Speaker Saiki announces committee assignments and members of new Pandemic & Disaster Preparedness Committee

In a letter sent Friday, House Speaker Scott Saiki announced the new committee assignments for the 2021 Legislative Session. The list includes a re-organization of the health-related committees in the House and a new committee focused on pandemic preparedness.

The House previously utilized three separate committees for health, housing, and human services & homelessness. While housing still has its own carved-out committee, the letter from Saiki shows that the other issue-areas have combined into one: The Health, Human Services & Homelessness Committee (HHH).


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The new committee includes the following members:

  • Ryan I. Yamane, Chair
  • Adrian K. Tam, Vice Chair
  • Cedric Asuega Gates
  • Sharon E. Har
  • Jeanne Kapela
  • Matthew S. LoPresti
  • Scott Y. Nishimoto
  • Gene Ward

Saiki’s letter also details the members of the new Pandemic & Disaster Preparedness Committee. The committee will be charged with allocating revenue and resources related to industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Committee will include:

  • Linda Ichiyama, Chair
  • Stacelynn K.M. Eli, Vice Chair
  • Ty J.K. Cullen
  • Angus L.K. McKelvey
  • John M. Mizuno
  • Tina Wildberger
  • Justin H. Woodson
  • Kyle T. Yamashita
  • Gene Ward

“I am very excited about the teams that have been created and the work that we will be able to accomplish together,” wrote Speaker Saiki in the letter to House members. “I look forward to working with you to address the challenges caused by the pandemic and state budget situation. I am confident that we will address the challenges together to serve the people of Hawaii.”

This news out of the House comes after the Senate announced it would create a new committee for the 2021 Legislative Session dedicated to health care. Previously, Sen. Roz Baker chaired the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health. In the upcoming session, Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole will chair the new health committee with Baker serving as Vice Chair. Baker will continue to Chair the now-more-narrowed-in-scope Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection. The full list of Senate Health Committee members includes:

  • Jarrett Keohokalole, Chair
  • Rosalyn Baker, Vice Chair
  • Sharon Y. Moriwaki
  • Joy San Buenaventura
  • Kurt Fevella

Hawaii’s 2021 legislative session will convene January 20.