Sen. Schatz Discusses Pressing Issues at Hilo Town HallApril 19, 2017, 11:33 AM HST (Updated April 19, 2017, 11:38 AM) · 0 Comments
Approximately 200 to 300 Big Island residents turned out for a Town Hall with Sen. Brian Schatz at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Gymnasium on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.
Sen. Schatz answered questions about the county’s budget, “the wall,” the environment, internet rights, Russia, North Korea, women’s reproductive rights, Medicaid, Medicare, helicopter noise, LGBTQ rights and Syria.
A large group of residents from Hawaii Island Coalition Malama Pono (HICoP) attended the meeting. HICoP representative Daryl Soares asked the senator for his support in resolving what the group described as a severe, ongoing problem—helicopter noise.
“We are working on it,” explained Sen. Schatz. “We’re waiting on a response from the FAA on what the next few steps might be.”
Another topic of concern was the 2017 U.S. budget.
“The president’s budget will not be enacted,” stated Sen. Schatz, going on to explain that it simply cannot get enough votes to pass.
For example, the budget proposed by President Trump includes “$7 billion for a down payment for a wall that nobody needs,” Sen. Schatz said.
Although the town hall meeting was scheduled for 1.5 hours, many questions were left unanswered.
However, Sen. Schatz assured that those with unanswered questions would get an answer via email.
Sen. Schatz strongly encouraged all citizens to become involved and get their voices heard.
“When I think of Planned Parenthood, ACA [Affordable Care Act], climate and net neutrality, the strategy is to cultivate a grassroots network across the country that demands that we do the right thing,” said Sen. Schatz.
He will return to Washington, D.C., on Monday, April 24, 2017.