Sam Slom is a proven leader and reliable representative of Senate District 9, never losing focus on his community. During his five terms as a State Senator, he used his vast experience in small business, banking, tax and finance, and business education to further the interests of his constituents. With an always-open door, he never let a voter’s concerns go unheard or unaddressed.
While the current incumbent is young and capable, knowing how to get elected hasn’t translated into real results for our community. Sam’s opponent doesn’t appreciate how to serve and represent the interests of district 9 and is difficult to reach by concerned voters, making him out of touch with the needs of the community. Meanwhile, Sam Slom has never stopped his engagement with and commitment to the hard-working men and women of district 9. You can trust Sam to be a steadfast advocate for families and businesses for years to come. Call him at 808-349-5438.
Make Sam Your Voice in the State Senate!
- Job Creation
- The Rail
- Family Economic Sustainability
- Maunakea & TMT
- Lowering the Cost of Living
- Affordable Housing
- The Jones Act
Sam wants folks to get back to work! Due to Covid 19 and the unemployment situation, Sam will offer incentives to get people up and running again. Senator Sam is opposed to current legislation that would give state workers a $150 million pay increase, while more than 200,000 Hawaiʻi residents have been unemployed since March. Win-win is Sam’s motto with more employees, better educated employees, higher pay, and more opportunities for all people in Hawaiʻi. Incentives, tax changes, and regulatory changes have been done in Hawaiʻi before. We will re-prioritize government efforts to help business and employment. Nearly every national ranking in the past decade has ranked Hawaiʻi at the bottom of the list for employment, a place to do business, and future opportunities. We can change that with a pro-employment attitude by legislating structural changes in our tax and regulatory systems.
Sam Slom has deep roots in business, with experience that includes banking, tax policy, operating his own small business, as well as advocating for all small businesses in the state. Being a retired Bank of Hawaiʻi Chief Economist, assistant director of the tax foundation of Hawaiʻi, and advocating and providing meaningful incentives for Hawaiʻi’s small businesses through Lex Brodie’s small business association, Sam has shown that he is passionate about building Hawaiʻi’s economy by focusing on bolstering small businesses here in Hawaiʻi, the heart of any strong economy.
By the way Senator Sam strenuously opposes legislators (including the current incumbent’s) approval of a $150 million pay increase for the states working public employees while more than 200,000 island residents have been and continue to be unemployed.
The Honolulu Rail is famous for its failure to remain at cost, and disappointment in governmental handling of the Rail is one thing that virtually all Hawaiʻi voters can agree on. Initially estimated to be $3.4 billion for 34 miles including the University of Hawaiʻi, it is now estimated at $10 billion and rising for a 20 mile project that does not include the University of Hawaiʻi Furthermore, this new budget does not include the operations and maintenance cost which overshadows construction costs as they continue past the construction completion date. In addition, the rail is proposed as automatic with no operator on board or any security, which is an invitation to crime and lack of safety.
The Honolulu rail project must stop now! Ending at Middle Street is a viable alternative. Previous Honolulu Mayors have said that the project must be completed no matter the cost – a cost that is ever increasing. Each of these mayors came before the state legislature for even more money. Senator Slom has voted NO on each and every attempt to gain even more tax payer money for this CITY project. The deadline for operation keeps getting pushed back, but the cost to Hawaiʻi’s families continues to rise at an alarming rate. The Honolulu Rail is not about tranportation or traffic mitigation or local job creation; it is a pure and simple a goverment investment and tax scheme with benefits for selected developers under the TOD transit oriented development construction. The rail amounts to a misuse of taxpayer money, and is a major contributor to our cost of living today. Senator Slom has strongly opposed the rail since it was introduced in 2005. When he is re-elected, Sam Slom will propose a complete financial and managerial audit which will shed light on how money has been misspent and suggest immediate corrective action. This action will occur over the course of 18 months, halting any additional funding for the rail, and prove that stopping the project now at Middle Street is the best and most fiscally responsible course of action.
Family Economic Sustainability
Making it easier for families to survive in Hawaiʻi economically has been a topic of discussion for decades, and after all previous efforts under a one-party monopoly government, there is still more work to do. Local families today are often worse off than in previous generations. Many of our families, friends, and neighbors have chosen to leave Hawaiʻi. Many of them live a single paycheck away from homelessness and have lost the hope that things will get better. This is due in part to a government that is lacking in advocates for substantive investments in local businesses. The state has focused successfully on education and training programs, but when students graduate, there are limited opportunities for work in their respective industries. In turn, Hawaiʻi is losing too much of the talent and expertise that have come from this investment. We can reverse this by making several systemic changes and providing incentives for employers to hire more people at better wages. Senator Slom plans on achieving that by attracting more business industries to Hawaiʻi through having a government that he considers more helpful to business and which keeps its commitment to promises made. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked Hawaiʻi 47th in the nation to do business based on the business environment, access to resources, and business costs. When Sam Slom is re-elected to the State Senate, he will do everything in his power to increase Hawaiʻi’s standing and make it a place where businesses and industries thrive for future generations of skilled workers.
