The Capitol Rotunda was crowded with students and Native Hawaiian demonstrators as the Hawaii Legislature convened a new session Wednesday.
Wrapped in Native garb and Hawaiian flags, Kamehameha students La’akea Awong, 14, and Jonah Kahuli-Apo, 15, entered the Capitol before the session begin.
Catered food arrived at the chamber level of the Capitol well before legislators did.
Senate President Ron Kouchi with Gov. Ige were on hand as the Senate convened. Kouchi talked mostly about education while Ige was still fielding questions about Saturday’s false missile alarm.
Cross Su’e-Kepilino, 16, was among the sign-bearers inside the Capitol Rotunda, where voter registration information was handed out.
Carole Ichiyama held her grandson, Dylan Chong, in the House gallery. Dylan’s mother, Rep. Linda Ichiyama of Salt Lake, was on the House floor.
Lei Learmont was sworn in as a representative by Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald. She represents District 46, which includes Wahiawa and Whitmore Village, replacing Marcus Oshiro, who resigned to join the Hawaii Labor Relations Board.
Republican Rep. Gene Ward gave Rep. Lei Learmont a bipartisan welcome hug after she was sworn in.
New Majority leader Della Au Belatti, center, chatted with colleagues on the House floor during a recess.
A banner with an image of Queen Liliuokalani was raised in the Capitol Rotunda.
The Capitol Rotunda had a decidedly Native Hawaiian flavor on opening day, which was also the 125th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
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