Ruderman Takes Over as Senate Ag Chairman

The new leadership assignments for the Hawaii State Senate are out in the wake of last week’s election, and three Big Island legislators will be in positions of power.
Sen. Josh Green (D-Kona, Ka`u) is will serve as the Senate’s floor leader—the number four leadership position, after President Donna Mercado Kim, Vice President Will Espero, and Majority Leader J. Kalani English. Sen. Gil Kahele (D-Hilo), formerly the Senate Whip, will serve as Caucus Leader. Green will also continue to serve as chair of the Health Committee, and Kahele will continue to head the Committee on Tourism and International Affairs. In one of the more significant shifts of leadership, Sen. Russell Ruderman (D-Puna) will take over the chairmanship of the Agriculture Committee from Clarence Nishihara. Ruderman is the owner of the Island Naturals grocery chain and a staunch opponent of genetically modified foods. Without a committee to lead, for now, is the Big Island’s fourth senator, Lorraine Inouye (D-Hamakua, Kohala). Inouye is a veteran legislator, but had to sit out a term after redistricting forced her to run in the same North Hawaii district with Sen. Malama Solomon. Solomon narrowly won that contest, but lost the rematch to Inouye this year.

5 replies
  1. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Monsanto will be on Russell’s ass.
    So will Richard Ha.
    Diversified family farming and all the awesome local farming knowledge from permaculture to feralculture will be
    now on display in Puna.
    Russell may have to catch up a bit to how the communities create true alternative economics. Below and above the flow.
    Where the aina is valued. Not for what $ extraction it provides. Because it is our life.
    F** monsanto. Thanks Maui farmers and peeps. UR AWESOME.

  2. naaupono1
    naaupono1 says:

    Given the status of our state hospitals, lack of facilities and services for our elderly, and the outrageous premiums at HMSA with reduced service; one would not think if Josh Green is doing anything for the people of Hawaii. Maybe he is one of many puppets for those in power.

  3. Rene Siracusa
    Rene Siracusa says:

    While happy about these appointments we must also keep in mind that leading a committee does not give one absolute power. When a vote comes to the floor, Oahu senators vastly outnumber all the neighbor islands senators put together. This is why we have been shortchanged for so long. Russell has lived here and done business with farmers for many years, and he walks his talk. I can’t conceive of him knuckling under to the likes of Monsanto et al. Dr. Green has gotten funding for many healthcare facilities and can probably do more now. Let’s think positive and give these senators the support they need to get the job done. When they propose some worthwhile legislation, for example, let’s respond strongly with our testimony. And if we have friends and family on O’ahu, let’s ask THEM to testify to THEIR senators. Green, Ruderman and Kahele can’t do it without us.

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