By State Senator Sam Slom
As published in the Hawaii Kai NHB #1 Report
May 28, 2013.
Governor Neil Abercrombie has signed 86 bills into law so far. A total of 293 bills passed the legislature this session – 170 from the Senate and 123 from the House. The Governor has a deadline of July 9 in which to take action on all legislation passed after the end of the session (45 working days). For bills he intends to veto, the Governor must notify the legislature in writing of that intention by June 24.
So far among the bills passed into law:
Act 73 (SB4): This law requires all front and back seat passengers to be “restrained by a seat belt assembly or child passenger restraint” while the motor vehicle is being operated. The new law took effect upon the Governor’s signature. I voted against this bill because of several issues that came up regarding back seat passengers in taxi cabs. The taxi industry is in a bit of a turmoil regarding the law as to whether or not their passenger or the drivers get a ticket for non-compliance and whether or not the child restraint portion applies to them.
Act 74 (HB 980): This law sets a state-wide ban on the use of mobile electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. The new law takes effect on July 1, 2013. The City & County of Honolulu already has a law banning the use of mobile electronic devices while driving.
Act 72 (SB 563): This law amends the form and function of the Candidate Advisory Council for the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaii. Among the requirements that the council must fulfill include developing and implementing a fair and independent procedure for evaluating candidates to serve on the Board of Regents; Require candidates and members of their immediate families to disclose any existing or anticipated contracts or financial transactions with the University of Hawaii; actively solicit and accept applications from potential candidates; evaluation of candidates; and present a list of at least 3 candidates to the Governor for the nomination and appointment to each vacant seat on the board. The bill was unanimously approved by both houses of the legislature during final reading votes on April 30.
The University of Hawaii has been under much scrutiny in recent months that started with the investigation into the much publicized “Stevie Wonder Blunder” that eventually lead to the resignation of U.H. President M.R.C. Greenwood.
Act 85 (SB 1171): This controversial bill is now law. The new statute will authorize “phased reviews” of certain projects by the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources State Historic Preservation Division “to ensure consistency between state and federal law”. In other words this law will allowed phased reviews to such project as rail and other large scale developments where issues such as old burials come into play.
I opposed this bill while it was in the Senate along with 8 other senators on final voting day.
The Governor also signed into law 6 bills (Acts 79 to 84) that appropriates funds for unionized government employee pay raises.
Updates to bills and acts are online @ capitol.hawaii.gov.