Monday, July 14, 2008

Shield Law

The Advertiser today carried an op-ed on the Shield Law by Jeff Portnoy and Gerald Kato. While it is true that the bill passed unanimously, it did not pass without concerns. Also, while those close to the issue know that it was introduced and championed by Rep. Blake Oshiro, the op-ed does not mention it, so here's a tip of the hat to Rep. Oshiro on the bill's enactment.

For the sake of presenting another perspective, here are the floor remarks on Final Reading of Speaker Emeritus Joe Souki, who voted with reservations, about the need for a Shield Law:

Mr. Speaker and Members, I vote with reservations on this measure. I really don't see any major need for a Shield Law. I haven't seen any reporters being taken on and put into jail in journalism. They do have protections under the federal Constitution to protect them, and I don't see why they need additional protection at the local level.

Mr. Speaker, I ask Members to really consider this as we move along. I understand that this is an evolutionary thing that we're going to be looking at in the future. But we need to remember to keep things in balance. I think everything needs to be kept in its proper perspective, and I believe that the Shield Law is going beyond what is needed. Thank you.

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