Gov. David Ige and Lt. Gov. Josh Green were sworn in Monday at a ceremony that took place in the State Capitol Rotunda.
This was Ige’s second inauguration. He was initially sworn in as the 8th governor of the State of Hawaii on Dec. 1, 2014.
He was accompanied by his wife, First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige, and his three children, Lauren, Amy, and Matt.
Green was formerly a state senator from Hawaii Island. He was accompanied by his wife, Jaime, and children Maia and Sam.
Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald administered the oaths of office.
The ceremony included a musical prelude by the Royal Hawaiian Band and The Kamehameha Schools Children’s Chorus, and a traditional 10-cannon salute by the Hawaii National Guard.
Former governors George Ariyoshi, John Waihee, Ben Cayetano, Linda Lingle, and Neil Abercrombie were in attendance.
One of the governor’s goals for his second term is to build a better Hawaii for future generations, even as his own children now pursue careers on the mainland.
“That’s the opportunity and that’s the challenge for all of us, really to create an economic environment here that can really foster innovation and business startups so that we can create careers here for the next generation. So yes, for me, it’s personal, but I also know I speak for many parents in the community who have seen their children leave, and would want them back,” Ige said.
Ige also says more changes are planned for Hawaii’s public education system, including exploring how DOE property could generate revenue to support schools.
“If you look at what we’ve done in the last four years, it’s about aligning the goals of the Board of Education, myself, and the superintendent. So I’m excited. (Superintendent Dr. Christina) Kishimoto has been very focused on the student empowerment of schools, and we do share the same philosophy that those closest to the children should be making the most important decisions, and we’re committed to delivering more resources to the school level, and I think investing in educational leaders,” Ige said. “Empowerment is not just about a word that we say. It really is ensuring that we have quality leadership at the school level, administrative as well as faculty and staff, who really understand the challenges and the opportunities that a 21st century education provides.”
Another challenge is to provide core services for Hawaii’s homeless population.
“I think Dr. Green sees it first-hand, that oftentimes repeat visitors to the ER are homeless individuals who consume so much of our resources. I think the notion is that if we can set up clinics that will be able to provide more consistent care to those who are homeless and who are chronically in need of health care, that we would reduce the cost of health care for everyone,” Ige said.
“Much of the work that we’ve been doing for homelessness has really focused on how to make existing programs more efficient by ensuring that the outcomes that we’re measuring and the standards that we’re holding the service providers to are aligned with the core principles and priorities of the administration,” he added. “It is about Housing First, and knowing that if we can get homeless individuals into permanent, supportive housing and provide them with mental health and substance abuse and other health services that they need, we stand a better shot of transitioning them into becoming productive citizens if we can do that, so we will continue to focus in those areas.”
Inauguration ceremony video provided by Olelo Community Media.