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Hawaii State Senator, Dist 22

Duties: The Hawaii State Senate is the upper chamber of the Hawaii State Legislature. The Hawaii State Senate is a part-time body.Areas Represented: Honokai Hale, Nanakuli, Maili, Waianae, MakahaHow Elected: The senate consists of 25 members elected from an equal number of constituent districts across the islands. A Senator must be a Hawaii resident for not less than three years, is at least 18 years old, and is a qualified voter of the senatorial district from which the person seeks to be elected. Candidates for state legislative offices who are nominated in the primary election and are unopposed in the general election will be deemed elected to the office sought after the primary election regardless of the number of votes received by that candidate (Hawaii State Constitution, Article III, Section 4).Term: Four years, not subject to term limits.Base Salary (FY2022): $62,604 plus $225/day if living outside Oahu, $10/day for members living on Oahu; Senate President - $70,104

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    Samantha DECORTE

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Biographical Information

Please provide a brief Candidate Statement describing your qualifications and why you are running for this office.

How would you stop corruption or the appearance of corruption as a State Legislator?

What, if any, actions would you work towards in your first 100 days to address the threats facing Hawaii due to climate change?

Do you believe the response to the COVID-19 crisis could have been improved, and if so, how?

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Twitter @SenMaile
Campaign Phone (808) 349-3075
I was first elected to the State House in 2003, representing Waianae, Makaha, and Makua. In 2011, I had the fortune of being appointed to replace then Senate President Colleen Hanabusa when she was elected to Congress. I have served in the State Senate ever since. I have served as Chair of the Hawaiian Affairs Committee since 2013. I am also a member of the Ways and Means, and Transportation Committees.

In addition to serving as a legislator, I am an attorney at a non-profit legal services office, and I represent clients in primarily family and public benefit cases. I am a proud graduate of Maili Bible, Wai‘anae Elementary, Our Lady of Sorrows, ‘Iolani, Colorado College, and UH Law School.
In 2022 the Legislature passed a measure that bans campaign fundraisers during the legislative session. We also passed HB2416, which requires 501(c)(4) noncandidate committees to disclose the name and address of donors who make a donation individually or in an aggregate of more than $10,000. Further, we passed HB1475, which requires state legislators and employees to complete mandatory ethics training courses every four years.
I am proud to say that I fought for $40m in special purpose revenue bonds for DIBSHawaii to engage in a carbon capture project via SB2865 (2022). DIBSHawaii is owned by Keoni Ford, a Hawaiian from Waianae. Ford and his colleagues plan to build a net-zero carbon capture storage utilization platform that will recover vented carbon dioxide emissions and scrub and liquify the emissions into food grade liquid carbon dioxide. The recovered carbon dioxide may be placed in pressurized storage tanks, creating a virtual terminal for food grade carbon dioxide to be utilized across the State. This product will be utilized for agriculture and renewable energy, and will help to address climate change.
I think HI did the best we could under the circumstances. Fortunately, in 2022 the Legislature allocated additional COVID19-related funding, including $5m for testing, $14m for HI State Laboratory modernization, $321m to increase unemployment benefit programs, and $2m for emergency food assistance programs.