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Governor nominates Oshiro to chair labor board

Kevin Dayton

Gov. David Ige has nominated state Rep. Marcus Oshiro as the new chairman of the Hawaii Labor Relations Board.

The position pays $120,876, and previous Chairman Kerry M. Komatsubara resigned in November.

Oshiro (D, Wahiawa-Whitmore Village) has been nominated to fill out Komatsubara’s unfinished term ending June 30, 2018, and also to serve an additional six year term that would end June 30, 2024.

Oshiro, 58, was first elected to the state House in 1994, and is a former House Democratic majority leader.

He was also chairman of the powerful House Finance Committee from 2007 to 2012, a position gave Oshiro a great deal of clout and control over state spending during and after the Great Recession.

Oshiro lost that position when the House reorganized and named Maui Rep. Joe Souki as the new speaker, and Rep. Sylvia Luke replaced Oshiro as the head of the Finance Committee. Since then, Oshiro has been part of a dissident faction in the House.

He is a graduate of Leilehua High School and University of Hawaii at Manoa, and obtained his law degree from Willamette University College of Law.

Oshiro also served as a Honolulu deputy prosecutor, and as a staff attorney in the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii Consumer Unit.

The state Senate will schedule a hearing and vote on Oshiro’s nomination during the special session of the Legislature this week.

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