KAUAI—Larry Fillhart is a Republican candidate for State House District 15, which represents Lihue and Koloa on Kauai.
Fillhart has worked in construction and has a background in education.
The Hawaii Independent presented reader-submitted questions to each General Election candidate. Responses will be published in the order in which they are received.
Here are Fillhart’s responses.
Who is your largest campaign contributor?
I only received $325. $275 from the republican party and $50 from the Hawaii Federated Republican Women’s Association.
Where do you stand on civil unions? Would you have voted for House Bill 444? Do you think that the debate over gay marriage contributes to gay bashing in our schools?
How, as an elected official, will you support and enforce the existing State laws that protect and nurture the rights of Native Hawaiians?
The rights of Native Hawaiians should, at least, be put there with other American Indian Tribes. The Native Hawaiians need to get more organized so the State can deal with them as a nation.
What kind of tax relief do you support and how else do we lower the cost of living for full time residents?
As I don’t support tax hikes, at this moment, I don’t support dropping taxes either. The State needs to take the money we have, reapportion it, and balance the budget before we pass any more bills.
How do you limit bureaucracy in government and manage civil work for efficiency?
Term limits. I have to see what we have then begin cutting.
What ideas do you have for improving our education system? Do you support a governor-appointed Board of Education?
I support an appointed Board of Education. I think all teachers should take the federal standards tests that the students take. I think the students should have to take a GED test to graduate. There should be criminal charges for extreme poor behavior. Our schools are a “babysitter” at the moment.
What’s going to be your input in addressing Hawaii’s homeless crisis?
Begin finding which ones are mentally challenged and which ones are just Lazy. Take the lazy ones and put them to work cleaning beaches, parks, etc. The ones who are mentally challenged should be brought into such groups as Friendship House and create more services for them.
How would you improve accountability in government?
When a bill is introduced, it has to be paid for. At the moment, the legislators can draw up a bill without knowing how much it will cost. It can also be voted on and become law. The entire state should be able to know who votes for what. I read that the voting can be silent.
What is your opinion on Hawaii’s current approach to renewable energy?
We’re starting. We need to use several forms on each island. A little hydro-electric, a little wind, a little wave, a little thermal (Hawaii Island), a little bio-mass, maybe even a little nuclear.
Do you support legislation that would establish clear definitions and penalties for human trafficking in Hawaii?
Yes. Supposedly slavery was over a long time ago. The penalties should be high.
Are you aware of concerns Hawaii residents have with the lack of enforcement of child support laws, and do you see a way you could address it if elected?
Yes, I was aware of it. I’m not sure what laws are on the books, but people should start going to jail for non-support or begin working for the State and the wages go to the families.
In balancing the State budget, what specific government programs or services would you cut?
As stated before, bills are being passed without knowing how much they cost. We need to balance the budget before spending more money. We can’t just go through the budget saying this one is good and that one is bad. We need to find out how much money we have and go from there.
In general, the State of Hawaii needs to begin changing the way we do business. I know we are wasting money. Hawaii is one of the most highly taxed states in the nation and the services the people obtain are sometimes the worst. For example, our education is 43rd in the nation. There needs to be a way for the State to help the people help themselves. I have four short ideas I will try to do immediately.
I think there is a way to get some form of hydro-electric on each island. Obviously, an engineer needs to be put to work.
I was told, Hawaiian Homes on Oahu have a great idea where they are building homes for its members and, in the subdivision, also growing crops for members or for sale. Why can’t the State begin doing this for those who want. In any case, how can the State begin putting emphasis on keeping the people who live here employed and getting them affordable homes that can’t be speculated on.
We need to try starting new industries. Just tourism and construction isn’t my idea of paradise. The State and federal government used to lease their agricultural lands to the cane companies and much of the infrastructure is still there. How come we don’t lease that land to farmers? We could also give them a hand on marketing the produce to other countries. Many countries are starving, why can’t we supply them with food? It doesn’t make sense.
Our educational system is not working. One of the problems is the teachers are spending too much time baby sitting unruly students. Since they are beginning to pass laws against bullies, why can’t it be a crime for students to continuously disrupt classes. The parents should be responsible for this and brought to court. Then the teachers can spend there time teaching.
Most of all. The people of the state need to begin taking a more active part in government. The more we let the government do it, the more it costs.
For more information, visit http://fillhart.squarespace.com.