By State Senator Sam Slom
Dozens of bills still await an executive decision from Governor Linda Lingle as the June 21 deadline to notify the legislature of the intent to veto (35th day after the legislature adjourned) approaches. The Governor is required to send a list of bills she intends to veto on that date with a final decision on all bills required by July 6 (45th day after adjournment). The Governor can choose to sign a bill into law, let the bill become law without her signature or veto it. The legislature can go into special session on the 45th day to override any vetoes. 249 bills were passed by the legislature this session. Among the bills still awaiting a final decision are the following:
House Bills: HB 444—civil unions; HB 1665—sale of Hawaiian fishponds; HB 1808—beach access & erosion; HB 1907—more tax increases for the wealthy; HB 1948—tax refunds; HB 2003—campaign financing; HB 2200—State Budget; HB 2239—bottle tax mandate for dietary supplements; HB 2583— shark feeding penalties / impounded vessels; and HB 2644— tax on solid waste sent out of state.
Senate Bills: SB466—restricts time on when leaf blowers can be used; SB 1059—task force for illegal fireworks; SB 2169—ban on shark finning; SB 2231— prohibits prevention of electric vehicle charging stations at multi family residences; SB 2401—suspends high tech tax credits; SB 2441—Felony penalty for taking a Hawaiian Monk Seal; SB 2461— increases vehicle rental tax from $1 a day to $4.50 a day; and SB 2897—ignitition interlocks.
I voted against all the tax and fee increase bills and many of the ones that either banned or mandated something.
Governor Lingle recently signed the following bills into law: HB 1987 (Act 136) – increases enforcement options against those who import or sell illegal fireworks; SB 2019 (Act 137) – removes 20 year limit for thrill craft and parasailing permits and changes 5-year permit to a one-year permit; SB 2806 (Act 138) transfers 5% of general fund balance to the State Rainy Day Fund blance at the end of the fiscal year whenever state revenues increase by 5% of 2 consecutive years; SB 2124 (Act 143) – raids up to $67 million from the Hawaii Hurricane Relief fund to restore public school instructional days— I voted against this bill; HB 2725 (Act 147) – Defines “primary pet enclosure”; heightens pet owner responsibility for their animals; and SB 2169 (Act 148) – bans possession and distribution of shark fins.
The public can comment on pending bills by calling the Governor’s office at 586-0034 or going to the website hawaii.gov/gov.