The shake-up in state Senate leadership that began at the end of the legislative session with the ouster of Sen. Jill Tokuda as chair of the Ways and Means Committee continued Friday with the announcement of some new committee chairmanships.

Senate President Ron Kouchi issued a statement saying that, as expected, Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz will replace Tokuda as chair of the money committee, with Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran serving as vice chair.

Senator Donovan Delacruz recognizes people in gallery on last day of legislature. The Senate later adjourned. 4 may 2017
Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz recognizes people in the gallery on the last day of the session May 4. He’s now the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Tokuda lost her position after some of her colleagues saw her as an obstacle to reaching consensus on a tax plan for the Honolulu rail project. No deal was reached before adjournment May 4, and a special session on the issue is still possible.

Kouchi also announced Friday that the Committee on Judiciary and Labor will be split into two committees, with Tokuda chairing Labor and Sen. Brian Taniguchi chairing Judiciary.

During the just-completed session, Dela Cruz was vice chair of Ways and Means, Keith-Agaran was chair of Judiciary and Labor and Taniguchi was chair of the Committee on International Affairs and the Arts.

Kouchi also announced that Sen.Kaiali‘i Kahele will be the new majority whip.


About the Author