Friday, January 29, 2010

Bills of Interest for Monday, February 1, 2010

COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION
9:00 A.M. – ROOM 309

HB2727 RELATING TO ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE REVOCATION
Permits driver whose license has been administratively revoked for life to seek reinstatement of the license after 10 years have passed since the occurrence of the lifetime revocation. Requires driver to have had no arrests or convictions for driving while license revoked and to be free from dependency or abuse of alcohol and drugs. Effective 7/1/11. (TAKAI)

HB2776 RELATING TO ADMINSTRATIVE LICENSE REVOCATION
Permits driver whose license has been administratively revoked for life to seek reinstatement of the license after 10 years have passed since the lifetime revocation. Requires driver to have had no arrests or convictions for driving while license revoked and be free from dependency or abuse of alcohol and drugs. (CHONG)

HB2752 RELATING TO HIGHWAY SAFETY
Enacts the recommendations of the Ignition Interlock Implementation Task Force made pursuant to Act 171, Session Laws of Hawaii 2008. (SAY)

HB2797 RELATING TO OPERATING A VEHICLE WHILE INTOXICATED
Requires the impoundment of the vehicle used by the defendant for highly intoxicated drivers and repeat offenders. Institutes a one-year mandatory prison for offenders who have two prior convictions for DUI. Requires alcohol treatment for repeat offenders. ($) (MIZUNO)

HB2198 RELATING TO TRANSPORTATION
Prohibits motorcycle, motor scooter, and moped mufflers from emitting a noise level above an unspecified decibel level. Provides a graduated schedule of fines for first, second, and subsequent violations. (NISHIMOTO)

COMMITTEE ON WATER, LAND & OCEAN RESOURCES
9:30 A.M. – ROOM 325

HB2669 RELATING TO WALU
Prohibits the catching, selling, or possession of walu in Hawaii. (TOKIOKA)

COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
2:00 P.M. - ROOM 309

HB1988
PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE HAWAII CONSTITUTION TO ALLOW THE GOVERNOR TO APPOINT THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION AND THE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION UPON CONFIRMATION BY BOTH THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE SENATE. (M.OSHIRO)

HB1989 RELATING TO EDUCATION
Provides housekeeping amendments to election and education statutes to implement an amendment to the Hawaii Constitution that requires members of the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Education to be nominated and, upon the advice and consent of the State House of Representatives and the Senate, appointed by the Governor. (M.OSHIRO)

HB2376
PROPOSING AMENDMENTS TO THE HAWAII CONSTITUTION RELATING TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION.
Proposes constitutional amendments to Article X, Sections 2 and 3, of the Hawaii Constitution relating to the Board of Education. (ConAm) (TAKUMI)


HB2377 RELATING TO EDUCATION
Requires Board of Education members to be nominated and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appointed by the Governor from pools of qualified candidates presented to the Governor by the Board of Education Selection Advisory Council. Gives the Board of Education the power to restructure the Department of Education to ensure that it is decentralized in a manner to promote student growth and achievement and greater accountability, and monitor and protect student rights provided by law. (TAKUMI)

HB2424
PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE HAWAII CONSTITUTION RELATING TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION.
Amends provision of state constitution to redistrict the board of education, to provide for one board member for every three representative districts. Requires that members reside in the board district that the member represents, and requires that the members be elected by the qualified voters in the respective district. (ConAm) (NAKASHIMA)

HB2428 RELATING TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
Increases the number of members on the board of education to seventeen. Amends law to provide that each school board district shall be comprised of three representative districts. (NAKASHIMA)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bills of Interest for Friday, January 29, 2010

COMMITTEE ON WATER, LAND & OCEAN RESOURCES
9:00 A.M. – ROOM 325

HB1775 RELATING TO FISHING
Prohibits importation to the State or possession of shark fins unless the fins were taken from a shark landed whole in the State. Applies prohibition to any vessel stopping to refuel or offload cargo or otherwise in transit through waters of the State. Establishes presumption regarding possession of shark fins not attached to the carcass. (AWANA)

HB1953 RELATING TO TAXATION
Imposes the general excise tax at the rate of 1.0% on the gross proceeds from the sale of real property less deductions for real estate salespersons' commissions and conveyance tax payments. Takes effect on 07/01/10 and sunsets on 06/30/15. Appropriates revenues for state programs and projects to accommodate land development and population growth resulting from land use plans and policies. ($) (SAY)

COMMITTEE ON LABOR & PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT
9:30 A.M. – ROOM 309

HB1877 RELATING TO PUBLIC EMPLOYEES
Exempts public employees whose positions are fully or partially funded by non-general funds from furloughs and reductions in force. (RHOADS)


COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
9:30 A.M. – ROOM 329

HB2153 RELATING TO TAXATION
Assesses a surcharge tax on all soft drinks sold in the State. (M.LEE)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lawmakers consider school parking fees to raise revenue for DOE

This legislative session we will see lawmakers hash over a cornucopia of bills proposed specifically to raise revenue to make up for departmental budget cuts and to help balance the $1.2 billion budget deficit. Some of these bills will become law and many will not, but the discussion these proposals provoke will be interesting to follow.

