Senator Slom met with Max Cooper and Dan Reid to discuss Second Amendment issues and legislation that may impact firearm owners this session. This year several bills are on the docket that will limit second amendment rights if they should become law. Among them are SB 69, SB 219, SB 932, SB 628, SB 2, and SB 36. There are dozens more. Senator Slom is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and is a trustee of the Second Amendment Foundation.
Floor Session, Day 12: More bills passed 2nd reading.
Floor Session, Day 14: The Senate passed SB 54 on third reading, which “allows the policy advisory board for elder affairs to recommend to the governor to honor non ex officio members by lifetime membership, which includes all the rights and privileges of a non ex officio member, upon approval by all regular members of the board. ” While the bill passed with a vote of 23 – 0, Senators Slom and Solomon both voted WR or “with reservations”. The Senate also passed SB 44 on third reading with a 23 – 0 vote.
FROM THE FIELD: Hearing Summaries
Senate Health Committee (HTH): SB 1085: Imposes a fee on sugar-sweetened beverages. Establishes the Obesity Prevention Special Fund to support obesity prevention programs.
Testimony from members of the Obseity Task Force and the medical community were largely in favor of the bill. Retailers, restauranteurs and beverage firms are against the bill and see it as a new tax.
Victor Lim of McDonalds’ Hawaii testified that it would be difficult to figure out what is included in “sugary beverage”. He also expressed concerns about new business owners having trouble with the paperwork associated with the tax. Representatives from a Hawaii company who makes cans also expressed concerns about the impact the tax would have on more than 1300 jobs. The Governor was not present at the hearing. - Noelani Bonafacio
Photo above: Senator Slom had some questions for Loretta Fuddy concerning the tax on sugary drinks and the findings linking obesity to them. Like all other new tax bills that have come before, Senator Slom will be voting “no” on this bill.
Photo below: The Heatlh committee hearing was packed on the sugary drinks tax bill.
Senate Water & Land Committee (WLT): SB 894 – Land Acquisition – Turtle Bay Hilton Hotel properties: Of the testimony submitted, 243 were in Support and 23 were in Opposition. However many of those who attended the hearing were in opposition. Although I did notice that many were employees. They expressed that Turtle Bay has given North Shore residents jobs and recreational opportunities. The opponents of the bill stated that they’ve been deceived before and that the development plan was misleading, in terms of traffic and the size of their development. Senator Solomon was concerned that the disagreement between Turtle Bay and Defend O’ahu Coalition was not the State Senate’s issue to resolve, but the City and County’s. However, the chair of the WTL committee allowed the bill to move forward to allow continued discussion. (Passed with amendments 4 – 0; 3 excused; Senator Slom voted in the affirmative). – NB