Fireworks, Potential Vetoes, High Tech Legislation and Other Hawaii Legislative News

article top

BY SAM SLOM – Governor Linda Lingle submitted a list of 39 bills to the Legislature on June 21 that could be vetoed by July 6, 2010. The list is a constitutional requirement to give the legislature at least 10 days notice of bills that may be vetoed by the executive.

The Governor has until July 6 to take action on these and all other bills by either signing them into law, letting them become law without her signature or disapproving the bill by enacting a veto. The legislature can meet in special session to override some or all of the vetoed bills by a 2/3 margin in both houses. It not, then the vetoes stand and the bills are dead.


Among the 39 potential bill vetoes are the following:

  • HB415 Audit Dept. of Public Safety; mainland prisons
  • HB444 Civil union couples rights & responsibilities same as traditional marriage.
  • HB865 Unfunded mandate on the State DOT – feasibility study; highway maintenance to Maui County
  • HB921 Public lands: transfer of 999-year leases
  • HB1015 Hawaiian Homes lands – constitutionality issue.
  • HB1212 Information practices – DCCA disclosure, complaints against a business or professional
  • HB1665 Hawaiian fish ponds – sale of government owned
  • HB1907 Caps state income tax itemized deductions
  • HB2083 Milk labeling regulations – pasteurization; dates
  • HB2133 Reseller agreements in multi-state contracting agreements, defines “local reseller.”
  • HB2152 Increases the cost of planning and designing housing, public buildings, and other construction.
  • HB2239 Beverage container tax to dietary supplements.
  • HB2283 Criminal sanctions – public employees; vague and non-specific principles of procurement ethics.
  • HB2289 Fees on the issuance of gift certificates
  • HB2318 Hawaii Public Housing Authority programs
  • HB2377 BOE composition and member selection process.
  • HB2441 Public contracts on bid proposals; inappropriate relationships gifts made to the State DOT and DHHL
  • HB2497 $40,000,000 in SPRBs to Carbon Bio-Engineers
  • HB2583 Impounded vessels; shark feeding.
  • HB2644 Increases the costs to include solid waste disposed out-of-State.
  • HB2708 DOT administrative rules; procurement process
  • HB2774 Hawaii Premium Plus Program – effectiveness
  • SB1105 State agencies duplicative hearing preparation
  • SB2001 Extends the Tax Credit for Research – eliminates other high tech tax credits
  • SB2020 Rent renegotiating; commercial and industrial leases; Extends Act 189
  • SB2045 Sexual human trafficking offensives Class A & B
  • SB2165 Registration & licensure for security guards
  • SB2324 Unemployment insurance – partially unemployed individuals benefits; voluntarily leave position.
  • SB2434 Salary increases for certain DOE executives/administrative
  • SB2473 Unlimited grandchildren; elderly housing projects
  • SB2491 Federal funding; certain Medicaid services
  • SB2534 Bail on weekends and holidays when the courts are closed; County law enforcement
  • SB2547 Regulation of commercial boat operators; quasipublic properties; DLNR resources
  • SB2566 Increases workers’ compensation costs and the potential conflicts of interest; doctors insured employers
  • SB2610 Tax department reprioritization of conveyance tax documents.
  • SB2849 Hawaii EUTF appropriations; FY 2011.
  • SB2883 Employment practices; collective bargaining
  • SB2919 Hawaii State Hospital security
  • SB2951 Land public purposes; agriculture

The public will probably not know what bills will pass or be vetoed until the last day on July 6. The legislature may meet in special session that same day. Our Senate Minority Caucus will hold a meeting tomorrow to review the bills. The majority caucuses are still meeting on the bills too.

Governor Will Nominate New Judges

Governor Linda Lingle will be nominating a new Chief Justice to the Hawaii State Supreme Court as well as filling three vacancies in the First Circuit Court of Oahu. The State Judicial Selection Commission has recommended the following candidates for Chief Justice and their current positions:

  • Bert I. Ayabe (Circuit Judge);
  • Daniel R. Foley (Assoc. Judge, Int. Court of Appeals);
  • Katherine G. Leonard (Assoc. Judge, Int. Court of Appeals);
  • Craig H. Nakamura (Chief Judge, Int. Court of Appeals);
  • Richard W. Pollack (Circuit Court Judge);
  • Mark E. Recktenwald (Associate Justice, Hawaii Supreme Court).

Eight individuals are candidates for the three circuit court judge positions.

Governor Lingle is inviting the public to submit comments on all the nominees as part of the review and selection process. Candidates will be subject to Senate confirmation.

News in Brief

  • The new fiscal year kicked in July 1 and several cost items have increased. Among those are higher hotel room taxes (Act 61; 2009 Session Laws), increased cigarette tax (Act 59), traffic abstract fees from $7 to $20 (Act 64); certain types of agriculture inspection fees (Act 173); and a permitted transfers tax of 1% (Act 182). Act 172 adds new fees for the importation of certain agricultural products.
  • Most onerous is the increase in the barrel tax from 5¢ to $1.05 per barrel (Act 73) which will hit consumers at the gas pump, their electric bills and applied to the cost of goods sold/consumed. On the City level, taxes for non-occupant homes will increase impacting renters and the price for a Bus ride will go up to from $2.25 to $2.50. Bus passes also increase.
  • Governor Linda Lingle signed the $11 billion dollar operations and capital improvement projects budget into law on June 28. The budget has a number of tax and fee increases associated with it which prompted a no vote from me this year. (HB 2200-Act 180).
  • The Governor has vetoed HB 415 requiring an audit of the mainland prison contracts and the Honolulu federal detention center. The bill was on the Governor’s veto list (see other side).
  • Lt. Gov. James Duke Aiona vetoed SB 2401 while the Governor was on her East Asia trip early this month. The bill would have retroactively suspended Act 221 investment & infrastructure tax credits for three years. On June 4 Governor Linda Lingle announced that the State Land Use Commission (LUC) voted unanimously to reclassify the Ka Iwi Scenic Shoreline from urban to conservation. The area encompasses approximately 215 acres of state-owned land on Oahu’s south-east coast between Queen’s Beach and Makapuu Lighthouse. The area mauka of Kalanianaole Highway is not covered by this ruling.
  • Various state agencies and the Governor will have to approve the Federal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) issued to the City & County earlier this month for the $6 billion rail transit project.
  • The Senate Ways & Means Committee is investigating a taxation department software contract and transportation department personnel contracts.
  • The Governor signed SB 1059 (Act 170) into law allowing the counties to enact fireworks ordinances. East Honolulu 4th of July I’ll be at the 3rd Annual Independence Day at Maunalua Bay this weekend. It happens on Sunday, July 4 from 1:00 to 9:00 pm. This is East Honolulu’s premiere 4th of July celebration that will feature food booths, games, canoe rides, non-stop entertainment, people, legislators, city officials, candidates, patriots, and art. The highlight of the day will be the spectacular fireworks display set to go off at the bay starting at 8:00 p.m.The entertainment starts at 1:00 p.m. and free parking and shuttle service will be available at these locations: Kaiser High School, Koko Head and Hahaione Elementary schools. Admission is also free. Celebrate your freedom.

Sen. Sam Slom, R-Hawaii Kai-Diamond Head, is the president of Smart Business Hawaii