One of those bills, HB2073 House Draft 1, would raise revenue to benefit public education, was approved today in the House Committee on Education. The bill would allow the Department of Education (DOE) to charge parking fees in parking lots and roadways under its jurisdiction. However, parking fees cannot be assessed during school related activities such as sporting events and parent-teacher conferences.

Funds collected from parking fees would go into a "parking revolving fund" within the DOE and be credited to the school that collects them.

The bill will now go before the entire House for a floor vote and if approved to the Committee on Finance for discussion.

Bills of Interest for Thursday, January 28, 2010

JOINT HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION, BUSINESS & MILITARY AFFAIRS/SENATE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & TECHNOLOGY
8:30 A.M. – ROOM 312

INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING
Recommendations of the Construction Industry Task Force in response to SCR No. 132, SD1 (2009)


COMMITTEE ON ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
9:00 A.M. – ROOM 325

HB2287 RELATING TO THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY
Repeals the petroleum industry information reporting requirements, the petroleum industry monitoring, analysis, and reporting program, and the PIMAR special fund. (HERKES)


COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION, BUSINESS & MILITARY AFFAIRS
9:30 A.M. – ROOM 312

HB2289 RELATING TO GIFT CERTIFICATES
Extends the minimum expiration period for gift certificates from two to five years and requires issuers to honor gift certificates during this period. Defines "service fee". (HERKES)


COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
9;45 A.M. – ROOM 309

HB1987 RELATING TO FIREWORKS
Establishes a cause of action to abate the illegal purchasing, selling, possession, setting off, igniting or discharging of fireworks. Allows the court to order the closure of any place used in violation of the fireworks law. Allows for the forfeiture of property used in violation of the fireworks law. (M.OSHIRO)

HB2150 RELATING TO CRIME
Provides that patrons of prostitutes who are convicted of a first offense shall be required to pay a $500 surcharge and complete an 8-hour educational and counseling program. Establishes a special fund to fund and administer the program. (M.LEE)

HB1981 RELATING TO PUBLIC SAFETY
Requires the Hawaii paroling authority to establish a medical release program for no-risk inmates who are permanently and totally disabled, terminally ill, or geriatric. Requires department of public safety to assess and refer inmates to the Hawaii paroling authority. Sets conditions for medical release. (HANOHANO)

HB2275 RELATING TO SENTENCING
Permits certain non-violent repeat offenders convicted of drug possession to be sentenced to alternative programs instead of to prison. (HANOHANO)


COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION/COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
2:00 P.M. – ROOM 309

HB2462 RELATING TO USE OF TOBACCO SETTLEMENT FUNDS
Repeals sunset date in Act 264, relating to tobacco fund settlement, for continued use by John A. Burns School of Medicine. (YAMANE)


COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
2:30 P.M. – ROOM 325

HB1991 RELATING TO TRAFFIC ABSTRACT FEE
Increases the fee for a traffic abstract from $7 to $10 and increases the amount of the fee deposited into the general fund from $5 to $8. (SAY BR)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bills of interest for Wednesday, January 27th

COMMITTEE ON HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS
9;30 A.M. – ROOM 329


HB2116 RELATING TO NATIVE HAWAIIANS
Reduces from 50% to 25% the amount of blood quantum needed to qualify for Hawaiian Homes leases and certain services of the office of Hawaiian affairs. (CARROLL)

COMMITTEE ON HOUSING
11:00 A.M. – ROOM 325


HB2281 RELATING TO ELDERLY HOUSING
Increases the minimum age requirement for all persons residing in elderly housing from 55 to 62 years except for spouses and domestic partners. (CABANILLA)

COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, COMMITTEE ON LABOR & PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT
2:00 P.M. - ROOM 309

HB2070 RELATING TO EDUCATION
Changes the terms of service for principals and vice principals from 12 months to 10 months. Returns principals and vice principals to 12-month terms of service if performance contracts for principals are established by the 2011-2012 school year. (TAKUMI)


HB1853 RELATING TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Disallows the sale of ice cream and candy by public schools in conformance to the State of Hawaii wellness guidelines. (TAKUMI)


COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION, BUSINESS & MILITARY AFFAIRS
2:30 P.M. - ROOM 325

HB1926 RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM
Establishes the department of business, economic development, and tourism operation special fund. Imposes a surcharge on the fees charged by certain departments for certain business- and commerce-related authorizations and services. Requires the deposit of the surcharge revenues, as well as $2 million from the financial institutions tax, into the special fund. Requires moneys in the special fund to be used for the operation of the department of business, economic development, and tourism. Takes effect on 7/1/10 and sunsets on 6/30/15. (CHOY)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bills of interest for Tuesday, January 26th

COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION, BUSINESS & MILITARY AFFAIRS
8:30 A.M. – ROOM 312


