Senator Mazie K. Hirono tonight released the following statement following President Obama's State of the Union address:
"President Obama tonight laid out a strong and compelling course for Hawaii and our country. He was right to focus on the economy and jobs. Our economy is still trying to recover from a deep recession, and we should do everything we can to create sustainable economic growth. In the near term, that means averting sequestration -- the indiscriminate, across-the-board cuts that are projected to cost Hawaii some 11,000 jobs. Averting these cuts before March 1 is not just an economic necessity; it's a matter of national security. Just today, top military officers warned my colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee and me that these cuts would impact the military's readiness everywhere, including in the increasingly important Asia-Pacific region.
"I applaud the far-sighted plan the President laid out for broad-based economic growth that creates dependable jobs and expands opportunities for everyone, not just those at the very top of society. As the President mentioned in his speech, expanding access to early childhood education is one of the smartest things we can do as a nation to ensure our economic future. Study after study has shown that early childhood education leads to increased educational achievement and employability later in life. Business leaders, economists, and educators all agree investing in early childhood education is one of the easiest ways to ensure we have a workforce that can compete on the international stage.
"The President charted a clear course tonight for Hawaii and our country, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to see his ideas through."