Sen. Kouchi Named Senate President
Senator Ronald Kouchi of Kauai will preside as the Hawai’i State Senate President, effective immediately, taking the position of Senator Donna Mercado Kim. The appointment follows a majority agreement among State Senators on Tuesday.
According to the Senate, Senator Will Espero will continue to serve as Vice President.
“Organizing a body composed of 25 very independent minds is always a challenge,” said Senate Majority Leader, Senator J. Kalani English. “However, past experience has shown that we are able to handle these transitions with respect for our colleagues and the integrity of the Senate.”
In 2012, Senator Kouchi was elected to the State Senate. He served as the Senate Vice President, Vice Chair of the Committee on Agriculture, Vice Chair of the Committee on Tourism, and the Majority Caucus Leader.
For 22 years before being elected to the Senate, Senator Kouchi served on the Kauai County Council. He was the Council Chair for 12 of those years.
In addition to his extensive governmental roles, Senator Kouchi is the former director of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative and the Kauai Visitors Bureau.
“All of us would like to thank Senator Kim for her leadership over the past three legislative sessions. She has served our state, our community, and our chamber well,” Senator Kouchi said.
Currently, overall changes are being made in committee leadership within the Senate, according to officials. A shift is being made to focus on making the best use of each senator’s experience, knowledge, and interests. Once committee assignments are confirmed, they will be announced.