HB2185 RELATING TO ELECTIONS
Moves primary election date to an earlier time. Makes various amendments to absentee ballot laws to comply with federal law. (Marumoto)


COMMITTEE ON LABOR & PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT
9:00 A.M. – ROOM 309

HB2169 RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT SECURITY (UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE)

Sets, for calendar year 2010, the employer contribution rate at schedule D and the wage base at 90% of the average annual wage. Sets, for calendar year 2011, the employer contribution rate at schedule G. Retains the maximum weekly benefit rate beginning 01/01/2011 at 75% of the average weekly wage. Authorizes special assessments upon employers to pay the interest costs on loans received from the U.S. Secretary of Labor. (Rhoads)

HB2207 RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT SECURITY (UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE)
Applies contribution rates schedules E and F to calendar years 2010 and 2011, respectively, notwithstanding the ratio of the current reserve fund to the adequate reserve fund. Requires assessments upon employers to avoid federal penalties on outstanding loan balances on loans received from the U.S. Secretary of Labor when the balance in the unemployment compensation fund is insufficient to pay expected benefit claims. Permanently retains the adequate reserve fund at one times the product of the benefit cost rate multiplied by the total remuneration paid. Keeps the maximum weekly benefit amount at 75% of the average weekly wage, but reduces the maximum weekly benefit amount over the potential twenty-six week period of benefit eligibility. (Yamashita)


COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
9:00 A.M. – ROOM 329


HB2082 RELATING TO BOTTLED WATER
Requires all bottled water to be labeled with the date of bottling. (Yamane)

HB2081 RELATING TO PREMATURE INFANT HEALTH CARE
Requires the Department of Health to develop a plan to improve hospital discharge and follow-up care procedures for premature infants born earlier than 37 weeks gestational age to ensure standardized and coordinated processes are followed as premature infants leave the hospital. (Yamane)


COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION/COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
2:00 P.M. – ROOM 309


HB2051 RELATING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII
Allows the University of Hawaii board of regents to assess fees for campus parking at an open meeting subject to chapter 92, Hawaii Revised Statutes, but exempt from rule-making public notice, public hearing, and gubernatorial approval requirements of chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes. (Chang)

COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION
2:15 P.M. – ROOM 309

HB2054 RELATING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII
Gives the University of Hawaii fiscal autonomy from the comptroller beyond June 30, 2011. Removes the time limit on the authority of the University of Hawaii to install a different accounting system. Extends the comptroller's authority to request the University of Hawaii to provide information for the preparation of income and expenditure statements. Extends the University of Hawaii's authority to submit proposed new forms or changes to forms for only uniform business and accounting forms for review and approval. Extends the University of Hawaii's chief financial officer's authority to approve assignment of moneys to assignees. Extends beyond June 30, 2011 the requirement for the University of Hawaii to report to the comptroller transactions involving moneys held outside of the state treasury by the University of Hawaii. (Chang)


HB2055 RELATING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII
Exempts the University of Hawaii from Hawaii public procurement code requirements. (Chang)

COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
2:30 P.M. – ROOM 325

HB2004 RELATING TO CAMPAIGN FINANCING
Amends law relating to ballot issue committees. Defines automated phone call and requires certain information to be stated at the beginning of such phone calls. Amends the definition of advertisement. Repeals the campaign spending commission's authority to adopt a code of fair campaign practices as part of its rules. Requires advertising notices and disclaimers to be included on every web page that contains an advertisement. (Say BR)

HB2249 RELATING TO ELECTIONS
Provides that it is unlawful for persons exempt from competitive solicitation for State or county contracts to make contributions to candidate committees, noncandidate committees, or candidates or to knowingly solicit contributions from any person for any purpose. Permits the establishment or administration of, or solicitation of contributions to, any noncandidate committee. (Karamatsu)

Rep Angus McKelvey wants your feedback

Representative Angus McKelvey, D-10 (West Maui, north Kihei) created an online survey to get feedback from his constituents on the current issues the state is facing, the Maui News reports.

The survey is short and won't take more than two minutes. It includes questions about the budget, infrastructure improvements, and a few that gauge how you feel about certain issues and proposals.

One question asks "According to estimates, the state budget will have a deficit of upwards of $1 billion by the end of 2011. How should we meet this challenge?" You can choose from "provide fewer government services," "raise taxes/fees to fund government services," "a combination of both fewer services and raise taxes/fees" or "other" (with an empty box for your suggestions).

Poi making event will honor ‘Anakala Eddie Ka‘anana


A taro-pounding and poi-making event in honor of the late ‘Anakala Eddie Ka‘anana, known to many simply as "Uncle Eddie," will be held Monday, Jan. 25, 2010 at the State Capitol Rotunda from 3 – 7 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Rep. Maile Shimabukuro and friends of Uncle Eddie Ka‘anana.

Ka‘anana grew up in Miloli‘i, a traditional Hawaiian fishing village in South Kona where he learned, like his ancestors before him, to fish, grow taro, make poi and build canoes. Ka‘anana dedicated the final quarter of his life teaching others traditional Hawaiian skills and practices. In particular, Ka‘anana taught students to speak Hawaiian, malama aina (care for the land), and ku‘i kalo (make poi).

