The 2017 Regular Session of the Twenty-Ninth Legislature of the State of Hawaii opened at the Hawaii State Capitol on January 18.

The Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald administered the oath of office of the newly elected legislators in the presence of the families of the legislators, invited State and local officials and members of Hawaii's consular Corps.

Philippine Consul General Gina Jamoralin attended the Opening Day Ceremony and extended her congratulations to the State legislators.

The 2017 legislative session is expected to tackle issues of Honolulu rail financing, prison reform, "death with dignity", affordable housing and homelessness in the State.

Except for the newly-elected Senate Vice-President Michelle Kidani, the leadership of the two Chambers remained with the incumbent Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi and House Speaker Joseph M. Souki and his Vice-Speaker John Mizuno. Vice-Speaker Mizuno introduced House Bill 604 also known as the "Sakada" bill in 2014 and co-sponsored by 18 legislators which was later signed into law on April 9, 2015 by Hawaii Governor David Ige designating December 20th of each year as "Sakada Day" to commemorate the arrival of the first Filipino plantation workers in Hawaii on December 20, 1906. END

Source: Republic of Philippines Department Of Foreign Affairs