By: J. S.
Lauren Matsumoto is the Republican House Representative for District 45 on Oahu. Since 2012 she has been a member of the Hawaii State House of Representatives, and has supported important initiatives from boosting local agricultural industry to funding education and reforming taxes in the state.
District 45 includes Mililani, Waipio Acres, Kunia, Waialua, Mokuleia and Schofield. Representative Lauren Matsumoto has lived in this community since birth and is the 6th generation of her family to be born and raised on the Hawaiian Islands. Her family founded Petersons’ Upland Farms in 1910, which still supplies eggs to island communities.
A lifelong member of the Mililani Community, Rep. Matusmoto attended Mililani schools and then the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she received a Bachelor in Film Production and minors in Business and Japanese. She received her Masters in Business from Hawaii Pacific University and was also the valedictorian and commencement speaker. Most recently Rep. Matsumoto completed her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University.
Rep. Matsumoto has been involved in her community in many different ways. She shares on her website that she is a Salvation Army Echelon Board Member, does read-alouds in elementary schools, participates in community events like Trunk or Treat and Peter’s prom, and provides internship programs for high school and college students at the capitol. During the shutdowns in 2020, Rep. Matsumoto created a book to educate youth on local government. The book was distributed to students throughout her school district.
Rep. Matsumoto introduced several important bills this year. The Representative’s priorities this term include agriculture, jobs and the economy, K-12 education, childcare, taking care of Hawaii’s environment, and lowering the cost of living for island residents.
Agriculture, economy and environment are close to the Representative’s heart. With an understanding of family owned business and farming, the Representative presents several logical adjustments the government can make to help local farmers and the economy. She believes in protecting agricultural lands, investing in infrastructure and creating easier access to processing and manufacturing facilities. For economic improvement, Rep. Matsumoto believes in diversifying the economy, bolstering STEM programs in public schools and safely reopening Hawaii’s businesses and economy.
A consistent theme for Rep. Matsumoto is creating transparency between Hawaii’s government and its citizens. One way the Representative would like to see this implemented is through a state of the art website for environmental impact resources, where citizens could easily see what large projects were proposed in their areas. This would allow citizens to stay well informed much earlier in development processes, and have a chance to voice concerns and share input.
Regarding education, Rep. Matsumoto believes in supporting the arts and sports in schools, and empowering principals to manage more of their budgets for minor infrastructure improvements. Another focus is helping incentivize businesses to support on-site childcare through tax credits, and create flexible spending accounts for employees to be able to pay for childcare with pretax income.
Here are some of Representative Matsumoto’s current bills:
House Resolution 88 urges the United States Congress to limit Federal Powers. The resolution was referred to House committees in March.
House Resolution 12, relating to missing and murdered indigenous women, was also introduced by Rep. Matsumoto along with 25 other Representatives. The resolution calls for a task force of government and private organizations to investigate these issues and create a report and recommendations for the legislature.
House Bill 1368 calls for the tax cap on film to be removed. Rep. Matsumoto believes that film could become an important industry in Hawaii. Hawaii’s need for new economic ventures outside of tourism means that industries such as film, technology and agriculture can be nurtured to provide viable alternatives. The Representative advocates for measures to support bringing film industries into Hawaii. Specifically, this measure would remove the tax cap that could be claimed per production. The bill currently sits with several House committees.
To learn more about Representative Matsumoto you can visit her profile on the state capitol website and her personal website.