September 20th, 2005

Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu becomes Chair of the Economic Development and Business Concerns Committee

Last Friday, September 16, 2005, Governor Linda Lingle appointed Bev Harbin to replace the Downtown Honolulu House seat vacated by Rep. Ken Hiraki when he took a position with Hawaiian Telcom. Today, Speaker Calvin K. Y. Say officially announced Rep. Bob Herkes to take the chair of the Consumer and Protection Committee vacated by Rep. Hiraki. As of Tuesday, September 20, 2005, I was named chair of Chair of the Economic Development and Business Concerns Committee, which Rep. Herkes chaired. Rep. Kyle Yamashita replaces me as vice chair of the Tourism and Culture Committee. Rep. Ryan Yamane is now vice chair of the Legislative Management Committee, which Rep. Yamashita occupied.

I thouroughly enjoyed the last three years as vice chair of Tourism and Culture under the chair, Rep. Jerry Chang. Being vice chair of Tourism and Culture under Chair Chang was an awesome experience and I thank Speaker so much for that opportunity. Likewise, I am extremely grateful for my new assignment to chair the Economic Development and Business Concerns Committee.

I will do my best to strengthen Hawaii's economy. I want to diversify our economy by strengthening our technology, biotechnology, science, art, digital media, and film industries. In addition, I will work hard to help our workforce and infrastructure.