In a recent public letter, Rep. Kirk Caldwell, D-Manoa, explained the recent legislative special session in which several Gubernatorial vetoes were overridden. He then somewhat condescendingly instructed Gov. Linda Lingle in her duties.
Rep. Caldwell claimed that the Hawaii State Legislature could have overridden even more bills, but wanted to demonstrate a spirit of “cooperation” in resolving differences. Finally, he admonished the Governor for attempting to negotiate through the media.
What Rep. Caldwell failed to mention is that there were serious attempts at negotiation, including amendments offered by Republicans to certain bills to resolve what the Governor saw as serious legal or fiscal flaws. Maybe the most interesting example is the Pedestrian Safety Bill (SB 1191, SD2, HD2, CD1).
Gov. Lingle was clear in her support for the bill, but only if funded from the General Fund. The bill specified funding from the State Highway Fund. Because the Democrats would not entertain the idea of amending the funding source, the Governor vetoed the Bill. And the Legislature overrode that veto.
What Rep. Caldwell might have mentioned is that by refusing to accommodate the Governor