"In memory and celebration of Uncle Eddie Ka‘anana we invite all whom he touched to join together on his birthday to clean and ku‘i kalo at the state capitol rotunda," said Rep. Maile Shimabukuro, D-45 (Wai‘anae, Makaha, Makua)

"To gather and ku‘i (pound taro) is a simple demonstration of our connection with and love of Haloa (first Hawaiian ancestor), real food and our love for Uncle (Ka‘anana)," added Vince Kana‘i Dodge, one of the event organizers. "It will send a message to our lawmakers that we are here again. Uncle (Ka‘anana) will be smiling to see us together at the Capitol."

Organizers ask that individuals and groups bring their own materials and equipments, including ku‘i mea (tools to clean and pound poi), cooked kalo (taro), i‘a (fish), la‘i (ti leaf for wrapping pa‘i‘ai (concentrated poi), awa (native root drink), kanikapila (musical instruments and song). Some cooked kalo and i‘a malo‘o (dried fish), and extra ku‘i mea will be provided.

Photo from The Honolulu Advertiser

Friday, January 22, 2010

House Judiciary committee advances bill on voting systems procurement



The House Judiciary Committee today approved a bill to expedite the procurement of voting equipment systems for state elections.

HB1901 RELATING TO PROCUREMENT OF VOTING SYSTEMS


House Bill 1901 is designed to provide the State with increased flexibility in the procurement of voting systems equipment. The bill, introduced by Representatives Calvin K. Y. Say and Jon Riki Karamatsu, proposes changes to the existing procurement process by amending Section 2, Chapter 16 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes. The bill intends to balance the interests of an open and competitive procurement process with the state’s need to obtain voting equipment in a cost effective and timely manner.

“The purpose of this bill is to address existing administrative problems that impact our ability to hold elections” said Chair Karamatsu. “We need to strike a balance between ensuring the transparency of the procurement process and the availability of legal remedies for unsuccessful vendors. We have an obligation to the voters to comply with the election timelines and to ensure that the process is timely and cost effective”.

Protests and administrative appeals by unsuccessful vendors often delay the procurement of voting systems equipment. The current process, which election officials, including county clerks and the state’s chief of elections have described as “ill suited to the State’s procurement of voting equipment systems”, would be amended to allow election officials to exempt voting systems procurement decisions from administrative appeal. To maintain the transparency and integrity essential to the procurement process, the bill calls for a selection committee comprised of government and community stakeholders to review and evaluate competing bids from vendors, and for contracts to be awarded for those bids which are the most cost effective and advantageous to the state. Unsuccessful vendors will also still be free to pursue remedies through the courts.

Rep. Marilyn Lee interviews Sen. Will Espero

Photo: Honolulu Weekly
On this week's Kukui Connection, Rep. Marilyn Lee talks with Senator Will Espero as the Chair of Public Safety & Military Affairs. The show airs on Sundays, 4 p.m., Olelo Channel 54.

Topics include:

*Transportation. Both Rep. Lee and Sen. Espero sit on the Oahu Metropolitcan Planning Organization (OMPO) and have worked for years on alleviating traffic on Oahu.

*Prisons. As Chair of Public Safety & Military Affairs, Sen. Espero talks about the re-entry of prisoners into our communities, and the closure of Kulani Prison on the Big Island.

*Fireworks. Will this be the year that the legislature passes a ban on fireworks?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Legislative Guide to Birthdays


Mahalo to the Honolulu Advertiser for putting out a Directory of House and Senate members with birthdates.

JANUARY (14)
Sen. Fred Hemmings – January 9
Rep. Sharon Har – January 13
Rep. Marilyn Lee – January 15
Sen. Mike Gabbard – January 15
Sen. David Ige – January 15
Sen. David Ige – January 15
Rep. Blake Oshiro – January 16
Sen. Gary Hooser – January 19
Rep. Clift Tsuji – January 20
Rep. Robert Herkes – January 24
Rep. Karl Rhoads – January 24
Rep. Chris Lee – January 28
Sen. Dwight Takamine – January 29
Rep. Joey Manahan – January 31

FEBRUARY (4)
Rep. Calvin Say – February 1
Rep. Roland Sagum – February 11
Sen. Josh Green – February 11
Rep. Karen Awana – February 20

MARCH (8)
Rep. Tom Brower – March 3
Sen. Jill Tokuda – March 3
Rep. Angus McKelvey – March 9
Rep. Gene Ward – March 9
Rep. Della Au Belatti – March 14
Sen. Clayton Hee – March 14
Rep. Lyla Berg – March 15
Rep. Mark Nakashima – March 27

APRIL (8)
Rep. Scott Nishimoto – April 3
Sen. Sam Slom – April 13
Sen. Les Ihara Jr. – April 19
Rep. Marcus Oshiro – April 24
Rep. Joe Souki – April 25
Sen. Robert Bunda – April 25
Rep. Joe Bertram – April 29
Rep. Ken Ito – April 29

