Sunday, January 10, 2010
Speaker Say: We Have Traffic Option Obligation
House of Representatives Speaker Calvin Say, who represents a district in East Oahu, answered numerous questions about the upcoming legislative session recently while on the Honolulu Advertiser’s “Hot Seat.”
One of the final questions in the session came from “Matthew,” who asked about the anticipated effort by some lawmakers to grab the rail transit tax for use by the State as a whole, although collection has been only on Oahu transactions.
Matthew: Speaker Say, I have always appreciated your support for rail, which we need to reduce traffic and improve our infrastructure. But I am concerned that some lawmakers may try to take the rail fund again. How can this be prevented?
Speaker Say: I’m only one individual in the State House, even though I’m the speaker of the House. I’ll leave it up to the members of the House to make that determination. I don’t believe in taking the money at this point in time because Calvin Say did not enact that half percent, all I did was just authorize it.
There have been members who have opposed it and I can respect that, too. But for those on the Central and Leeward Oahu side, we in East Honolulu and windward (side) have always said “no more growth, no more growth.” So we’re pushing the growth, the urban sprawl out to Central and Leeward Oahu. And if that is the case, I think we should be obligated to say to these people out in that area that we have an obligation to come up with some alternatives, and that’s what this rail issue is today.