Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Maui Rep. Joe Souki Plans to Introduce Pro-Gambling Constitutional Amendment in 2012

Rep. Souki Recaps Session, Forecasts Election

By Susan Halas
...Souki said that the 2012 legislative session which begins in January will again be about money, but the tone might be “even more conservative” because it’s an election year where every seat in the 51 member State House and 25 seat State Senate up for a vote. “It’s unlikely you’ll see anything controversial,” he said.

Then, in the next breath he added that he plans to offer a state constitutional amendment asking voters if they want to legalize gambling (Hawaii and Utah are the only two states that do not currently allow any form of gaming). Also he said, “There will definitely be measures introduced to liberalize the marijuana laws.”

“I would support both,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean they will pass”... (Complete Story)

State Rep. Joe Souki (D-Maui)
Joseph M. "Joe" Souki (D-Maui) is a 15 term veteran of the Hawaii State House representing the 8th House district which includes Kahakuloa, Waihee, portions of Wailuku and Waikapu. The St. Anthony High School graduate began his career as an administrator for Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO) in 1966 where he was known as an advocate for seniors and low income Mauians.

A lifelong Democrat he entered politics in 1978 when he won a seat as Maui delegate to the Hawaii Constitutional Convention. In 1982 he was elected State House and rose to become Speaker of the House. Almost 30 years later he is Speaker Emeritus, member of the House Democratic Leadership Caucus and chairs the House Transportation Committee.

Souki, now 78 years of age, has served Maui under five governors (Ariyoshi, Waihee, Cayetano, Lingle, Abercrombie) and has had a front row seat in state government and politics for almost 30 years. He plans to seek reelection in 2012.

Blogger's Note: Hawaii and Utah are the only two states in the U.S. with no legalized gambling.

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