MAY (7)
Sen. Colleen Hanabusa – May 4
Rep. Mele Carroll – May 9
Rep. Glenn Wakai – May 14
Sen. Russell Kokubun – May 15
Sen. Clarence Nishihara – May 22
Sen. Norman Sakamoto – May 22
Rep. Henry Aquino – May 26

JUNE (1)
Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland – June 27

JULY (5)
Rep. K. Mark Takai – July 1
Rep. Scott Saiki – July 17
Rep. Barbara Marumoto – July 21
Rep. Cindy Evans – July 26
Sen. Donna Mercado Kim – July 31

AUGUST (7)
Rep. John Mizuno – August 2
Sen. J. Kalani English – August 7
Sen. Shan Tsutsui – August 9
Rep. Michael Magaoay – August 13
Rep. James Kunane Tokioka – August 16
Rep. Pono Chong – August 27
Rep. Corinne Ching – August 31

SEPTEMBER (10)
Rep. Hermina Morita – September 2
Rep. Kyle Yamashita – September 2
Rep. Kymberly Pine – September 8
Rep. Jerry Chang – September 15
Rep. Isaac Choy – September 20
Sen. Rosalyn Baker – September 20
Rep. Cynthia Thielen – September 22
Rep. Jessica Wooley – September 24
Rep. Gilbert Keith-Agaran – September 27
Sen. Michelle Kidani – September 30

OCTOBER (4)
Rep. Maile Shimabukuro – October 1
Rep. Lynn Finnegan – October 3
Rep. Roy Takumi – October 13
Rep. Ryan Yamane – October 24

NOVEMBER (3)
Sen. Brian Taniguchi – November 7
Sen. Brickwood Galuteria – November 15
Rep. Denny Coffman – November 23

DECEMBER (5)
Sen. Carol Fukunaga – December 12
Rep. Sylvia Luke – December 15
Rep. Faye Hanohano – December 21
Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu – December 21
Rep. Rida Cabanilla – December 24

Bills of interest for Friday, January 22

COMMITTEE ON FINANCE
9:00 A.M. TO COMPLETION
Conference Room 308
Informational Briefing on the Department of Transportation Budget Request - Airports, Harbors, Highways Divisions


COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
11:00 A.M.
Conference Room 329

HB823 RELATING TO HEALTH INSURANCE. Mandates health insurance coverage for colorectal cancer screening and that the insurer provide the insured with information about the risks of undiagnosed colorectal cancer and encourage the insured to consult with their physician about screening options. (Nishimoto)

SB1265 SD1 RELATING TO LABELING OF MEAT AND FISH PRODUCTS. Requires truthful labeling of meat and fish that has been gas‑treated. (SD1)(Ige)


JOINT: SENATE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY/HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION, BUSINESS & MILITARY AFFAIRS
1:15 P.M.
Conference Room 016
Informational Briefing on the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. Strategic Marking and Support, Creative Industries, Gen. Support


COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
2:00 P.M.
Conference Room 325

HB1344 RELATING TO VOTING. Establishes citizens right to vote. Establishes permanent absentee voting. (Keith-Agaran)

HB1901 RELATING TO PROCUREMENT OF VOTING SYSTEM EQUIPMENT. Establishes an alternative public procurement process for the procurement of voting equipment systems. (Say, Karamatsu)

SB 549 RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLES EXPRESS WARRANTY ENFORCEMENT. Amends Hawaii's lemon law to include motorcycles in the definition of "motor vehicles". (SD1)(Espero)

SB782 RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT SECURITY. Establishes eligibility for unemployment insurance. Effective 07/01/2112. (SB782 HD1)(Baker)

HB1205 PROPOSING AMENDMENTS TO ARTICLS VII, SECTIONS 12 AND 13, OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF HAWAII RELATING TO TAX INCREMENT BONDS. Proposes amendments to the Constitution of the State of Hawaii to expressly provide that the legislature may authorize the counties to issue tax increment bonds. (Say)


JOINT SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH/HOUSE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH.
2:45 P.M.
Conference Room 016
Informational Briefing on statewide trauma system. Update on Trauma Special Fund. Proposed legislation.

Joint Sessions for 2010

The House and Senate will meet in four joint sessions for the 2010 Regular Session. They are:

Monday, January 25, 2010
STATE OF THE STATE GOVERNOR'S ADDRESS
10:00 a.m.
House Chamber
(*Regular House session will convene at 9:00 a.m.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
STATE OF THE JUDICIARY CHIEF JUSTICE'S ADDRESS
12 noon
Senate Chamber
(*Regular House session will convene at 11:30 a.m.)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010
STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS
12 noon
Senate Chamber
(*Regular House session will convene at 11:30 a.m.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010
MEDAL OF HONOR CEREMONY
2:00 p.m.
House Chamber
(*Regular House session will convene at 12 noon.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Emergency contraception, domestic violence, human trafficking on Women's Caucus agenda


Photo (L-R): Bottom Rep. Faye Hanohano; Rep. Lyla Berg; Marilyn Moniz-Kaho‘ohanohano, University of Hawaii Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator; Rep. Jessica Wooley; Rep. Della Au Belatti; Rep. Mina Morita; Rep. Barbara Marumoto; Rep. Cynthia Thielen; Rep. Marilyn Lee; Sen. Rosalyn Baker; Sen. Jill Tokuda.

