Editor’s Note: In July 2012, Civil Beat sent six questions to each of the candidates registered to run in the Aug. 11 primary for Hawaii State House of Representatives District 30. Both responded, including Romy Cachola. The questions and answers are reproduced below in full. Read the response by Nicole Velasco to see how Cachola’s positions compare to those of his competitor. Click on each topic listed below to read Civil Beat’s question and Cachola’s response.

Preferred Candidate Name: Romy M. Cachola

Senate/House District Number: State House-30th District (Sand Island-Kalihi-Airport)

Date of Birth: 03/08/1938

Place of Birth/Hometown: Ilocos Sur, Philippines

Current Profession/Employer: Council Member, City & County of Honolulu

Education/Alma Mater(s): Bachelor of Law Degree, Manuel L. Quezon University, Manila

1. With the exception for Honolulu rail, the state has not raised the general excise tax in decades. Would you consider increasing the GET to help the state meet its budget demands?

No, except only as a last resort and after exploring all available options- financing or otherwise. ↩ back to top

2. Lawmakers proposed relaxing environmental regulatory review to spur development and job growth in the 2012 session, and the issue is expected to resurface next year. Where do you stand?

I support development and job growth. I support to streamline permitting and procurement requirements of construction projects provided environmental review and public is given the opportunity to give input. ↩ back to top

3. Gambling — are you for it or against it? If not, why not? If so, what type of gambling and with what kind of restrictions?

This time I’m against. Many studies report serious problems such as increased use of drugs, assault, theft, family violence, and other social ills, in places that allow gambling. Such increased problems could also result in hurting Hawaii’s tourism industry. ↩ back to top

4. The Sunshine Law is a hallmark of an open democracy accountable to its citizens. Yet, the Legislature exempts itself from this requirement. Do you support more transparency in government operations, or are there legitimate reasons to conduct some of the people’s business behind closed doors?

Yes, I support more transparency in government operations. Yes, there are legitimate reasons to conduct some business behind closed doors such as 1) dealing with confidentiality issues and 2) highly sensitive issues that may lead to potential State liability. For more info refer to Sec. 92-4 of Hawaii Revised Statutes. ↩ back to top

5. What is the best legislation — and worst legislation — that the Legislature has approved in recent years? Please explain.

The best legislation for me is the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund. I then introduced and passed a supporting bill that helped save taxpayers about $230M in premiums to pay for $500M reinsurance policies. This savings was used to balance the 2011 budget.

As for the worst legislation passed by the Legislature, I cannot think of any at this time. ↩ back to top

6. What is an issue that you would champion at the Legislature — one that perhaps has not received much attention, or an issue that is important to your district?

Unfunded Liability. The state’s unfunded liability, such as the state health fund is about $13+ billion, and the $8 billion state employees retirement fund. The solution hinges on my understanding of current facts and data. The solution is similar to the creation of the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund (discussed in question # 5). We need innovative measures to curtail yearly increases of unfunded liability and slowly reduce the amount of money that the state needs to cover it. ↩ back to top