Legislature, Governor, Diluting Sunshine and Due Process Laws

Hawaii State Capitol - Photo: Emily Metcalf
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Hawaii State Capitol - Photo: Emily Metcalf

BY Hawaii’s Thousand Friends, The Sierra Club, The Outdoor Circle, Keep the Country Country, Defend Oahu Coalition, Save Sunset Beach Coalition, Save O’ahu Farmlands Alliance, Hawaii SEED, Friends of Makakilo, Country Talk Story, and Livable Hawaii Kai Hui

We vehemently protest certain undemocratic measures taken by the State House of Representatives, Hawaii State Senate, and Governor Abercrombie to dilute basic sunshine and due process laws that protect the public. Our island canoe is heading in the wrong direction.


Certain legislators have introduced measures which severely shut out the public and due process. These actions disfranchise citizens, corrupt public policies, and undermine democracy. This is not pono.

Numerous evolving bills, including SB 2927 SD 2SB2873SB2012 and HB2154 HD2, will exempt state and county government actions and development from Hawaii’s laws which protect and preserve our unique island home through careful analysis, including social, economic, cultural, historical, coastal, marine, and other environmental impacts. This removal of these checks and balances will cause injustice and create undue burden at various levels, including our economic prosperity, quality of life, sense of place, and long-term sustainability.

Certain legislators’ eagerness to circumvent or skirt legal requisites in order to fast-track development projects, without first considering inevitable impacts on the overall environment and public participation, show an alarming lack of understanding in core democratic principles. No entity should be above or exempted from the laws that protect us all.

While some legislators are hasty to deny due process and participation to the public, they are careful “to provide indemnity for any county, its officials, or employees for actions taken regarding “exceptional planning projects”. This action is wrong; public servants will be accountable to no one.

We unequivocally protest these anti-public legislative attempts to subvert open government. We call upon each legislator to show civic courage – to independently review, boldly vote, and truly enact the people’s business within the core democratic tenets contained in the Hawaii Revised Statutes 343 (Environmental Review), Hawaii Sunshine Law (HRS 92), Coastal Zone Management 205A (SMA), and county zoning and planning.

The line of demarcation must be clear – the People’s right to know and the right to equitably participate in public policies with legislative decision-makers in a fair and open process are not negotiable.

Growing Supporters of this Open Letter include Hawaii Thousand Friends, The Sierra Club, Defend Oahu Coalition, Save Sunset Beach Coalition,Save O’ahu Farmlands Alliance, Hawaii SEED, Friends of Makakiko, Country Talk Story, Livable Hawaii Kai Hui.

Sign the new petition online.

And Call and send emails to all of those listed below, as they are Conferees meeting tomorrow and our only chance left before the final vote on the floor to try to ask them to KILL THIS BILL.  If it passes, this bill will impact the Entire State of Hawaii and especially those areas that border white sand beach, as in those areas, like Kailua, No. Shore, Kauai, Maui, the high rises this bill allows Will Be Hotels.  It’s NOW or Never.  In light of the fact that there has still been NO MEDIA explaining the impact.

The Report Title of this Bill is…

Hawaii Community Development Authority; State-wide Planning
Donovan Dela Cruz, Chair sendelacruz@capitol.hawaii.gov 586-6090
Malama Solomon, Co Chair sensolomon@capitol.hawaii.gov 586-7335
David Ige, Co-Chair  sendige@capitol.hawaii.gov 586-6230
Carol Fukunaga senfukunaga@capitol.hawaii.gov 586-6890
Les Ihara Jr. senihara@capitol.hawaii.gov 586-6250
Jerry L. Chang  repchang@capitol.hawaii.gov 586-6120
Rida Cabanilla, repcabanilla@capitol.hawaii.gov 586-6080
Angus McKelvey repmckelvey@capitol.hawaii.gov 586-6160
Joseph Souki repsouki@capitol.hawaii.gov 586-9444
Sharon Har  rephar@capitol.hawaii.gov 586-8500
Above ALL Co-Chairs
Kymberly Pine reppine@capitol.hawaii.gov 586-9730