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Green plans different nominees to lead DBEDT, Office of Planning

MENGSHIN LIN / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
                                Gov. Josh Green speaks during a news conference at the state Capitol in Honolulu on Wednesday, March 22.
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MENGSHIN LIN / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER

Gov. Josh Green speaks during a news conference at the state Capitol in Honolulu on Wednesday, March 22.

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Chris Sadayasu, then a nominee for the state Department of Business, Economic, Development and Tourism, undergoes a confirmation hearing by a senate committee at the state capitol on Thursday, March 16.
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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Chris Sadayasu, then a nominee for the state Department of Business, Economic, Development and Tourism, undergoes a confirmation hearing by a senate committee at the state capitol on Thursday, March 16.

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Hawaii Chief Energy Officer Scott Glenn speaks to the media in October. Glenn was Green’s nominee to lead the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development.
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CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

Hawaii Chief Energy Officer Scott Glenn speaks to the media in October. Glenn was Green’s nominee to lead the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development.

MENGSHIN LIN / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
                                Gov. Josh Green speaks during a news conference at the state Capitol in Honolulu on Wednesday, March 22.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Chris Sadayasu, then a nominee for the state Department of Business, Economic, Development and Tourism, undergoes a confirmation hearing by a senate committee at the state capitol on Thursday, March 16.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Hawaii Chief Energy Officer Scott Glenn speaks to the media in October. Glenn was Green’s nominee to lead the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development.

Gov. Josh Green plans to pick two new leaders who will be more acceptable to state senators to lead the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and Office of Planning and Sustainable Development.

Green is prohibited by Senate rules to name replacements for Chris Sadayasu and Scott Glenn this session after they failed to win Senate confirmation. But he plans to replace them sometime in May once the legislative session adjourns on May 5.

He plans to pick replacements to run DBEDT and the Office of Planning for the rest of 2023 that he believes will be more likely to win Senate confirmation in the 2024 legislative session.

In response to speculation that he may have Sadayasu fill in temporarily as DBEDT director and Glenn as the head of Office of Planning once the legislature adjourns, Green told he Star-Advertiser on Wednesday that he instead wants to “avoid added conflict. I would like to put a person who would be the right fit and … will be acceptable to the Senate.”

In sometimes bruising confirmation hearings, three of Green’s Cabinet nominees failed to win approval in proceedings that “did occupy a lot of people’s mental bandwidth,” he said. The first such hearing led to the withdrawal from consideraton of Green’s original pick to lead the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Ikaika Anderson.

By picking different replacements for Sadayasu and Glenn, Green said he wants to focus on getting the rest of his Cabinet nominees confirmed and to help people across the islands by creating more affordable housing, providing financial relief for working class families, improving health care, addressing climate change, and other critical issues that he has committed to.

Early Wednesday morning, Green added a comment to an online Star-Advertiser story that speculated whether Sadayasu or Glenn would continue to run their departments once the session ends.

“I won’t keep individuals in these positions if they aren’t confirmed by the Senate,” Green wrote. “That would be wrong and not in the spirit of balanced government.

“If a nominee isn’t confirmed but still has capacity and a desire to serve, then I will look for a different but appropriate role for them.

“We all need to work together for the people of Hawaii.”

Attorney General nominee Anne Lopez later told the Star-Advertiser that she and other Cabinet nominees who do not receive Senate confirmation during a legislative session are not eligible for an interim appointment to the same office after the session ends, according to the state constitution.

“Your interim ends if you don’t get confirmed,” Lopez said. “… And then you’re no longer eligible to be an interim for that position again.”

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