A sustainable economy is essential to our quality of life on our island. Having started and led several businesses here in Hawaii I know personally the challenges and success that can happen in business. Business folks can create a thriving economy, in full cooperation with government agency folks who enforce the laws and rules to protect our environment, public health and safety. The State government needs to increase its support for our core industries of tourism, astronomy, volcanology, ranching, farming, forestry, fishing, marine science and technology, and renewable energy.
Sustainable development of our land and ocean resources will be a very important part of our future economy. Improving biosecurity programs to control invasive species is critical to sustaining our agricultural economy and protecting our environment. Achieving greater self-reliance for food and energy production will only happen with the private sector taking the lead with the support of government.
Looking to the future, our challenge is to build on our island's natural strengths and competitive advantages to diversify our economy to offer more jobs with livable wages that will support our families. State government has the responsibility to support a healthy economy by maintaining and improving our transportation infrastructure of airports, highways and harbors. Government must also work with businesses and their communities to better prepare to respond and recover from natural disasters.