BY SCOTT FOSTER — The 2012 Legislative Session saw an unprecedented introduction of development “exemption” bills that would have eroded decades of environmental protections and curtailed public participation. Early in the session it became clear that this was a serial attempt to diminish Hawaii’s fragile natural and cultural resources, subvert planning and zoning processes, and deny public participation in land use decisions. Midway through the session the surviving exemption bills became widely known as “The Dirty Dozen.”

The Non-Partisan Hawai`i Ohana, a growing grass-roots public interest group, responded to these bad exemption bills by producing online bulletins with information on the contents of these bills and notices of their hearings for public testimony to help defend Hawaii’s environmental laws in the greater public interest. Thousands of public testimonies were received in opposition to these bills. The Non-Partisan Hawai`i Ohana additionally circulated and presented the Legislature with a mass petition signed by nearly 700 concerned citizens in opposition to eliminating environmental oversight and public participation. The continuing petition can be read and signedHERE, and the poignant video, In Defense of Hawaii’s Environmentmay be viewed HERE.

Certain Legislators elected to uphold the public interest detoured from this obligation by crafting, introducing and furthering the exemption bills. They included Senators Donovan Dela Cruz and Malama Solomon (SB 2927, SB 2366, SB 2360, SB 2381, HB2154 SD2, HB 2398 SD1), and Representatives Calvin Say (HB 1813, HB 1893, HB 2154), Sharon Har and Denny Coffman (SB 755 HD2 gut-and-replace from several exemption bills, HB 2154), and Pono Chong, Ken Ito, Angus McKelvey and Marcus Oshiro (HB 2154).

Through district reapportionment, Representative Chong now has been pitted against incumbent Representative Jessica Wooley — who consistently voted in the public interest against several of the exemption bills. Other worthy public-interest Legislators who voted against these bad bills have been set to run for election against each other through district reapportionment. These include Senators Carol Fukunaga and Brian Taniguchi, and Representatives Mark Takai and Heather Giugni.
If this catastrophic collection of exemption bills had passed the 2012 Legislative session for certain enactment by the governor, state and county development projects in partnership with private developers would have been exempt from complying with environmental protection laws, including the Chapter 343 Environmental Impact Statement disclosures and public review process; the Chapter 205A public open shoreline protection requirements; and established zoning and planning regulations.HB 2398 SD2 is the sole exemption bill passing House and Senate majority votes and enacted to now allow development exemptions in favor of the Public Land Development Corporation, a state development agency established in 2011.
Hawai`i voters concerned about the future of our unique islands and finite resources owe their gratitude and mahalo nui loa to the state Senators and Representatives who worked together to defeat the vast majority of these “Dirty Dozen” bills. These Legislators demonstrated that they truly care about Hawaii’s fragile natural and cultural resources, long-established planning and zoning processes, and open public participation to ensure protection and preservation of these important public values.

The Non-Partisan Hawai`i Ohana endorses the following candidates now running for contested seats in the State Legislature, including incumbents and new candidates whose records and responses demonstrate their commitment to uphold the public interest for the present and future generations of Hawai`i Nei.

 

NON-PARTISAN HAWAI`I OHANA VOTERS GUIDE FOR THE 2012 HAWAII STATE LEGISLATURE ELECTIONS 

 

Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono 
The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness

 

STATE SENATE
District 2: Puna – Russell Ruderman (D)
District 4: Kaupulehu,Waimea, North Hilo – Lorraine Inouye (D)
District 7: Molokai, Lanai, East Maui – Kanohowailuku Helm (N)
District 9: Diamond Head, Kahala, Hawaii Kai – Sam Slom* (R)
District 10: Moili`ili, Kaimuki, Palolo – Les Ihara* (D)
District 11: Makiki, Tantalus, Manoa – Carol Fukunaga*(D)
District 12: Kaka`ako, McCully, Waikiki – Liz Larson (R)
District 22: Wahiawa, Whitmore, Mililani Mauka –
 Charles “Bo” Aki (R)
District 25: Hawai`i Kai, Waimanalo, Kailua –
 Laura Thielen/ Levani Lipton (D)

 

STATE HOUSE
District 4: Hawaiian Acres, Pahoa, Kalapana – Faye Hanohano* (D)
District 6: Holualoa, Kailua Kona, Honokohau – Nicole Lowen (D)
District 9: Kahului, Wailuku, Pu`unene – Gilbert Keith-Agaran* (D)
District 11: South Maui – George Fontaine* (R)
District 16: Ni`ihau, Koloa, Kokee –
 Daynette “Dee” Morikawa* (D)
District 18: HahaioneValley, Aina Haina, Kahala – Jeremy Low(R)
District 19: Diamond Head, Kaimuki, Kapahulu –
 Bertrand Kobayashi (D)
District 20: Palolo, St Louis Heights, Kaimuki – Keiko Bonk (G)
District 21: McCully, Moili`ili, Kapahulu – Scott Nishimoto* (D)
District 22: Waikiki, Ala Moana, Kaka’ako – Tom Brower* (D)
District 24: Moili`ili, Makiki, Tantalus – Della Au Belatti* (D)
District 26: Downtown, Kaka`ako, McCully – Scott Saiki* (D)
District 27: Nu`uanu, Liliha, Alewa Heights – Corinne Ching* (R)
District 31: Ft. Shafter, Moanalua Gardens, Aliamanu –
 Aaron Johanson* (R)
District 33: Halawa, Aiea, Newtown –
 Mark Takai* (D)/Heather Guigni (D)
District 34: Pearl City, Waimalu, Pacific Palisades –
 Eloise Tungpalan (D)
District 39: Waipahu, Royal Kunia, Makakilo – Carl Wong (R)
District 40: Ewa Beach, Iroquois Point – Rose Martinez (D)
District 42: Kapolei, Makakilo – Marissa Capelouto (R)
District 43: Kalaeloa, Ko Olina, Maili –
 Karen Awana* (D) /Cynthia Rezentes (D)
District 44: Waianae, Makaha, Makua – Johnnie Mae Perry (D)
District 45: Mililani, Schofield, Kunia – Ollie Lunasco (D)
District 47: Waialua, Kahuku, Waiahole – Gil Riviere* (R)
District 48: Kahalu`u, Ahumanu, Kaneohe – Jessica Wooley* (D)
District 51: Kailua, Lanikai ,Waimanalo – Chris Lee* (D)
*Incumbents

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