Annie L. Macapagal joined Watanabe Ing LLP as a natural extension of her career in government and public affairs. With more than 13 years experience in government relations, Ms. Macapagal brings extensive knowledge of the inner workings of the state legislature to the Watanabe Ing Government Affairs group. At the state legislature, she served as the primary bill drafter regarding land, housing, and water issues and worked with the House Health, Finance, and Transportation Committees.
Ms. Macapagal has a deep interest in education policy, and has participated in moving the preschool education initiative forward in 2013. Not only has she proactively submitted testimony and support for government-funded preschool, she has worked tirelessly to bring awareness to the initiative, which will help the families of more than 5,000 students who will not be eligible for Kindergarten in Fall 2014 due to a change in the school age requirements. A former preschool teacher herself, Ms. Macapagal is passionate about education in Hawai‘i and beyond.
Ms. Macapagal’s education policy expertise benefits secondary education clients as well. She assisted University of Phoenix in helping the state attain a federally-mandated deadline necessary to maintain $250 million in federal student aid. Ms. Macapagal’s successful development of a coalition of private institutions led to a compromise that allowed legislators to successfully make the legally required deadline. Ms. Macapagal closely monitors trends in education for Watanabe Ing.
As part of the Government Affairs group at Watanabe Ing, Ms. Macapagal’s role also includes monitoring health and retail issues. Her experience in the House Health and Finance committees provides a wealth of information to the Government Affairs group. She represents clients’ interests by drafting and submitting testimony, creating relationships with officials, and keeping them deeply informed of government actions.
Ms. Macapagal duties extend to monitoring the state’s health systems ensuring that state legislation adheres to the federal standards. While serving on the House Health Committee, she had the opportunity to see both the strengths and weaknesses of the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health. Ms. Macapagal’s role at Watanabe Ing involves reaching out directly to insurers as well as legislators to help Hawai‘i continue to grow as one of the most innovative states in the country. Ms. Macapagal’s retail clients, which include Longs Drugs and the Retail Merchants of Hawai‘i, benefit from her experience in the Finance Committee and resulting knowledge of tax policy. She currently monitors online tax policies, which are an ongoing struggle for Hawai‘i’s consumers.
Ms. Macapagal has traveled to Nepal, where she volunteered at an English language school for orphans and at a health clinic in the Himalayas. As an educator in Japan, she helped to develop educational curriculum. Ms. Macapagal is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.