Maunakea and TMT
Native rights are important to maintaining, but it is also fair to say that Hawaiʻi must move forward on building the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). The two positions are not mutually exclusive. When Hawaiʻi was competing for the honor of the world’s most powerful telescope and subsequently won, it was a great victory because it made Hawaiʻi’s famous scientific capabilities and was a big step toward a future of diversifying what was then and is now an economy dominated by the commodities of tourism and real estate.
The State of Hawaiʻi signed a contract with developers of TMT years ago. Not to honor that contract has forced sponsors to look at other sites and would place a black mark on Hawaiʻi’s business reputation going forward, making it unlikely that other companies and industries who wish to do business here, will reconsider having to deal with Hawaiʻi’s government. While Sam Slom is open to further discussion and changes in the management of Mauna Kea, such as the total number of telescope reductions on the summit, he does not support road and work blockage or the takeover of any part of the area by any group. The State had a duty at the very first take over to enforce the law and keep all areas open even while negotiations persisted. Unfortunately, the State has proven to be a weak business partner and negotiator in this matter. Senator Slom will be a voice in support of following through on efforts to bring more industry to the state, such as moving forward with the construction of TMT on Mauna Kea.
Lowering the Cost of Living
Public voting records prove that, in his previous years in the State Senate, Sam Slom never once voted for a tax increase. Instead, he has called for audits of public spending and suggested ways of mitigating government costs and spending increases. Each year he has published an alternative state operating budget and a CIP capital improvement budget showing ways of accomplishing priority items at a lower price to taxpayers in the state.
Hawaiʻi’s cost of living is dictated in large part by government policies and increased spending (for example, the state wastes a great deal of money on administrative spending for the Department of Education). An affordable standard of living is difficult to achieve when the government continually proposes new and expensive projects at the expense of taxpayers. It seems necessary to curtail government spending, reduce the burden of state taxes, and more carefully examine any new projects, especially in light of how difficult it is to manage current projects. Any project the state invests in requires ongoing maintenance spending beyond its initial cost, and these all add up to push the overall budget ever upward. Reducing these costs will put less of a burden on working families by reducing their taxes, allowing them to bring more of their earnings home.
The idea of an “affordable” house has been dangled in front of homeowners in Hawaiʻi since statehood, yet none of the suggestions to reduce the cost of housing – which can only come from more supply – has been adopted. Instead, there are plans to build high-rise government-subsidized housing, such as those supported by the Singapore all government project of the current incumbent. The government is not capable of properly managing housing, as evidenced by the Kuhio Park Terrace project, Mayor Wright Housing and other government developed housing and their inability to achieve their goal.
Hawaiʻi continues to go in the wrong direction, failing to make housing more attainable. Other solutions, such as zoning changes, regulatory reductions, or elimination of improvement costs for developers and other technologies have been ignored. Instead of just focusing only on the cost of housing more should be done to accomplish the other things noted above that will result in increased family income and the ability to pay more for housing. Senator Slom proposes opening government land, changing zoning, and reducing or eliminating the rules forcing the building of new schools in new neighborhoods, considering those are already budgeted items. This will increase supply and price diversity for an overall housing market.
Unlike his opponent, Sam Slom opposes more government leasehold high rises and control over families’ housing choices.
The Jones Act
It is time to amend or ultimately repeal the Jones Act, the law responsible for raising the cost of shipping to places like Hawaiʻi. It has proven to make the costs of living and operating businesses much more expensive because of the Jones Act. Senator Slom has been pushing to fix this problem for years, even organizing a group including members from Alaska, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Hawaiʻi, all of whom are negatively affected by the Jones Act. The elimination or modification of this act would reduce shipping costs to Hawaiʻi’s consumers by more than 30% by allowing foreign ships to port in Hawai`i. When he returns to the State Senate, Sam Slom will continue in his fight to end the burden imposed on residents of Hawaiʻi by the Jones Act. My office has produced independent research on the jones act and several years ago we developed an educational and informative history of the jones act so that anyone in Hawaiʻi can understand it.
Homelessness in Hawaiʻi has gotten worse over the past two decades. The government has thrown millions of dollars at the problem but it keeps growing. One of the reasons is because there is no such thing as just homelessness. It has different causes such as financial loss, mental health problems, drug abuse, and more. We have made some progress particularly with veterans but we need changed laws to deal with the mentally ill and others. Continual government sweeps don’t work. Shelter with too many restrictions doesn’t work. We need to listen more to those outside of the government and the non-profits who are on the front lines and often differ with legislative mandates. It is a complex problem but can be solved in pieces rather than trying to solve the entire issue all at once. One thing is clear government and more taxpayer money will not provide the ultimate solution.