Press Releases

October 31, 2016

ICYMI: New Hirono Bill to Protect Workers in Hawaii’s Longline Fleet

Senator Mazie K. Hirono will introduce a bill in the new Congress to protect foreign fishermen from exploitation and preserve Hawaii's longline fishing industry. The Senator laid out her principles for this bill in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser: "Hirono's bill would give the fishermen temporary work visas designed to afford the workers wage protections, safe working conditions and contract enforcement provisions, similar to those afforded other foreign workers with comparable visas. "The visas … Continue Reading


October 25, 2016

Hirono Announces More Than $1.5 Million in Federal Funding for Hawaii’s Public Schools

Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced that the Hawaii Department of Education will receive $1.56 million in federal funding to improve academic achievement at schools throughout the state. The U.S. Department of Education funding will be allocated among Hawaii's priority status schools to provide students and teachers with additional resources to improve performance in the classroom. "This funding ensures that Hawaii… Continue Reading


October 22, 2016

Hirono Hears from Oahu Veterans on Health Care, Access to Benefits

Senator Mazie K. Hirono joined Oahu Veterans Council members to discuss a recent Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Inspector General report, prepared at the Senator's request, that assessed the impact of a six-point plant to improve patient wait times at the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System (VAPIHCS). "Our veterans deserve benefits and quality, timely medical care equal to their service and sacrifice on behalf of our country," said Senator Hirono. "I will continue to hold the VA account… Continue Reading


October 21, 2016

Hirono Unveils Exhibit Honoring Japanese American World War II Veterans

Senator Mazie K. Hirono today commemorated the service of Japanese American World War II veterans at a new exhibit in the Honolulu International Airport. The Nisei Veterans Legacy Exhibit includes profiles of members of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service, and the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion. "Through this exhibit, millions of people who pass through Honolulu International Airport each year will have the opportunity to learn more … Continue Reading


October 18, 2016

Hirono, State & Local Leaders Emphasize How Public & Private Partnerships Improve Hawaii’s Water Security

Senator Mazie K. Hirono today convened state and local leaders to examine how federal partnerships protect and sustain Hawaii's freshwater resources. Senator Hirono, Governor David Ige, state elected officials, and watershed resource experts outlined what Hawaii groups are currently doing to improve water security, and how the federal government can support these efforts. "Hawaii's native forested watersheds feed our state's water supply, and it is vital that we protect these precious resources… Continue Reading


October 13, 2016

Hirono: Employee-Owned Businesses Benefit Hawaii Families

Senator Mazie K. Hirono today commended Hawaii's employee owned business for creating a shared sense of success and responsibility in the workplace. Senator Hirono addressed Hawaii's Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Association, which supports employee owned businesses across the state. "Hawaii's ESOPs show that when workers are the shareholders, companies can focus on sustainable growth that creates jobs and boosts incomes over the long-term - not just the next quarter," said Senator Hiron… Continue Reading


October 12, 2016

Hirono Addresses Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement

Senator Mazie K. Hirono renewed her commitment to the Native Hawaiian community at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement's annual convention. "The Native Hawaiian community has made significant strides in growing culturally significant and relevant initiatives that benefit families across Hawaii," said Senator Hirono. "However, there is still work to be done. Federal programs that improve educational opportunities, access to health care, and housing demonstrate the federal government's co… Continue Reading


October 07, 2016

President Signs Hirono Bill to Increase Paid Leave for Disabled Veterans into Law

President Obama signed Senator Mazie K. Hirono's (D-HI) bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration Veteran Transition Improvement Act into law today. Disabled veterans who work for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will now have access to additional leave to treat service-related injuries. "Mahalo to President Obama for giving FAA and TSA veteran employees additional paid leave to treat service-related injuries," said Senator Hirono. "Hel… Continue Reading


October 05, 2016

Hirono, Senate Democrats Call for Justice Department to Hold Wells Fargo Executives Accountable

Senator Mazie K. Hirono led a coalition of Senators to urge the Justice Department to investigate and, if appropriate, prosecute individual wrongdoing at Wells Fargo after revelations that the bank's employees had opened millions of accounts without customer approval. In September, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued its largest penalty to date of over $100 million to the bank as a result of this multi-year, multi-state fraud. The Senators urged Attorney General Loretta Lynch… Continue Reading


October 04, 2016

Hirono Leads Bipartisan Resolution to Recognize Filipino American History Month

Senator Mazie K. Hirono introduced a bipartisan resolution in the United States Senate to recognize the month of October as Filipino American History Month. The resolution acknowledges the key role Filipino Americans play in shaping our country. Representative Mike Honda (D-CA) introduced an identical measure in the House of Representatives. "This resolution pays tribute to the wide-ranging contributions that Filipino Americans have made to our country," said Senator Hirono. "Nearly 200,000 Fil… Continue Reading


