"As a professional environmental planner and four-term Hawai‘i State Legislator, I have experience working with community stakeholders to identify concerns and opportunities; develop policies, plans and programs; and build consensus on priority solutions and implementation strategies. My professional skills in community-based planning and natural resource management are very useful in my legislative work as they are applicable skills to help me listen to constituents and stakeholders, discern issues and potential solutions, and work collaboratively with stakeholders to resolve issues and build support for legislative solutions. Having lived and worked in my district for over 35 years, I know its unique challenges and opportunities."
Please visit the Star Advertiser article to view my responses to their survey.
1. What is the biggest issue facing your district, and what would you do about it?
The biggest issue facing my constituents is the rising cost of living. I will continue to advocate for legislation to reduce the cost of living by addressing taxes, wages and the costs of housing, health care, childcare and elder care.
I have demonstrated my commitment to address these issues by supporting bills to make the Earned Income Tax Credit permanent and refundable; provide tax rebates of up to $300 per resident; increase the minimum wage; appropriate $300 million to build rental housing and $45 million to facilitate development of infrastructure for affordable housing; increase funding for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program for rental assistance; provide $15 million to the Ohana Zones project providing temporary shelter, transitional housing and services for those who are houseless; prohibit rental discrimination against recipients of Section 8 housing vouchers; address health care provider shortages in rural areas by increasing residency and training opportunities and providing loan repayment assistance to doctors working in rural areas; expand reimbursements for telemedicine services; appropriate $200 million to develop and expand preschool facilities statewide; increase funding for the Kupuna Care Program and the Aging and Disability Resource Centers in each county; and fund adult dental benefits for all Medicaid patients.
Please visit the Civil Beat article to view my responses to their survey.
“As the State Representative for Kohala, I represent residents of the area surrounding Pololū who experience the impacts of its overuse by visitors every day. I am grateful for the opportunity to support the community’s vision of leadership and stewardship of Pololū, and I encourage everyone in the community to actively participate in this planning process. I look forward to seeing the entire and original intent of protecting Pololū, as an initiative driven by the community, coming to fruition.”
"The funding approved by the Legislature includes $600 million for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to develop a multi-pronged approach to eliminating its waitlist. According to state Rep. David Tarnas, who represents North and South Kohala and North Kona, House Bill 2511 will also help DHHL build more homes, buy more land and provide rental and mortgage assistance to Native Hawaiians on the waitlist."
“This project has been a priority of mine for over 25 years, going back to my first time serving as state representative from 1994-1998,” State Rep. David Tarnas, D-North Kohala, South Kohala and North Kona, who is chairman of the House Committee on Water and Land, said in a statement.
“I am grateful to the governor for releasing the funds for this very important project. Now Hawaii County will be able to move forward and develop a comprehensive plan and design for a wastewater collection system for the Puako community,” he said. “My goal in securing these public funds is to protect the water quality and coral reefs of the Puako nearshore area, which are of great value to our community.”