Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Friday announced that two of his Cabinet members are leaving the administration.

Jobie Masagatani, chair of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, and Rod Becker, director of the Department of Budget and Finance, will not be nominated to serve new four-year terms.

Jobie Masagatani

In an email statement, Ige said, “Jobie Masagatani has served as the chairperson of the Hawaiian Homes Commission since May 11, 2012. By law (HRS §26-34), she can only continue in that role until May 10, 2020.”

Ige continued: “In consideration of this timeframe, we are using the remainder of her appointment to effectively transition the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands toward new leadership and a chair who is able to serve the full duration of my second term.”

Masagatani will step down after the Hawaii Legislature concludes its 2019 session May 2.

As for Becker, Ige said, “Rod has decided not to pursue the position for personal reasons. He has been a valuable member of my cabinet and I want to thank him for his public service.”

Becker will also serve until the end of session unless the governor makes an appointment prior to that time.

Rod Becker

Civil Beat reported in January that three of the governor’s Cabinet members were in trouble because they lacked support from the state Senate, which handles confirmation hearings.

Masagatani has been under fire from critics, including U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, for the agency’s lack of progress in building homes.

Early in the legislative session, several lawmakers said Becker lacked the votes to be reconfirmed.

The third Cabinet member whose nomination appeared in peril, Nolan Espinda, has been renominated to run the Department of Public Safety for a second term. His confirmation hearing is scheduled Thursday.

A note to our readers

While asking for your support is something we don’t like to do, the simple fact is that our reporters, our journalism, and our impact rely on it. Since lifting our paywall and becoming a nonprofit in mid-2016, our local newsroom has benefitted from a stream of charitable support from people who want our type of journalism to survive. People like you who understand that our work is essential to a better-informed community. If you value the work of our journalists, show us with your tax-deductible support.

About the Author