Hawaii Gov. David Ige has found a new home for Elizabeth Kim.
He wanted her to head the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, but had to withdraw the nomination last week after realizing she was ineligible due to residency restrictions.
The Constitution requires any governor-appointed department heads to live in the state for at least a year immediately preceding the appointment. Kim had been working in Washington, D.C., after President Obama appointed her to serve as director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat, an agency that falls under the U.S. Department of Labor.
Ige announced Monday morning during his State of the State address that he has appointed Kim as special adviser to the governor.
“Elizabeth’s impressive experience in Washington, D.C., will help the state tremendously in securing more federal dollars,” Ige said.
“We all know Elizabeth’s story: a bright and talented person from Hawaii who wants to come home, but can’t find the opportunity to do so. I am committed to creating more opportunities, not just for Elizabeth, but for all of our children to return home to fulfill their dreams and contribute to Hawaii.”
In his address, Ige said federal officials have told him there is roughly $940 million in federal money available to the state “for the projects, proposed for the right reasons and at the right time.”