Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Committee must decide between two tech plan bills

Because of the rapid expansion of science and high tech industries in Hawaii, two similar bills have been proposed to establish a task force to develop concrete technology plans that would create a prosperous future for high tech industries as well as the economy.

Most of the testifiers at the Committee on Economic Development & Business Concerns hearing this morning for the two bills, HB2931 and HB3360, had mix feelings about the language of both bills.

Here are my notes on the views of the testifiers:
  • HB2931 would be a better vehicle for the proposal because the plan would be subject to automatic review and updated every two years.
  • The task force should represent private sectors in the high tech and science industries.
  • There must be a working relationship between research, government and private sectors for this type of task force to benefit Hawaii.
  • An 18-member task force would be too large.
  • A member should be appointed or nominated based on their vision of the plan, rather than their position or stature.
  • Outside industry professionals who aren't familiar with Hawaii should not be part of the task force.
  • HB2931 should be amended to include science in the task force and master plan name because technology and scientific sectors are converging.
  • The committee should consider whether it is good policy to exempt the task force in HB3360 from the Sunshine Law.

The Committee on Economic Development & Business Concerns decided to wait until Thursday before making a decision on the future of the bills.

They will probably stick with one bill and address the concerns of the makeup of the task force, said Rep. Kyle T. Yamashita, committee chair.

No comments: