East Hawaii News

WLC Elects New Leadership, Expands Membership

January 21, 2016, 12:31 PM HST
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Hawai'i State Legislature file photo.

Hawai’i State Legislature file photo.

Female lawmakers at the county level will be included in the membership of the Hawai’i Women’s Legislative Caucus.

The decision was made during the annual meeting of the WLC, where members from the state Senate and House elected new co-conveners for the Caucus and voted to expand their membership.

Along with the decision to broaden membership, WLC named new leadership. Senators Rosalyn H. Baker and Laura H. Thielen and Representatives Lauren Kealohilani Matsumoto and Della Au Belatti were named the 2016 co-conveners, a two year role.

“I’m excited to step up to co-convene this wonderful group of women,” said Senator Thielen.  “I look forward to continuing the important work of this group which has a great track record for bettering the lives of women.”

“It’s an honor to be in the company of these strong, smart women lawmakers, and I believe together we can make a difference in the lives of women throughout the State,” said Representative Matsumoto.

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The WLC also decided to extend invitations to women members of the four county councils to join state lawmakers in promoting legislation at the state and county levels.

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“Last year we worked closely with the women members of the Honolulu City Council to protect the safety of victims of domestic violence.  We found we could be much more effective when working on matters at both the state and county level,” said Senator Baker. “We look forward to expanding those efforts to every island.”

“Developing this partnership with the women from all counties just makes sense,” said Representative Bellati.  “By working together, we create a statewide effort of women leaders which only benefits all women in Hawai’i.”

Legislative priorities for the 2016 legislative session are being finalized. The package is expected to be announced on Jan. 28 during the caucus’ meeting.

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