HONOLULU (KHON2) — Mauna Loa’s eruption is taking place in the middle of a transition of power in the state. Governor-elect Josh Green will officially take office on Monday, Dec. 5, and the eruption added to his list of priorities.
Governor David Ige’s term is coming to a close and Governor-elect Josh Green will be sworn in in a matter of days. The two administrations are working hand in hand in sharing responsibilities, and Mauna Loa’s eruption is a pressing addition to the list of priorities for the incoming governor.
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“Mayor [Mitch Roth] called me at 12:01 a.m. to tell me that the volcano was erupting,” Green said. “And, I was happy to take his call. That was a day or two ago. Meanwhile, of course, we are transitioning with Governor Ige’s inner circle and putting our own cabinet together.”
Green said he continues to be up to date with the latest on the eruption. He is finalizing a list of cabinet members to lead key state departments; Green said an announcement will be made in the coming days. Some of those departments are directly involved in the Mauna Loa eruption response, such as HI-EMA within the Department of Defense and the Department of Health.
“General Hara and his team at HI-EMA, who we will be retaining general Hara, will be continuity for us into the next administration,” Green said. “The director of health may change after the new year, been really honored to work with Dr. Char. So in the interim, they’re staying through the new year; and we hope to have a lot of continuity.”
Green said they will continue monitoring the lava flow closely but said air quality and any possible health impacts in the community will be on the top of his list in his response as governor.
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Green also said to expect announcements during his first few days in office on plans for the new Aloha Stadium and affordable housing.
Green’s inauguration will take place Monday, December 5.