September 29, 2016

Hirono: TPP Must Be Renegotiated to Prioritize American Workers

Today, Senators Mazie K. Hirono, Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and others told the Obama Administration that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) should not be considered by Congress until it is renegotiated. In a letter to the Administration today, the Senators outlined TPP's fundamental flaws and the need to fix them before Congress votes on the agreement, which is the biggest trade agreement ever negotiated. "Although we hear that every new trade deal is supposed to 'level the playing field' for work… Continue Reading


September 27, 2016

As VA Inspector General Releases Report on Hawaii Health Care System, Hirono Calls for Continued Action

In response to a request by Senator Mazie K. Hirono, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of the Inspector General released an inspection report on a six-point plan the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System (VAPIHCS) undertook to improve patient wait times for VA medical services. The VA first pledged to implement the plan at Senator Hirono's 2014 field hearing, which shed light on the long wait times and other obstacles Hawaii veterans face seeking care. Since the 2014 hearing, … Continue Reading


September 26, 2016

Hirono Calls for Guaranteed Access to Legal Counsel for Unaccompanied Child Immigrants in Visit to Baltimore “Kids Court”

Senator Mazie K. Hirono continued her call to guarantee access to legal counsel for unaccompanied children who come to the United States fleeing violence in their home countries during a visit to immigration "Kids Court" in Baltimore today. These children, some as young as three, are forced to navigate through immigration proceedings without any mandated legal representation. "It's unacceptable that children who are fleeing violence in their home countries are left to navigate the American lega… Continue Reading


September 23, 2016

Senator Hirono Statement on Final Department of Interior Rule

"Today's announcement is the long-time culmination of efforts to provide a pathway for Native Hawaiians to achieve self-determination. I commend the Obama administration for creating this opportunity that will enable the Native Hawaiian community to establish a government-to-government relationship on par with Alaska Natives and Native Americans - who are afforded significant resources and rights based on their federal standing as a native people. It was a privilege to have worked closely with N… Continue Reading


September 22, 2016

Senate Passes Hirono-Fischer Bill to Equalize Paid Leave for Disabled Veterans

The U.S. Senate today passed S. 2683, the Federal Aviation Administration Veteran Transition Improvement Act, legislation authored by Senators Mazie K. Hirono and Deb Fischer (R-NE) to equalize paid sick leave for veterans who work for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA). S. 2683 is cosponsored by Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS). "Disabled veterans who work at the FAA and TSA currently are forced to take unpaid leave to tr… Continue Reading


September 20, 2016

Hirono, Senate Democrats Unveil Measure To Increase Access To Support At-Risk Hawaii Youth

Senators Mazie K. Hirono, Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) today introduced the Youth Access to Sexual Health Services (YASHS) Act, a bill that would create a competitive grant program to expand access to fact-based, community oriented education and support programs that promote sexual health for young people who have been disadvantaged by underlying structural barriers… Continue Reading


September 19, 2016

Senate Passes Hirono Bill to Save Veteran Housing Programs

The U.S. Senate today approved the extension of a package of veteran health and benefit programs, which includes the Keeping Our Commitment to Ending Veteran Homelessness Act authored by Senators Mazie K. Hirono and John Boozman (R-AR) to renew a number of important veteran housing programs. Without action, these programs, which served over 600 Hawaii veterans in 2015, would have expired on September 30. The package also includes Sen. Hirono's bill, S. 3246, which renews authority for the Depart… Continue Reading


September 15, 2016

Hirono Secures Hawaii Priorities in Wide-Ranging Bill to Improve Water Resources

Senator Mazie K. Hirono successfully included several Hawaii priorities in S. 2848, the Water Resources Development Act of 2016, which passed the Senate today. The bill authorizes over $12 billion in funding for the Army Corps of Engineers, and supports water infrastructure projects across the country. "Hawaii residents know too well the dangers that flash floods present to life and property. It's critical that we upgrade our water infrastructure to ensure that families are protected," said Sen… Continue Reading


September 14, 2016

Hirono Announces More Than $7 Million In Federal Funding For Kalaeloa Airport Improvements

Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced that the State of Hawaii will receive $7.15 million from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Military Airport Program to build 10 additional hangar and storage buildings and complete repairs to Hangar 110 at Kalaeloa Airport (John Rodgers Field) on Oahu. "Kalaeloa Airport serves as a critical asset supporting Hawaii's military and civilian aircraft, especially in times of emergency," said Senator Hirono. "This funding will allow the State of Hawaii… Continue Reading


September 14, 2016

Hirono Statement on AP Story about Working Conditions in Hawaii’s Longline Fishing Fleet

Senator Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement in response to the Associated Press report on working conditions in Hawaii's longline fishing fleet: "I am deeply disturbed by the situation described in the Associated Press' report on conditions in Hawaii's longline fishing fleet. It is completely unacceptable that the inhumane treatment of any workers -foreign or not-is legal under U.S. federal law. I am engaging the full range of stakeholders, including federal agencies and the indust… Continue Reading

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