The day Hawaii’s state government changed perhaps forever was March 19, when a state senator — just back from a jaunt in Las Vegas — announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.
The surprising news forced House and Senate leaders to order everyone to immediately evacuate the Hawaii State Capitol building.
The Legislature hasn’t been the same since, struggling over the past six months through two limited sessions largely closed to the public. While some necessary business continues — judicial confirmation hearings are set to begin Thursday in the Senate, for example — an ambitious slate of bills to help the most needy of our citizens was shelved.
As the legislative branch has been pretty much sidelined by the coronavirus — with the exception of special COVID-19 committees in each chamber — the executive branch has become the focus of attention in leading us through the crisis. The same goes for the counties, where the mayors have taken the lead while…