East Hawaii News

Donna Mercado Kim Selected as Senate President

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Senate Vice President Donna Mercado Kim has been selected as the new Senate president, filling the role left by former Senate president Shan Tsutsui who formally accepted the lt. governor’s post on Thursday.

Kim, who represents the 14th District of the state Senate, will preside during the 27th Hawaii State Legislature, which convenes on January 16, 2013.

Senator Ronald D. Kouchi from District 8 will serve as Senate vice president; Senator David Ige from District 16 will continue as chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means; and Senator Michelle Kidani from District 18 will serve as his vice chair of WAM.

Legislative officials say the Senate line-up remains mostly intact to allow members continuity in their committee work as the Senate has been preparing for the upcoming session.


“We are solidified in dealing with the pressing issues facing our state,” said Senate President Kim. “The Senate continues to be organized in a cooperative and focused manner. I’m humbled to receive the confidence and support of my colleagues,” she said.

Senate Vice President Kouchi said the body quickly reached agreement, so that attention could be focused on issues at hand as preparations are made for the 2013 session.

A complete listing of Senate leadership and committee chairmanships is as follows:

  • President, Donna Mercado Kim
  • Vice President, Ronald D. Kouchi
  • Majority Leader, Brickwood Galuteria
  • Assistant Majority Leader, Michelle Kidani
  • Ways and Means, Chair, David Ige
  • Ways and Means, Vice Chair, Michelle Kidani
  • Majority Floor Leader, Will Espero
  • Majority Policy Leader, Les Ihara, Jr.
  • Majority Whip, Gil Kahele
  • Majority Whip, Jill Tokuda
  • Judiciary and Labor, Chair, Clayton Hee
  • Commerce and Consumer Protection, Chair, Roz Baker
  • Agriculture, Chair, Clarence Nishihara
  • Technology and The Arts, Chair, Glenn Wakai
  • Economic Development, Government Operations, and Housing, Chair, Donovan Dela Cruz
  • Energy and Environment, Chair, Mike Gabbard
  • Education, Chair, Jill Tokuda
  • Tourism and Hawaiian Affairs, Chair, Brickwood Galuteria
  • Health, Chair, Josh Green, MD
  • Higher Education, Chair, Brian Taniguchi
  • Human Services, Chair, Suzanne Chun Oakland
  • Public Safety and Military Affairs, Chair, Will Espero
  • Transportation & International Affairs, Chair, J. Kalani English
  • Water and Land, Chair, Malama Solomon


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