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 43. Four out of six candidates responded, including Tercia Ku. The questions and answers are reproduced below in full. Read responses by her competitors, Hanalei Aipoalani, Cynthia Rezentes, and Glenn Butler. Karen Awana and Leslie Gomes-McKeague did not send in their questionnaires. Click on each topic listed below to read Civil Beat’s question and Ku’s response.

Preferred Candidate Name: Tercia L. Ku

Senate/House District Number: House District 43

Date of Birth: 11/13/1957

Place of Birth/Hometown: Wahiawa (Place of Birth), Fairbanks, Alaska (Hometown)

Current Profession/Employer: Policy & Funding Specialist/State of Hawaii Dept of Health

Education/Alma Mater(s): Bachelor’s of Science, (Biology)/University of Alaska, Fairbanks

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?

I would first look at spending cuts rather than increasing GET, as well as 1) simplifying the tax code and/or 2) looking for loopholes which can be closed. ↩ 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?

It would be irresponsible to relax environmental review – the rules must be followed OR CHANGED. ↩ 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?

At the moment – I do not support gambling however I feel as though I don’t have all of the information regarding the topic at hand. There has been discussion regarding having gaming restricted to certain areas. it is possible that I MAY support that idea however I don’t have enough information to make an informed decision. ↩ 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?

The Sunshine Law should apply to everyone including the Legislature so yes I support more transparency in government operations but I also believe that there are instances where confidential information is the topic at hand so in these cases there are legitimate reasons for closed door discussions however I believe these would need to be written into the “Law” so that the public interest is on the forefront. ↩ back to top

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

Tough question, one in which I can’t give an answer – but would need more time to actually research. But please ask me this question again. ↩ 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?

There are several issues that I would like to champion however if I were to select one issue currently it would be around the topic of education and home schooling. I have a sister who lives in Alaska and home schools four of her five children (her youngest is not of school age). The state sends her monies that she is able to use to purchase the curriculum, technology and supplies as well as affords her the ability to give her children music lessons, and other activities such as swimming, gymnastics, etc. There are families living on the west side that have chosen to home school their children but do so without any monies from the state. These families have paid into a failing DOE system and have chosen (for whatever reason) to teach their children at home. It is true that successful completion of secondary education is a step in the right direction. I support home schooling and believe that it is our responsibility to provide the resources needed in this setting as we currrently provide in the public school setting. ↩ back to top