Leading in to the Future, Proud of the Past
Committed to Growing the Economy and Creating Jobs
The State's economy needs a plan. Families and businesses continue to struggle. Businesses are still fearful to hire due to economic uncertainty. There needs to be a shift. Senator Dela Cruz maintains that the state needs to move away from the practice of government borrowing and spending its way out of problems. The State cannot keep going to the taxpayer to pay for all of these multimillions in improvements and maintenance. The debt cannot keep increasing to be passed on to future generations when the State has underutilized assets that can generate revenue.
Over the past two legislative sessions, Senator Dela Cruz worked with various agencies such as the Agribusiness Development Corporation in revitalizing the agricultural industry; the Hawai'i Housing Finance and Development Corporation to increase the inventory of affordable and workforce housing; and the Public Land Development corporation to seek and engage public-private partnerships. He also met with groups such as the Entrepreneurs Organization and Young Leaders to discuss diversifying our economy by creating the opportunities for businesses to startup or relocate here. In addition, Senator Dela Cruz continues to meet with community residents in creating a regional economic revitalization plan.
Working with his colleagues, Senator Dela Cruz introduced and supported legislation that would:
Spur public-private partnerships in public housing facilities;
Remove some of the red-tape which burdened the process and limited opportunities for economic development on the state’s underutilized assets; and
Increase the bond ceiling for affordable housing projects which will not only increase the inventory of housing but get Hawai'i's unemployed back to work.
Senator Dela Cruz stated that the state is in an era where concerns of the economy should be less about new development, but more about the performance, improvement, and opportunity of the existing developed environment.
Committed to Hawai'i's Environment and Local Agriculture
Senator Dela Cruz believes that the State must make a solid commitment to ensure that native forests and agricultural lands will be around for now and for generations to come. Understanding the important role that native forests play in the State’s water resources and economy, Senator made it one of his top priorities to generate and direct funding towards the preservation of these irreplaceable resources.
As the Chair of the Senate Committee on Water, Land, & Housing, Senator Dela Cruz was instrumental in ensuring that $2.5 million for the watershed initiative was allocated, to be expended on projects that include invasive species removal, construction and ongoing maintenance of fences, control of other forest threats, and restoration.
Senator Dela Cruz introduced Senate Bill 2378, which was passed, which requires any State agencies, counties, or non-profit land conservation organizations seeking funding through the Legacy Land Conservation Fund to acquire property, to provide a conservation or agricultural easement on the property acquired.
A notable land acquisition is the purchase of 1,723 acres of the Galbraith Estate, which will be under the management of the Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) that plans to place local farmers on the land. Senator Dela Cruz was instrumental in having $3.6 million allocated to ADC for FY12-13 to acquire and retrofit the Dole facilities located in Whitmore Village to become a modern agriculture processing and distribution hub for the region.
Further, Senator Dela Cruz had the sum of $750,000 for the plan and design phase included in the budget to set up the necessary infrastructure for a cost efficient water delivery system utilizing Lake Wilson as the primary irrigation source for agriculture on the Galbraith land. Senator's proposed project aims to provide an additional water source to the property thus, giving farmers greater access to water thereby increasing their production, reducing the cost of water and preserving drinking water, which at times reaches critical levels due to drought conditions which prevail occasionally.