The Women's Legislative Caucus yesterday announced their legislative package for the 2010 Legislative Session during a news conference at the Hawaii State Capitol. The package, which represents the groups priorities, was dedicated to Dr. Donnis Thompson, a pioneer for women sports in Hawaii. She was the first female director of athletics at the University of Hawaii and worked with the late Patsy Mink to pass Title IX, the Equal Opportunity in Education Act, which brought equality to women in both academics and athletics. During her nine-year tenure at the University of Hawaii, Thompson increased the number of female sports programs and athletic scholarships.

Women's Caucus Legislative Package

1.) Relating To Employment Relations Employment Practices; Domestic Violence
Prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee or applicant for employment based upon the employee's or the applicant's status as a victim of domestic violence.

2) Relating To Crime First Offender Prostitution Program
Provides that patrons of prostitutes who are convicted of a first offense shall be required to pay $500 surcharge and complete an 8-hour educational and counseling program. Establishes a special fund to fund and administer the program.

3) Relating To Crime Promoting Prostitution
Gives priority, regarding witness security and protection, to proceedings and investigations involving the prosecution of promoting prostitution. Provides that kidnapping offenses shall not be reduced to class B felonies if the offense involves unlawfully obtaining the labor or services of the kidnapped person. Increases the felony classifications for promoting prostitution in the first, second, and third degree.

4.) Relating To Crime Human Trafficking Offenses; Crime
Establishes class A, B, and C, felony sexual human trafficking offenses and class A, B, and C felony labor trafficking offenses, and provisions related to prosecution of the offenses.

5.)HB335/SB776 From 2009 Session, Relating to an Automated Victim Notification System Crime Victims;
Notification Establishes a statewide automated victim notification system to provide victims of crime with current information regarding the custody status of the offender in the victim's case.

6.) HB423/SB604 From 2009 Session Relating To Emergency Contraceptives For Sexual Assault Survivors Sexual Assault; Emergency Contraception
Requires hospitals to provide information about emergency contraception to women who are sexually assaulted and to provide emergency contraception when requested. Provides for administrative penalties for noncompliance.

**The first four bills do not have bill numbers yet. This post will be edited once they receive bill numbers.

Aging in Place

The Joint Legislative Committee on Aging in Place met today at 12 noon to approve the committee's report to the 2010 Legislature. The report includes the status and recommendations on the following:

Kupuna Care and the Preservation of the Safety Net
Aging and Disability Resource Center
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
Home for Life Task Force
Home Care Concierge Service
Fall Prevention
Home Care Agency Licensure
University of Hawaii Center on Aging
Long Term Care Commission

You can read the report online here.

Representative Marilyn Lee and Senator Les Ihara are co-chairs of the Joint Legislative Committee on Aging in Place. You can catch up on all the activity of this committee here.

Opening Day Speech

Here is the Opening Day speech delivered this morning by Speaker of the House Calvin K.Y. Say.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

House Judiciary Committee Reviews Judiciary Budget Cuts

By Office of Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu

In an informational briefing to the House Judiciary Committee, the State Judiciary presented details regarding current budget reductions and the impact on vital programs and services within the state’s judicial system. Testifying on behalf of the Judiciary were Tom Mick, Director of Policy and Planning, Judge Steven Alm of Project HOPE, Judge Karen Radius of Girls Court, Judge Michael Wilson of the Adult Drug Court, Judge Bode Uale of the Family Drug Court, Judge Robert Browning of the Juvenile Drug Court, Jasmine Mau-Mukai of the Children’s Justice Center and Carol Lee of the Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

In 2010, the Judiciary’s budget base was reduced by 7.6% or $11.5 million, and 79 positions or 4% of its permanent workers were eliminated. The current budget cuts calls for reductions to community outreach, legal aid and victim service organizations, including access to temporary restraining order (TRO) services and significant reductions in safety planning services and services to children exposed to domestic violence. In addition, the long term impact of budget reductions on rehabilitative programs such as the Oahu Drug Court could result in increased costs to incarcerate persons unable to enter treatment.

The impact of these budget cuts is being felt throughout the state, resulting in increased caseloads for Sex Offender and Domestic Violence Units and overcrowded docket calendars. To offset some of the reductions, the Judiciary is proposing an increase in certain traffic and administrative hearing fees. The Judiciary also noted that sustained budget reductions could result in increased crime rates, higher recidivism rates, prison and juvenile facility overcrowding and the loss of treatment and assistance programs.

"Despite the economic challenges, I want to do everything possible to ensure that important legal services are available for those in immediate need as well as the general public” said Chair Karamatsu. “This process demonstrates how cuts to individual programs can have adverse and unforeseeable consequences on every level of state government and the committee is going to explore every available option to address the unique challenges facing each part of our state."

