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Justin Woodson (D)

House District 9 (Kahului, Puunene, Maui Lani and Old Sand Hills)

August 6, 2014
The Maui News

Age: 37

Birthplace: Kansas

Residence: Kahului

Article Photos

Justin Woodson

Occupation: State representative, appointed January 2013; Woodson's Eco Auto Wash, owner, 2012 to present; Realty Executives, Realtor, 2009-11; Prudential Locations, Realtor, 2007-09; Hawaii State Legislature, legislative analyst/committee clerk, 2006-07

Education: California State University Fullerton, bachelor of arts, political science

Community service: Maui Economic Opportunity, Head Start Budget, Sub-Committee member 2011; the Gospel of the Alpha and Omega International Inc., vice president, 2008 to present; Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce, member, 2013 to present; Japanese Cultural Society of Maui, member, 2013 to present; Friends of Maui Waena Intermediate, member, 2013 to present

Fact Box

Candidates for state Senate and House seats were all asked to answer:

* Hospital privatization. What is your position on the privatization of Maui Memorial Medical Center and the Hawaii Health System Corp.?

And, they were asked to choose and answer one of the following:

* Health Connector. What do you think of the state's rollout of the Health Connector? And what do you think should be done to "fix" it? Or should it be scuttled entirely?

* Political contributions. To what extent do you see political campaign contributions affecting Hawaii elections? Is there need for reform? If so, what would that be?

* Same-sex marriage. What do you think of the Hawaii Legislature's passage of a bill to legalize same-sex marriages? Is this the end of this issue?

* Electricity costs. Hawaii electricity consumers pay the highest power rates in the United States. What, if anything, can be done about this?

* Sunshine Law. Do you think Hawaii's Sunshine Law adequately protects the public's right to know? If not, what change is needed?

* State unfunded liabilities. Do you think enough is being done to address unfunded liabilities?

Family: Married, four children

Hospital privatization: "Privatization does not automatically solve all the challenges the Hawaii Health System Corp. faces. It's important to note: the Maui Memorial Medical Center typically does much better financially than the other hospitals in the system. This is apparent as Maui Memorial has issued two emergency loans for millions of dollars to other hospitals within the HHSC system within the last two years alone. Efficiencies and other positive changes to Maui Memorial are helping reduce the costs of care while increasing the quality of care for the people of Maui County. We also are fortunate to have great medical professionals to service our tri-isle community, which also helps keep costs down by having more efficient service provided.

"Health care is a complex issue. More changes need to occur in Maui Memorial and in the larger system. However, it might be a good start to simply just examine the positive alterations Maui Memorial has made to better service the communities and then replicate those best practices to the other hospitals in the HHSC system."

Electricity costs: "While recently visiting members around the community at their homes, the high costs of energy is of great concern to many families. The Renewable Energy Technologies Income Tax Credit allowed individuals, families and businesses to take advantage of a 30 percent income tax credit for solar panel installation. The credit was important to serve as a catalyst towards reducing energy costs and protecting our environment.

"All things considered however, costs to install solar panels on roofs to reduce energy costs are still too expensive for many. The state Legislature has taken a fresh and effective approach in dealing with this issue. The Green Energy Market Securitization Act, which passed in the state Legislature last year, allows families to easily obtain low-interest loans to install photovoltaic systems on their homes. These loan payments are similar to the amount of current energy bill costs. However after the loan is paid, energy bills drop dramatically, on average to around $20 per month. Other creative efforts are currently being explored for those individuals and families who rent their homes or live in condos. New proposals like this will significantly reduce energy costs for families. The GEMS program will be available to the community shortly."



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