Monday, January 31, 2011

Bills of interest for TUESDAY, FEB 1, 2011

COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION & BUSINESS/COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION

8:30 A.M.

ROOM 309

HEARING NOTICE

HB357 RELATING TO ESTABLISHING A COUNTY INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT REVOLVING FUND

Creates the county infrastructure development revolving loan fund within the department of budget and finance to provide no-interest loans to the counties for the pre-development or development of infrastructure projects to expedite the building of transit-oriented development, especially those involving affordable housing. Effective 07/01/2011. ($) (MCKELVEY)


COMMITTEE ON LABOR & PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT/COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION & BUSINESS

9:00 A.M.

ROOM 309

HEARING NOTICE


HB570 RELATING TO THE COMMISSION ON SALARIES

Requires commission on salaries to conduct a public hearing on Oahu prior to submitting its recommendations to the legislature. (CULLEN)


JOINT SENATE COMMITTEE ON WATER, LAND AND HOUSING/HOUSE COMMITTEE ON WATER, LAND & OCEAN RESOURCES

1:15 P.M.

ROOM – CAPITOL AUDITORIUM

HEARING NOTICE

INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING ON VARIOUS DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES ISSUES. Including special funds, audits, rules, budget and finances. Presenters will be Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Budget and Finance


COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY

2:00 P.M.

ROOM 325

HEARING NOTICE

HB100 RELATING TO VOTING

Establishes an election by mail voting system for federal, state, and county primary or special primary elections; creates procedure and process for this method of voting. Makes appropriations. ($) (MCKELVEY)


HB109 RELATING TO THE SUNSHINE LAW

Allows the participation by 2 or more members of a public policy deliberative body: (1) in a public gathering or community event not tied to matters currently under official deliberation or pending action; and (2) in professional association conferences and professional development activities with a publicly accessible report of their activities. (MCKELVEY)


HB259 RELATING TO CAMPAIGN SPENDING

Prohibits a candidate from using contributions to pursue nomination and election to another state or county office without the contributor's consent. (SAY BR)


HB545 RELATING TO VOTER REGISTRATION

Requires electronic voter registration on the website of the office of elections by 1/1/12. Establishes requirements for online voter registration, including identification and affidavits. (BOSHIRO)


HB638 RELATING TO ELECTIONS

Provides for instant runoff voting for all elections in which no primary election is held; authorizes the chief election officer or the county clerk to use the instant runoff voting method in special elections that would normally require a separate runoff election if no candidate received a majority of votes. (BELATTI)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Women's Caucus Press Conference Unveiling 2011 Legislation





Bills of interest for MONDAY, JANUARY 31

COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION
8:30 A.M.
ROOM 309

HEARING NOTICE

HB917 RELATING TO TRANSPORTATION
Exempts from county approval state department of transportation development and construction of highways and airports. (SOUKI)

HB1020 RELATING TO THE ALOHA TOWER DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Abolishes Aloha Tower development corporation. Transfers the ATDC assets to the department of transportation. Transfers the zoning and planning jurisdiction to the Hawaii community development authority. Makes appropriation. Effective on July 1, 2011. (SAY BR)

HB658 RELATING TO DRIVER EDUCATION
Imposes a surcharge for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant. Establishes a special fund to be administered by the motor vehicle safety office. Establishes a driver education program to increase awareness of the dangers of drunk driving and encourage safe driving practices in students and young drivers.

HB929 RELATING TO THE HAWAII COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Designates the one-half mile area surrounding each rail transit station of the Honolulu high-capacity transit corridor project as the Honolulu rail transit corridor community development district. (HAR)

HB833 RELATING TO TAXATION
Exempts from GET a project developed to provide affordable rental housing or a community health care facility within a mixed-use transit-oriented joint development project. (RHOADS)

HB48 RELATING TO ELECTIONS
Requires that all applicants for driver's licenses or state identification cards, if determined to be eligible, be automatically registered to vote. (RHOADS)

COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SERVICES
9:00 A.M.
ROOM 329

HEARING NOTICE

HB946 RELATING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING
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. Establishes civil action for damages to victims of human trafficking. (AWANA)

HB1067 RELATING TO THE TRANSFER OF YOUTH TO AN ADULT CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
Repeal section 352-28, Hawaii Revised Statutes, which authorizes the executive director of the office of youth services, with the approval of the family court, to transfer a committed youth from the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility to an adult correctional facility for disciplinary or other reasons. (SAY BR)

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

HEARING NOTICE

HB1255 RELATING TO PUBLIC LANDS
Transfers 1.5 acres adjacent to the approximately 3.993 acres set aside by Executive Order No. 3791, to the University of Hawaii Kapiolani community college, for a proposed Legacy Center for the 100th/442nd RCT. (CHANG)

COMMITTEE ON TOURISM
9:15 A.M.
ROOM 312
HEARING NOTICE

HB394 PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF HAWAII TO LEGALIZE SLOT MACHINE GAMBLING AND GAMBLING BY VIDEO POKER MACHINES
Proposes a constitutional amendment to legalize slot machine and video poker gambling that are not visible from the street in designated resort areas within Waikiki on the island of Oahu as provided by law. (ConAm) (SOUKI)

