Friday, September 9, 2011

Legislature's Special Session After 9/11

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the Hawaii legislature convened for the third special session of 2011 to pass legislation in response to the tragic event. Many of the bills addressed changes to law that would help the state's economic recovery. There were also resolutions expressing sympathy to the families of Hawaii residents who lost their lives in the attacks on New York, Pennsylvania, or Virginia. The legislature was is session from 10/22 to 11/02 of that year.

You can view all the measures introduced here. View the list of Acts passed here.

Here are the bills that passed:

Appropriates $1,000,000 for grants-in-aid to the office of community services to provide food for Hawaii's needy, and $1,000,000 to the housing and community development corporation of Hawaii to provide financial assistance that addresses the housing needs of Hawaii's needy, in light of the recent economic turmoil created by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Appropriates funds for CIP. Appropriates funds for debt service. Amends the GO bond declaration to conform to such appropriations.

Establishes the Emergency Environmental Workforce

Raises small purchase procurement exception dollar ceiling temporarily. Provides a state resident preference for certain public contracts.

Provides temporary health insurance for unemployed persons who lost their health insurance on or after September 11, 2001.

Creates a temporary program providing additional benefits to unemployed workers by extending their unemployment insurance benefits.

Increases the filing thresholds for taxpayers filing withholding, general excise, use, transient accommodations, and rental motor vehicle and tour vehicle surcharge tax returns

Imposes the general excise tax, instead of the public service company tax, on transportation service providers.

Amends hotel construction and remodeling tax credit. Provides a residential construction and remodeling tax credit.

Appropriates funds to strengthen security at state airports, state harbors, and state highways. Appropriates funds for other improvements at state airports.

Appropriates tobacco settlement moneys to the Emergency Budget and Reserve Fund to meet increased public health, safety, and welfare needs during the economic emergency caused by the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Authorizes the construction of a new health and wellness center, including a new medical school facility on Oahu. Authorizes the University of Hawaii to issue $150,000,000 in revenue bonds to pay for the facility. Earmarks twenty-eight per cent of the tobacco settlement moneys to the University revenue-undertakings fund to pay principal and interest on revenue bonds to construct the health and wellness center. Appropriates $150,000,000 in private donations and other moneys held by the University of Hawaii to construct the health and wellness center.

Authorizes the governor to declare an economic emergency during the period from 9/11/01 to 4/30/02. Empowers the governor to suspend certain statutes, rules, or orders and adopt rules to provide relief to residents of the State to facilitate continuity of business activity and services, minimize employee layoffs, and prevent endangerment of public health, safety, or welfare. Empowers the governor to suspend, waive, or defer, certain contract obligations owed to the State. Authorizes the governor to waive landing fees and airport system support charges. Requires the governor to convene an advisory committee composed of the president of the senate, the speaker of the house, and the minority leaders of both houses, to inform the public and the legislature of actions taken during an economic emergency. Requires public notices and detailed monthly reports to the legislature of any power exercised.

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