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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) issued the following statement commending President Obama’s State of the Union address:

“In his State of the Union address tonight, the President made it clear he is on the side of the middle class, and I’m proud to stand with him on the side of working families. I will support the President’s efforts that strengthen our economy and grow the middle class.

“I’m reminded tonight of a homeless high school student I met in Hawaii named Victoria, who has not let her homelessness define her and always has hoped for a better life. Because of opportunities and encouragement from her principal and community, Victoria is now in college on a full scholarship at the University of Hawaii and I know she will succeed at whatever she puts her mind to.

“The President’s forward thinking initiative to fund two years of community college will be a game changer for families I’ve met in Hawaii and across the country. We must make investing in our keiki and our future a top priority—from expanding Pre-K to making college more affordable. The President and I are fighting to level the playing field for people like Victoria. We’re on their side.

“I also stand with the President against any efforts to dismantle critical Wall Street reforms and environmental protections. In our island state, we are particularly aware of how important it is to protect our land, water, and other natural resources in the face of our changing climate.

“Tonight the President laid out how we must invest in our middle class families, which means investing in our infrastructure. In Hawaii, investing in our roads, ports, public transit systems and airports will not only be good for commerce but also create jobs and strengthen communities.

“I look forward to working with the Administration and engaging in many spirited debates with my colleagues to achieve an agenda that works for Hawaii and is on the right side of American middle class and working families, homeowners, and students.”