Senator Hirono visits the island of Hawaii, highlighting efforts to reduce costs for working families
Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) hosted events on Thursday, April 21 on the island of Hawaii focused on reducing costs for working families and investing in Hawaiian communities.
In the face of rising costs around the world, Senator Hirono and her fellow Democrats are doing everything in their power to reduce costs for families. Senate Democrats have taken steps to address short-term supply chain issues, increase oil supplies, lower prescription drug prices and child care costs and promote competition.
In recent weeks, Senator Hirono has introduced legislation to cap the cost of insulin at $35 per month and fight price hikes on essentials like food, gas and medicine on arrangement.
Additionally, Senator Hirono helped pass the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act last year to invest in America’s infrastructure. Act includes more than $2.8 billion in federal funding for Hawaiʻi to help upgrade and modernize state infrastructure, which will strengthen supply chains, help goods get to market and reduce costs for Hawaiian families.
The senator started her day with a visit to the KTA Super Store in Puainako, where she discussed the DA BUX program, which partners with food retailers to make Hawaii-grown produce more affordable for SNAP-EBT cardholders. , and efforts to reduce food costs. Senator Hirono has been a strong supporter of the DA BUX program. Last year, she supported a $5 million federal grant to help the program build capacity, and she will continue to support the program.
“As food prices rise, we must do everything we can to help provide families with nutritious and affordable food,” said Senator Hirono. “Today I saw firsthand how the DA BUX program helps low-income families purchase fresh, locally grown produce. As we strive to ensure every family in Hawaii has enough to eat , I will continue to champion this important program and other initiatives that help reduce food costs for families.
She then visited the Kolekole Bridge in Honomu to discuss infrastructure investment in Hawaiʻi with the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s Deputy Director of Highways, Ed Sniffen. The Kolekole Bridge is one of many bridges across Hawaii that will be upgraded through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed last year, which includes more than $2.8 billion in Hawaii infrastructure funding.
“The Kolekole Bridge plays a vital role in the lives of people who live and work in Honomu. But like much of our country’s infrastructure, it requires upgrades and additional maintenance to better serve the community,” said Senator Hirono. “Through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Hawaiʻi is set to receive more than $2.8 billion for infrastructure investments, including bridge and road upgrades. This historic funding will help ensure that Hawaii remains a great place to live, work and explore for decades to come.
Senator Hirono also visited an AP environmental science class at Waiakea High School taught by Whitney Aragaki, Hawaii’s 2022 Teacher of the Year and guest of the Senator for this year’s State of the Union. Last year, Senator Hirono helped push through the US bailout package, which included more than $412 million for Hawaii’s public schools.
“As Hawaii’s 2022 Teacher of the Year, Whitney Aragaki has made a substantial contribution to her school, her students, and her community,” said Senator Hirono. “I was honored to have her as a guest for this year’s State of the Union, and enjoyed the opportunity to see her in action in the classroom today with her bright young students. The past two years have been incredibly difficult for students, parents, and educators. As we continue our recovery and work to address learning loss, I strive to ensure that every student in Hawaii can learn safely in the classroom.
The senator ended her day on the Big Island with a visit to the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo – a major economic driver for the island of Hawaii and the participating vendors.
“The Merrie Monarch Festival is a wonderful celebration of Hawaii’s unique history, culture and talent. It has also become an important economic engine for the Big Island,” said Senator Hirono. “After two years without the Merrie Monarch Festival, it was great to see the festival back in action this year and meet so many talented local artists and artisans from all over Hawai’i.”