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One more reason to vote for U.S. Senator Brian Schatz

July 18, 2014

In last night’s U.S. Senate debate on Hawaii News Now, Colleen Hanabusa touted the creation of the EUTF and civil service reform as examples of her legislative leadership.

If you recall, Hanabusa worked together with then-Governor Ben Cayetano to create the EUTF (Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund), which got rid of union health funds to establish a single public employee health insurance fund, and on civil service reform to limit rights and benefits of public employees. Prior to the EUTF, unions were able to offer alternative health plans to the State Health Fund, creating price and coverage competition that benefited employees. The EUTF of today has no competition, arguably forcing members to pay more for their health coverage.

In response to the question, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz talked about his U.S. legislative leadership versus state legislative record, which Hanabusa only focused on. He said, “The question…is how have we performed in the Congress?” He mentioned Hanabusa’s bills as a U.S. representative: “introduced 28 bills…four or five of them have been ceremonial in nature, exactly one of them has passed, which is to rename a post office in Kaimuki after Cec Heftel. You do not have an active record as a legislator in the Congress, you do not have a distinguished record as a legislator in the U.S. House. On the other hand, I hit the ground running…”

Schatz is currently chair of the Tourism Subcommittee and chair of the Water and Power Subcommittee, has garnered key appropriations for Hawaii such as the East-West Center, and has sponsored legislation to benefit working families including Social Security, college affordability and clean energy.

To watch the full debate, click here.

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