Maui lawmakers weigh in on DOE furloughs

The Maui News today printed an article previewing the types of legislation state lawmakers may propose this session to end state teacher furloughs and get students back in the classroom. The 2010 Legislative Session opens tomorrow, and lawmakers have until Wednesday, January 27, 2010 to introduce bills.

You can read the entire article here.

Or read excerpts of what some members of Maui's delegation had to say:

• "State Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran has joined his seven freshman colleagues in the House in proposing that the state Department of Education be mandated to offer 190 instructional days per school year."

• "State Rep. Joe Souki, a Democrat who serves Central Maui residents, said the mandate of 190 instructional days is 'fine, but where are you going to find the money for that? . . . You can't mandate something if you don't have the money for it.'

Souki is seeking support for a proposal to raise the general excise tax by 1 percentage point for five years and dropping the personal income tax rate to 8 percent."

• "'It's a collective-bargaining issue, so it's difficult for us to step in,' (Rep. Kyle) Yamashita said. 'Sure, we would all like to be involved in these negotiations, but it is governed by law that we can't. If we step in, we could open ourselves up to lawsuits, and I think that's where the Legislature needs to be careful.'"

• "State Rep. Angus McKelvey, a Democrat serving West Maui residents, said he was reviewing proposals, including one to dedicate $1 of the state's oil tax to restoring instructional days. His proposal would be an alternative to other measures, such as raising the general excise tax."

MLK Parade


Representatives Lyla Berg (D18-Niu Vally, Aina Haina, Wailupe, Kahala) and Tom Brower (D23-Waikiki, Ala Moana, Kakaako) yesterday were spotted at the 22nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Parade, which began at Magic Island and culminated at Kapiolani Park with a post-parade Unity Rally. The parade and rally are sponsored by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition-Hawai`i (MLK).

The representatives (far left) are pictured with members of the League of Women Voters (LMV) in front of the Ilikai in Waikiki.

Photo from Cynthia Nyross.

Mochi Mochi




Representative Jessica Wooley, D-47 (Kahaluu, Kaneohe, Haula, Laie), got down to business mpounding mochi rice for the New Year on Sat., Jan. 16, 2010. She joined Kahalu'u Cubs, Kahalu'u Boy Scouts, a local Girl Scout troop, and parents to prepare mochi at Kahalu'u United Methodist Church. The church is the sponsor for both the Cub Pack 117 and Scout Troop 117.

In photo above, Representative Jessica Wooley and Kai Ellis of Troop 117 keep a steady rhythm while pounding the mochi in the usu (mortar) with a kine (wooden mallet).

Photo from Elwin Spray.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Women's Legislative Caucus to Honor Donnis Thompson

Donnis Thompson
Photo: Honolulu Star Bulletin Archives

WHAT: The Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus will hold a press conference to announce their 2010 legislative package of bills. The package represents the priorities of the Women’s Legislative Caucus this session. In addition, special guest Marilyn Moniz-Kaho‘ohanohano, University of Hawaii Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator, will be present to say a few words about the late Dr. Donnis Thompson, to whom the package is dedicated. Thompson was a pioneer of wahine sports in Hawaii and served as the University’s first women’s athletic director. She passed away in February 2009.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 19, 2010
11:00 a.m. to 12 noon

WHERE: Hawaii State Capitol – Room 423

Women’s Legislative Caucus Members:

State Senators: Rosalyn Baker, Suzanne Chun Oakland, Carol Fukunaga, Colleen Hanabusa, Michelle Kidani, Donna Mercado Kim, Jill Tokuda.

State Representatives: Karen Awana, Della Au Belatti, Lyla Berg, Rida Cabanilla, Mele Carroll, Corinne Ching, Cindy Evans, Lynn Finnegan, Faye Hanohano, Sharon Har, Marilyn Lee, Sylvia Luke, Barbara Marumoto, Hermina Morita, Kymberly Pine, Maile Shimabukuro, Cynthia Thielen, Jessica Wooley.

House Committee Assignments

Click here to view the 2010 House Committee Assignments.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rep Brower meets Secretary of State Clinton

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Rep. Tom Brower

Rep. Tom Brower attended the Secretary of State Clinton's visit to the East-West Center yesterday and was able to spend a few minutes talking with her. They discussed her return to Hawaii, the good work down at the EW Center, and the upcoming APEC meeting.

Public Access Room News

Click here to read the January 2010 newsletter from the legislature's Public Access Room. I was particularly struck by the new feature on the Capitol website called "Daily Documents". The feature will allow you to pull up a list of all documents filed on a certain date, with active links. This can be found under "Bill Status and Documents".

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beauty and the Beast

Megan Wai Lynn Chun
Photo: 61st Annual Narcissus Festival Program

The "Beast" is the state budget shortfall, and the "Beauty" is House Finance session staffer Megan Wai Lynn Chun, who, this past weekend, became the 2nd Princess at the 61st Annual Narcissus Festival pageant.

