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BY THELMA MARY DREYER – HONOLULU, HAWAII Governor Lingle today signed into law HB2897 which expands licensing violations to all contractors who hire illegal workers. The measure, now Act 185, subjects a contractor to the revocation, suspension, or nonrenewal of its license for knowingly or intentionally employing a person on any project or operation who is not eligible to work in the United States under federal law.

A previous law, Act 145, Session Laws of Hawaii of 2009, subjected only contractors working on public work construction projects affiliated with a government agency to licensing penalties for hiring employees ineligible to work in the United States.

“The new law provides a fair and level playing field for contractors hiring legally-employable workers,” said Vice Speaker Michael Magaoay, a co-introducer of the bill. “When dishonest contractors exploit illegal labor for their personal gain, they are hurting our local construction workers.” Magaoay represents House District 46 – Kaena Point, Schofield, Mokuleia, Waialua, Haleiwa, Waimea, Pupukea, Sunset, Kahuku, Kunia Camp, Poamoho, Wheeler, and Laie.

“I’m pleased the governor decided to sign this important bill,” said Rep. Henry Aquino, a member of the House Labor and Public Employment Committee and co-introducer of the bill. “It makes unscrupulous contractors accountable for their actions and ensures our local workers have job opportunities, especially during a weak economy.” Aquino represents House District 35 – Pearl City, and Waipahu.

Submitted by the House Majority

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