2011 Legislative Update: Did Your Bills Make the Final Cut?

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Rep. Kymberly Marcos Pine

BY REP. KYMBERLY MARCOS PINE – Gov. Neil Abercrombie recently notified the Hawaii Legislature of the 23 bills he intends to veto. One of the most contentious on the list is HB1134 HD1 SD2 that would repeal part of the Hawaii Prepaid Health Care Act  The complete list of bills can be found here.

The start of July marks the effective date of the many bills that did become law this session. Below are some that might be of most interest to you:

RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY: Third party owners and operators of on-site renewable energy systems are exempt from regulation as public utilities by the public utilities commission. – SB0704 SD2 (Act 9 2011);

RELATING TO THE TRANSFER OF YOUTH TO AN ADULT CORRECTIONAL FACILITY: The Executive Director of the Office of Youth Services can no longer, with the approval of the family court, transfer youth committed to the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility to adult correctional facilities for disciplinary or other reasons. – HB1067 HD1 (Act 18 2011);

RELATING TO SMALL BOAT HARBORS: Owners of vessels moored in small boat harbors or offshore mooring areas must move their vessels under the vessel’s own power from its mooring area at least once in a 90 day period. – HB0931 SD1 CD1 (Act 76 2011);

RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES: It is unlawful for any employer or labor organization with more than one hundred employees and a collective bargaining agreement to bar or discharge from employment, withhold pay from, or demote an employee solely because the employee uses accrued and available sick leave. – SB1076 SD1 HD3 (Act 118 2011);

RELATING TO THE HAWAII OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH LAW: Penalties for each violation of the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Law are increased. – SB1040 SD1 HD2 (Act 123 2011);

RELATING TO ANIMAL CRUELTY: Killing, or attempting to kill, the pet animal of another person without that person’s consent constitutes animal cruelty in the first degree with the exception of conduct which the actor believes to be necessary to avoid an imminent harm or evil to the actor, another person, or an animal. – SB1068 SD1 HD1 CD1 (Act 135 2011);

RELATING TO SMALL CLAIMS COURT: The maximum monetary claim that may be filed in small claims court is increased in cases for the recovery of money from 3,500 dollars to 5,000 dollars and for the return of leased or rented personal property worth, from 3,500 dollars to less than 5,000 dollars. – HB1333 HD1 SD1 CD1 (Act 141 2011);

RELATING TO VOTING: Any application provided to register to vote must include a request for permanent absentee ballot. – HB1613 HD1 SD1 CD1 (Act 142 2011);

RELATING TO PROSTITUTION: It is a misdemeanor to offer or agree to pay a fee to another person to engage in sexual conduct within seven hundred fifty feet of a school or public park. – HB0044 HD1 SD1 CD1 (Act 74 2011);

RELATING TO PROMOTING PROSTITUTION: Prostitution in the 1st degree includes advancing prostitution by inducing a person to engage in prostitution or profits from such conduct. The offense of prostitution also includes a person who pays, agrees to pay, or offers to pay a fee to another to engage in sexual conduct. – HB0240 SD1 CD1 (Act 145 2011);

RELATING TO THE HAWAII PENAL CODE: Labor trafficking offenses, a nonpayment of wages offense, and an unlawful conduct with respect to documents offense are established as class A and B felonies. – HB0141 HD1 SD1 CD1 (Act 146 2011);

RELATING TO CRUELTY TO ANIMALS: Any person who knowingly wagers on a dog fight, attends or pays to attend a dogfight, or knowingly possesses any device intended to enhance the dog’s fighting ability with the intent that the device be used to train or prepare the dog for a dogfight commits the offense of cruelty to animals by fighting dogs in the 2nd degree. Any person who knowingly causes, sponsors, arranges or holds a dogfight for entertainment or financial gain; or owning, training, transporting, possessing, selling, transferring, or equipping a dog with the intent that the dog will be engaged in a fight; or allowing a dog fight to occur on any property owned or controlled by the person, or recklessly allowing any dog intended by the person to be used for a fight to be kept, trained on, or transported in, any property owned or controlled by the person commits cruelty to animals by fighting dogs in the 1st degree. – SB1069 SD1 HD1 (Act 149 2011);

RELATING TO THE EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM: The retirement age for state and county employees who become members of the employees’ retirement system after June 30, 2012 is raised to 55 or 62 to 60 or 65. For members hired after June 30, 2012, retirement benefits will be calculated based on their highest five years of pay instead of three and their contribution rate for retirement is increased. – HB1038 HD2 SD2 (Act 163 2011).

As always, please contact my office at 586-9730 with questions.