The Beat

‘I Don’t Want to Translate': Rep. Hanohano’s Use of Hawaiian Leads to Tension on House Floor

·By civilbeat

Hawaii lawmakers were discussing a relatively innocuous bill to protect lifeguards from liability during Tuesday’s House session. But tensions quickly escalated when Rep. Faye Hanohano from the Big Island gave her comments in Hawaiian and Rep. John Mizuno, who was presiding over the session, asked her to translate.

She replied in Hawaiian. And then added, “I don’t want to translate.” 

Mizuno quickly called a recess and conferred with the rest of the Democratic House leadership. When he called the House back into session, Mizuno recited from the House rules.

“Members should conduct themselves in a