Here is her bio:

Megan was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and is the daughter of Miles Muramatsu and Roberta Chun. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Kalani High School and attended Claremont McKenna College where she graduated with honors in Economics and Mathematics. She speaks conversational Japanese and Spanish. Her interests include spending time with family and friends, traveling, hiking, reading, and baking cupcakes. Megan's goal is to continue her career in business and finance by pursuing a graduate degree in economics.

Congratulations Megan!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The legend of Nian - how fireworks were invented

By Rep. Marilyn Lee
District 38 - Mililani, Mililani Mauka

Chinese legend has it that a ferocious mythical monster, Nian, which means “year”, once terrorized the common people. He emerged every New Year’s Eve to prey on humans. People battling the monster began to realize he was afraid of noise, light and the color red, and that bamboo placed in the fire would pop and crackle as the air inside caused the stems to expand and shatter with an explosive sound. That was how firecrackers were invented.


Unfortunately, the fireworks have now become the beast terrorizing the people, and our fire, police and EMS workers must now go out to battle them during the holiday season. Shocking news appeared in the newspaper about two children critically burned by fireworks on Maui. A Honolulu physician warns of serious consequences from fireworks burns and, unbelievably, no system of reporting such injuries exists. Research warns of hearing loss in young children exposed to very loud noises, even for a short period. Pets cower and require medication and special housing during the holidays.

The misuse of fireworks has become a public safety hazard that cannot be ignored any longer. This year, the loud explosive booms, illegal aerials and smoky ground works reached a new plateau – more complaints were received by the Honolulu Police Department than ever before. More letters were received by legislators in favor of a total ban than ever before. A total ban would still require tougher sanctions on those who persist in disobeying the law, and community education would be needed to help people realize the dangers inherent in unbridled use of pyrotechnics.

It is now the fireworks beast who must be tamed and peace must return to our celebration of the New Year. Everyone in the community has a right to enjoy a safe holiday.

Friday, January 8, 2010

"If you can't breathe, nothing else matters."

Photo: Jean Evans, American Lung Assoc. of Hawaii

The Kukui Connection, produced/hosted by Rep. Marilyn Lee, welcomes Jean Evans, executive director of the American Lung Association of Hawaii to the show on Sunday, January 10th, 4:00 p.m. on Oceanic Cable, Olelo Channel 54. (The show repeats on January 24th at 4:00 p.m.)

Following the poor air quality and dangerous fireworks of this past New Year's Eve, Rep. Lee wanted to discuss the issue with the ALA-Hawaii. Some interesting facts:

*Hawaii has the highest rate of lung disease in the country.

*More than 175,000 people in the state have some form of lung disease, which is more than the populations of Maui and Kauai combined.

*Lung cancer is the predominant cancer in the state.

*Asthma is not hereditary, but tends to run in families.

*Asthma is high in Hawaii and triggered by things like cockroaches and second hand smoke.

*The ALA-Hawaii supports a total ban on fireworks.

*Find out more about the popular Breathe Concert coming up on January 30, 2010 at the Hawaii Theatre, starring Willie K.

Learn more about the ALA-Hawaii at their website.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010 Conference Room Schedule

Here is a link to the 2010 Legislature Conference Room School for House committee hearings Click here.

2010 Legislative Timetable

The 2010 legislative calendar is available here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Public Safety Chair on Fireworks Legislation

Rep. Faye Hanohano (District 4 - Puna, Pahoa, Hawaiian Acres, Kalapana), put out the following statement today on her position on fireworks, including legislation that is still alive:

“As Chairperson of the Committee on Public Safety, I have been working diligently alongside many of my colleagues in the House and Senate to pass legislation to address the deleterious effects of fireworks in Hawai`i.

Three fireworks-related bills passed out of the Committee on Public Safety last legislative session that I actively supported; they were carried over to the 2010 session and are still alive. SB1060 SD1 HD2 is in conference and both HB397 HD1 and HB398 HD1 are in the House Judiciary Committee. This session, I will continue to work with my fellow legislators to move these measures through to final passage.

A conference draft for SB1060 SD1 HD2 would establish a task force to study the most effective ways to stop the importation of illegal fireworks into the state. I support this approach to the problem of importing fireworks into the State. We must determine how illegal fireworks are entering the State and then distributed in order to develop an effective program to stop the contraband from impacting the residents of Hawai`i.

HB397 HD1 assesses a surcharge tax on the sale of consumer fireworks, and it requires retailers to report on fireworks sold as well as requiring the Department of Health to report on the effects of fireworks on young children.

HB398 HD1 allows counties to enact ordinances or adopt rules regulating fireworks that are more restrictive than state law regulating fireworks under chapter 132D, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

I urge all who support banning or placing severe restrictions on fireworks in Hawaii to join me in asking the chair of the House Judiciary Committee to hear HB397 HD1 and HB398 HD1 as well as requesting the conference committee to pass a substantive conference draft of SB1060 SD1 HD2. The public needs to get involved and weigh in on this issue.”