Yesterday, Governor Lingle sent a letter to Senate President Hanabusa and Speaker Say requesting the Legislature to amend 4 bills so that she won't have to veto them. In this morning's editorial, The Advertiser calls upon the Legislature to cooperate. One has to question why the request came down so late when the administration has had 2 and 1/2 months to review and analyze these bills? Why wasn't the request made on or before June 25th when the potential veto list was announced, or, at the very least, a week out so that Hanabusa and Say could talk to their respective caucuses? After all, the entire Legislature worked on these bills for 4 months - members deserve that professional courtesy.
As Majority Leader, I learned of the request, not from the administration, but from the press. That is not the way to reach resolution on anything, let alone legislation on which we disagree. That said, if the Governor felt there was a way to avoid vetoes, I wish she would have approached us even before publishing the potential veto list so that we could have the time required to work on the bills together. For the sake of good legislation that benefits the public, we're all for a "meeting of the minds." Unfortunately, the letter that came down yesterday seemed more show than substance. Knowing that we would have no time to comply, it meant to make us look uncooperative. And, of course, it's always a bit suspicious when the administration calls the media to alert them to exactly when the letter will be delivered to Senator Hanabusa's office, just in case they want to get it on video.
Rep. Kirk Caldwell, Majority Leader