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Governor holds historic bill signing in Hilo; after school program to be administered by UH Hilo among enacted measures

Gov. Abercrombie signed several bills into law in Hilo this morning.
Gov. Abercrombie signed five bills into law in Hilo this morning, including one that appropriates money to support an after school program that will be administered by UH Hilo. Present at the ceremonies were several members of the Big Island delegation and other officials. In the photo above, Chancellor Straney is in the back row, behind Ka‘iu Kimura (in purple dress), the director of ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, who will oversee the after school program.

Chancellor Straney attended the governor’s bill signing ceremonies held today in Hilo. At the Hilo Yacht Club, Gov. Neil Abercrombie enacted measures (Acts 167 to 171) relating to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, public lands, the Hilo-based Pacific International Space Center for Exploration, and Hawaiian Home Lands. It was the first time a governor of the state of Hawai‘i signed bills into law on Hawai‘i Island.

Among the measures was Senate Bill 3093, which appropriates $200,000 to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo to support its memorandum of agreement with RISE 21st Century After School Program, a program that helps underprivileged children of Hawaiian ancestry with life skills, achieving academic success, and career planning. The implementation of the agreement will be done by the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi, a unit of UH Hilo.

“The ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi has been cultivating community partnerships that targets greater engagement by Hawaiʻi Island youth with the resources of UH Hilo,” said Chancellor Straney in his testimony in February in support of the bill. “A positive partnership has been established with the RISE 21st Century After School Program that serves as a community and cultural resource for disadvantaged Native Hawaiian youth in Keaukaha. The proposal will help to expand collaborative opportunities supported by staffing and curriculum resources to establish mentorships, initiate project-based learning activities, and offer academic and career planning. UH Hilo views our continued partnership and collaboration with RISE as a positive solution to increase access to higher education and career opportunities for Native Hawaiians on Hawaiʻi Island.”