Jill Tokuda was removed as chair of the State Senate Ways and Means Committee on the last day of the 2017 session because of her position against extending the general excise tax to fund the Honolulu rail project. The move left Sen. Tokuda without a power position and Honolulu without a bailout fund to finish the rail project.
Tokuda has served in the Hawaii Senate since 2007 and addressed issues ranging from decreasing school bus costs to reforming the University of Hawaii’s Board of Regents. Last year, her move to increase class time for Hawaii students drew the ire of the Hawaii State Teachers Association.
In addition to the Committee on Education, Tokuda is also a member of the committees on Agriculture and Housing; Water and Land; and Ways and Means.
Tokuda is an alumna of the Hawaii public school system and George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She is married to Kyle Machibata and has two children, Matt and Aden.