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Senator Lorraine R. Inouye

Report on the 2023-24 Biennium of the Hawai‘i State Legislature

  • Maui Wildfire Recovery – $850 million (FY24-25)
  • Wildfire Preparedness – $20 million (FY24-25)
  • District 1 Capital Improvement Projects
    $132 million (FY23-24) $55 million (FY24-25)
  • District 1 Grant-in-Aid Funding to community organizations
    $2.1 million (FY23-24) $1.4 million (FY24-25)

$138.5 Million Secured for Senate District 1

Hilo Harbor & Wailoa Small Boat Harbor

Our Hilo waterfront will get overdue attention to improve Hilo Harbor for both visitors and shippers. Wailoa Small Boat Harbor will see money for overdue dredging and repairs.

Hilo Benioff Medical Center

The legislature supported our push for $50 million to expand intensive care and medical surgical units. Marc Benioff, entrepreneur and philanthropist, and his spouse, Lynne donated $20 million. In his honor, the hospital was renamed the Hilo Benioff Medical Center. Plans include improvements to Extended Care Department; boiler replacement; roof repair and construction and equipment for Intensive Care & Medical Care units.

Public Schools

We funded additional classrooms at our public schools and committed money for space for pre-kindergarten children and for the YWCA of Hawai‘i Island new pre-school.

Puainako Street Project

We continue to press for resolution of the traffic issues on Puainako Street. We are funding steps, both temporary and permanent, to eliminate congestion around our schools, including a new connector road from Waiakea Elementary to Kino‘ole Street.

Capital Improvement Project Funds FY23-24 and FY24-25

Hilo Benioff Medical Center
To expand the intensive care and medical surgical units.

University of Hawai‘i at Hilo
For modernization and improvements 2023-24, $14.5 million, and 2024-25 $21 million.

Hilo Harbor Improvements
To acquire some surrounding property and improve the overall experience for both visitors and shippers.

Banyan Drive Area
To demolish and remove the former Uncle Billy’s building.

Wailoa Small Boat Harbor
For improvements and repairs.

Hawai‘i Astronomy Engineering
Plans and design for a center for the design, development, and fabrication of astronomical instruments within the University of Hawai‘i.

Hilo International Airport
Improve T-Hangar, West Ramp and fire alarm system; design for terminal infrastructure. Improvements to terminal, systems and facilitie

UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
Plans, design and construction for CTAHR Waiākea research station infrastructure, learning labs, and other related improvements; ground and site improvements.

Watershed Protection for Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa

Waiākea Intermediate
For plans, design, and construction for campus-wide electrical upgrades.

Ernest Bowen Desilva Elementary
For plans, design, and construction, to build six new classrooms.

Hilo Intermediate
For construction to demolish the school gymnasium.

Grants-in-Aid FY23-24 and FY24-25

Hawai‘i YMCA

YWCA of Hawai‘i Island
New preschool

Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island
Youth resource center

Hawai‘i Island Portuguese Chamber
of Commerce
Building improvement

Hawai‘i Care Choices
Headquarter and parking improvements

Hawai‘i  County Economic
Opportunity Council
Improvements to main office

Friends of the Palace Theater
Photovoltaic system

East Hawai‘i Cultural Center
Improvements and restoration

Goodwill Industries of Hawai‘i, Inc. Improvements

Outdoor Circle, Hawai‘i for Banyan Drive Improvements

Big Island Resource Conservation & Development Council
Improvements at alae post-harvest facility

Hawai‘i Science & Technology Museum Laboratory equipment

Big Island Substance Abuse Council


Lorraine Inouye is a team player. With the help and support of her colleagues, she has advanced important initiatives for our state and Hawai‘i Island:

  • Instrumental in supporting the installation of traffic lights and Village lights on Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway in the Kohala Resort district, helping to solve dangerous traffic intersections.
  • Spearheaded funding to move Beaumont Research Center from UH-H Campus to Komohana Agricultural Research Center, which preceded substantial improvements to the Agricultural Center.
  • Supported major buildings at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, including the $25 million needed for the new Sciences and Technology Building.
  • Providing support for the $93 million Hale Kaulike, the Hilo Judiciary Complex on the Big Island.
  • Supported major improvements to Hilo Harbor’s Pier 4 cargo wharf project, the Pier 1 cargo yard and passenger terminal improvements, which also added new docking pier for Young Bros.
  • Fought for funds to improve the terminal building at Hilo airport. Over the years, she also pressed for major improvements to all state airports.
  • Leader behind improvements to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, including the rental car operations.
  • Pressed for major improvements to Daniel K. Inouye Highway (DKI), also known as Saddle Road, the final phase of which was completed in 2017.
  • Continues to fight for transfer of leases to the Department of Agriculture from the Department of Land and Natural Resources. She spearheaded Act 90, which called for the transfer and management of non-agricultural park lands and facilities from DLNR to DOA in an effort to ensure the long-term productivity of the state’s agriculture.
  • Spearheading research and support for development of North Kohala water infrastructure to supply agricultural farm lots with non-potable water irrigation. Currently, farmers in the Kohala area must use potable county water for irrigation, which is wasteful and expensive.
  • Spearheading legislation to streamline agricultural loan programs and to provide support and education to farmers.
  • Substantial funding for Hilo Medical Center, its emergency room, and other critical
  • Fought against Neighbor Islands paying for Honolulu Rail through the TAT (transient accommodations tax).

Over her years in office, she has also been a champion of education:

  • Requested and obtained Hawaiʻi State CIP (Capital Improvement Projects) funding for a new gym at Hilo High School.
  • Worked to develop portable recreational facilities for Kalaniana‘ole School in Pāpa’ikou.
  • Obtained $2 million in funding for a covered play court.
  • Supports improvements for Laupāuhoehoe  Charter School.
  • Requested and obtained CIP funds for improvements at Honokaʻa High School and elementary school.
  • Spearheaded funding for the 9-classroom STEAM Learning Center at Waimea Middle School, which houses science, technology, engineering, arts/ ‘āina and math classes for nearly 250 students. The center opened in 2018.
  • Requested and received CIP Funds for a new gym and new building for Science and Tech at Kohala High.
  • Provided support for a new 13,000 square foot classroom building and office space at Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School.


I am thankful for the many diverse organizations that have placed their trust in me, and pledge to continue supporting programs that make our community safer, healthier and more resilient.

Hawai‘i Nurses Association
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