McMurdo reformed state Legislature

August 23, 2012

As an “independent” at the 1978 Constitutional Convention, I agreed with citizen leaders like Mary-Jane McMurdo that Hawaii needed the power of initiative in the state Constitution. Later I encouraged Mary-Jane to run for elected office, but was unsuccessful at getting her to run as a Republican. Mary-Jane continued to be a strong outspoken senator for the Sandy Beach initiative and keeping the convention center out of Fort DeRussy.

I will also remember her for encouraging an end to alcohol-laced opening-day parties at the Legislature. In the old days there were many lavish receptions and a few went on into the wee hours. After Mary-Jane railed against these festivities, the open houses became shorter, simpler and generally non-alcoholic.

Gone are the days of dozens of bouquets, leis, plateloads of food, crowds and busloads of tourists. Opening Days have become more work-oriented. Thanks to Mary-Jane we have 60 legislative days, not just 59.

Rep. Barbara Marumoto R-Kalani Valley, Diamond Head

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