April 5, 2013 : Floor Action – Session Day #45: The State Senate congratulated Hilo Hattie, the Hawaiian apparel retailer for achieving their milestone 50th anniversary. Recognized on the Senate floor were Felix Calvo, VP of Sales & Marketing, Terri Funakoshi, Executive VP of Merchandising and Mark Storfer, Executive VP and COO. Senator Sam Slom, Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and Senator Wil Espero are also pictured.
The Senate voted to confirm Danna Holck and Kali Fermantez to the Oahu Island Burial Council (GM 587, GM 588). Four resolutions were also adopted with Senator Slom voting against SCR 166 “Requesting the convening of a task force to study the sociaal, economic and religious impacts of enacting marriage equality in Hawaii.” Senators Baker and Thielen also voted “No”. Senators Ihara, Kidani and Kouchi voted “with reservations”.
Committee Report: The Senate Ways & Means committee voted to “hold” HB 903 which would have placed a tax on owners of “individual wastewater systems” (cesspools). The vote was 12 to 1 in favor of “holding” the bill. Senator Slom voted with the majority.
Senator Sam Slom and Senate Minority Budget Director Paul Harleman were on the Rick Hamada radio program early that morning to discuss the State Budget and the Senate Minority Alternative Budget.
April 4, 2013: Floor Action – Session Day #44: A number of bills were up for third reading during the day’s floor session. Senator Slom voted “with reservations” on the state’s $23 billion State Budget bill (HB 200 SD1). During the long floor discussion, Senator Slom also made reference to the Senate Minority Alternative Budget proposal which reduces general fund spending by $300 million.
Senator Slom voted against HB 865 SD1 which will start a pilot program to lease public school lands for “public purposes”. The measure also creates a new “school facilities special fund”. Senator Slom votes against all and every new special fund. The bill was passed 22 to 1.
Slom also voted “no” on HB 919 (civil service exemptions – controlled substances), HB 527 (enlisted personnel, uniform maintenance allowance) and HB 1314 on beer labeling. All 3 bills were passed with Senator Slom being the only voting against them.
Later that afternoon the Senate Public Safety and Military Affairs (PSM) committee conducted an informational briefing focusing on recent prison escapes and policies implemented by the Dept. of Public Safety to prevent future prisoner escapes. Public Safety Director Ted Sakai was subjected to numerous questions put forth by the senate committee.
April 3, 2013: Floor Action – Session Day #43: The Senate Minority Caucus under the leadership of Senator Sam Slom unveiled the Senate Minority Alternative Biennium Budget for 2014 – 2015. See separate item on this topic.
Twelve bills unanimously passed third reading on Senate floor votes during session that day. Senator Slom voted with the majority on every measure.
The Senate Judiciary and Labor committee scuttled HB 622 and made it a very bad bill after it was amended in committee late last month. The current law which sunsets by the end of June shields reporters and other individuals from having to disclose their news sources and materials to the courts. The JDL committee has narrowed the scope of the law’s coverage with the latest draft (see separate item). Senator Slom voted “with reservations” on the SD1 version of HB 622 with the hope that the bill can be amended in conference committee.