Kurt

Government Operations (GVO)

  • Moriwaki, Sharon Y. (Chair)
  • Dela Cruz, Donovan (Vice Chair)
  • Chang, Stanley
  • Gabbard, Mike
  • Fevella, Kurt

Hawaiian Affairs (HWN)

  • Shimabukuro, Maile S. L. (Chair)
  • Keohokalole, Jarrett (Vice Chair)
  • Acasio, Laura
  • Ihara, Jr., Les
  • Fevella, Kurt

Health (HTH)

  • Keohokalole, Jarrett (Chair)
  • Baker, Rosalyn (Vice Chair)
  • Moriwaki, Sharon Y. 
  • San Buenaventura, Joy
  • Fevella, Kurt

Housing (HOU)

  • Chang, Stanley (Chair)
  • Kanuha, Dru Mamo (Vice Chair)
  • Moriwaki, Sharon Y.
  • Rhoads, Karl
  • Fevella, Kurt

Higher Education (HRE)

  • Kim, Donna Mercado (Chair)
  • Kidani, Michelle N. (Vice Chair)
  • Keith-Agaran, Gilbert S. C.
  • Wakai, Glenn
  • Fevella, Kurt

Human Services (HMS)

  • San Buenaventura, Joy (Chair)
  • Ihara, Jr., Les (Vice Chair)
  • Acasio, Laura
  • Misalucha, Bennette
  • Fevella, Kurt

Judiciary (JDC)

  • Rhoads, Karl (Chair)
  • Keohokalole, Jarrett (Vice Chair)
  • Acasio, Laura
  • Gabbard, Mike
  • Kim, Donna Mercado
  • Lee, Chris
  • Fevella, Kurt

Labor, Culture and Arts (LCA)

  • Taniguchi, Brian T. (Chair)
  • Ihara, Jr., Les (Vice Chair)
  • Chang, Stanley
  • Keohokalole, Jarrett
  • Fevella, Kurt

Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs (PSM)

  • Nishihara, Clarence K. (Chair) 
  • Baker, Rosalyn H.
  • Riviere, Gil
  • **District 7 Senator
  • Fevella, Kurt

Transportation (TRS)

  • Lee, Chris (Chair)
  • Inouye, Lorraine R. (Vice Chair)
  • Shimabukuro, Maile S. L.
  • **District 7 Senator
  • Fevella, Kurt

Water and Land (WTL)

  • Inouye, Lorraine R (Chair)
  • Keith-Agaran, Gilbert S.C. (Vice Chair)
  • Misalucha, Bennette
  • Riviere, Gil
  • Fevella, Kurt

Ways and Means (WAM)

  • Dela Cruz, Donovan M. (Chair)
  • Keith-Agaran, Gilbert S.C. (Vice Chair)
  • Inouye, Lorraine R
  • Kanuha, Dru Mamo
  • Kidani, Michelle N. 
  • Misalucha, Bennette
  • Moriwaki, Sharon Y. 
  • Shimabukuro, Maile S. L. 
  • Taniguchi, Brian T. 
  • Wakai, Glenn
  • Fevella, Kurt

** The Democratic Party of Maui will convene on May 15, 2021 to nominate three candidates that will be transmitted to the Governor for consideration as a short-term replacement to fill the remainder of Senator English’s term. The Governor has until June 30, 2021 to fill the vacancy.

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