COMMITTEE ON WATER, LAND & OCEAN RESOURCES/COMMITTEE ON HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS
10:00 A.M.
ROOM 325
HEARING NOTICE

HB155 RELATING TO BURIAL SITES
Clarifies provisions relating to inadvertently discovered native Hawaiian burial sites by amending sections 6E-43, 6E-43.5, 6E 43.6, Hawaii Revised Statutes. Conforms the treatment of inadvertently discovered native Hawaiian discovered burial sites with the treatment of previously discovered burial sites by the burial councils under the department of land and natural resources. (MORITA)

HB399 RELATING TO THE PORTION OF INCOME AND PROCEEDS FROM THE LANDS OF THE PBULIC LAND TRUST FOR USE BY THE OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS
Requires the transfer of cash or land to OHA as income and proceeds that OHA is to receive from the public trust pursuant to article XII, sections 4 and 6, of the state constitution, for the period from 11/7/1978 to 7/1/2010. (SAY BR)

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

HEARING NOTICE

HB338 RELATING TO EDUCATION
Requires the members of the board of education to be nominated and, with the advice and consent of the senate, appointed by the governor from lists of qualified candidates presented to the governor by the board of education selection advisory council. (TAKUMI)

COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER PROTECTION & COMMERCE
2:00 P.M.
ROOM 325

HEARING NOTICE

HB802 RELATING TO TAXATION
Temporarily increases the tax rate for banks and other financial corporations, effective from 07/01/11 until 12/31/15 (SAY)

Meet Rep. Ty Cullen

Newly elected Representative Ty Cullen will be Rep. Marilyn Lee's guest this Sunday on the Kukui Connection. The show airs at 4:00 p.m., Channel 54, on January 30th. It repeats on Sunday, Feb. 13th.

Rep. Cullen gives a personal overview of the district he represents - District 41: Waipahu, Village Park and Waikele. Find out about his educational background, his work with youth at risk, and his long-time community service.

Rep. Cullen has been assigned to serve as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Public Safety & Military Affairs, and as a members of the committees on Finance, Labor and Transportation.

Women's Legislative Caucus Honors Dr. Tricia Wright

Rep. Marilyn Lee and Dr. Tricia Wright
Yesterday, the Women's Legislative Caucus unveiled its 2011 legislative package which is dedicated to Dr. Tricia Wright, founder of the PATH Clinic. In addition to her work at PATH, Dr. Wright is an Assistant Professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine.
The Perinatal Addiction Treatment of Hawaii Clinic, known as the PATH Clinic, provides prenatal delivery and postpartum care to women with past or present substance abuse. Services include obstetric and gynecological care, case management, social services referral, educational classes, activities, transportation assistance and childcare. It is located in Kaimuki.
You may find a full list of the Women's Legislative Caucus bills here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bills of interest for Friday, January 28, 2011

COMMITTEE ON LABOR & PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT
9:00 A.M. TO 12 NOON
ROOM 309

Hearing Notice

HB268 RELATING TO CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECKS FOR COUNTY EMPLOYEES
Allows counties to conduct criminal history record checks on certain: 1) liquor commission employees and prospective employees; 2) prospective employees working with vulnerable adults or seniors; and 3) prospective fire, emergency medical services, and emergency management employees. (SAY BR)

HB385 RELATING TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
Authorizes nonsupervisory legislative employees to unionize through the card check and expedited bargaining process. (RHOADS)

HB467 RELATING TO WHISTLEBLOWERS’ PROTECTION
Provides additional protection to public employees who report violations of the law. Expands the department of labor and industrial relations' responsibilities regarding whistleblowers. (WOOLEY)

HB546 RELATING TO CIVIL RIGHTS
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression as a public policy matter and specifically with regard to employment. (B.OSHIRO)


COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE/COMMITTEE ON WATER, LAND & OCEAN RESOURCES
9:00 A.M. TO 11:00 A.M.
ROOM 312


INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING – Update to the Legislature on Invasive Species. Presenters include Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Hawaii Invasive Species Council, Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species, and Nature Conservancy.


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

Hearing Notice

HB512 RELATING TO PALLIATIVE CARE
Requires policies of accident and health or sickness insurance to provide coverage for palliative care. Defines palliative care. (M.LEE)

HB247 RELATING TO INVOLUNTARY HOSPITALIZATION
Permits involuntary hospitalization in a psychiatric facility of a sexually violent predator. Defines sexually violent predator. (SAY BR)

HB409 RELATING TO TAX CREDITS
Creates a tax credit for certain employers who offer their employees a qualified wellness program. (SAY BR)

HB615 RELATING TO MENTAL HEALTH
Adds crisis substance abuse and alcohol treatment as a covered benefit. Amends the definition of "serious mental illness" to "severe mental illness" and to include major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, and borderline personality disorders. Requires department of health to include in its crisis hotline program for emergency intervention services trained and certified professionals. Prohibits the adult mental health services program from limiting the number of hours of treatment per patient and requires case managers to be assigned based on the DSM IV. Establishes an assertive community treatment program under DOH. Makes appropriation to the DOH to establish a community care crisis center. (CULLEN)

COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
11:00 A.M.
ROOM 312

Hearing Notice

HB290 RELATING TO AGRICULTURE
Establishes the Agriculture Inspection and Certification Special Fund under the Department of Agriculture for the inspection, certification, weighing, or grading of agricultural commodities that are to be imported into, exported from, or shipped within the state. Deposits all fees, civil penalties, and other moneys collected by DOA into the Special Fund. Allows DOA to enter into agreements with government and private agencies to hire and pay inspectors to perform certification and audit services, maintain food safety, and establish and maintain an Internet food safety promotional and reporting system. Repeals the Certification Services Revolving Fund. Requires the establishment or increase of certain fees to cover the operation and maintenance costs of agriculture inspection and certification programs, and central services and departmental administrative expense assessments. Appropriates funds for DOA's agriculture inspection and certification program. (TSUJI)

HB701 RELATING TO SCHOOLS
Requires the DOE to purchase agricultural products for school meals programs that have a farm within a school's regional administrative district. Requires the agriculture education program to arrange for opportunities for students to work, volunteer, or study on farms within a school's regional administrative district. (CARROLL)


COMMITTEE ON HOUSING
1:00 P.M. TO 3:00 P.M.
ROOM 325


INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING – Update to the Legislature on the development of public housing/affordable rentals. Invited to present are Hawaii Public Housing Authority, Housing Cooperatives, Department of Human Services/Office of Housing Services, Hawaii Community Development Authority, Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation

COMMITTEE ON HOUSING
3:00 P.M. TO 5:00 P.M.
ROOM 325


INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING – Update to the Legislature on Foreclosures and related issue, including 1)non-judicial foreclosures and foreclosure issues outside of the condominium arena; 2)Mortgage servicers; and 3)publication of foreclosed properties in state and county newspapers.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bills of Interest - Thursday, January 27, 2011

COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION & BUSINESS
9:00 A.M.
STATE CAPITOL, ROOM 312


HB96 RELATING TO INTOXICATING LIQUOR
Prohibits use by minors of false identification to purchase liquor. Establishes fines and other penalties. Designates fifty per cent of revenues from fines to county programs for underage drinking awareness and prevention. (YAMASHITA)

HB656 RELATING TO INTOXICATING LIQUOR
Authorizes the county liquor commissions to require training and certification for liquor servers. (EVANS)

HB678 RELATING TO INFORMATION
Requires a business or government agency responsible for the inadvertent, unauthorized disclosure of personal information to pay for the person's access to credit reports for at least three years. (ITO)


COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SERVICES
9:00 A.M.
STATE CAPITOL, ROOM 329

HB574 RELATING TO UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Makes fear of domestic or sexual violence a good cause for not accepting otherwise suitable, available work. (CULLEN)

HB684 RELATING TO MINORS
Allows a minor to give informed consent for emergency shelter and related services. (AWANA)

HB726 RELATING TO FOSTER CHILDREN
Gives children in the foster care system the option to remain under the jurisdiction of the family court system until they reach the age of twenty-one; amends current law to require a transition plan for children once they have reached the age of fourteen. (MIZUNO)


COMMITTEE ON ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION/COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION & BUSINESS
10:00 A.M.
STAE CAPITOL, ROOM 325


INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING: Inter-island renewable energy transmission cable
Presentations by Joshua Strickler, Renewable Energy Programs, DBEDT and Robbie Alm, Executive Vice President, Hawaiian Electric Company

Rep Har on fine-tuning ignition interlock law

Rep. Sharon Har, who introduced the ingition interlock bill, had an article printed in the Star Advertiser recently addressing some of the issues brought up with the new law that went into effect Jan. 1, 2011.

Here's an excerpt:

This session, I will be introducing another bill to address issues that have arisen as we put ignition interlock into practice. For instance, language should be added to the law to give repeat offenders the ability to petition to restore their registration, so that they may have the privilege of installing an interlock device -- currently, their registrations and license plates are automatically revoked without the possibility of an ignition interlock. It is important to remember that driving is a privilege, not a right, and until we do pass further legislation, repeat offenders -- for whom I have little sympathy -- should be grateful that we are working to allow them the opportunity to install ignition interlocks and have a second chance to prove they are now responsible citizens.

The implementation of ignition interlock represents why every one of us should remain engaged with what our government does. When we see something wrong, we do have the power to work together to address it. That's why it is so important to remember that your lawmakers are there to serve you. It can take perseverance to get things right, but ultimately it is well worth the effort to do something that impacts our entire state, for the better.
Read the entire article at the Star Advertiser website.

Agriculture Chair Tsuji on Mosquito Surveillance



The lack of funding and personnel for invasive species hinders the Department of Agriculture's ability to monitor mosquito infestations. Here's KITV's report from last night:

Malaria Transmitting Mosquito Prompts Need For Surveillance - Video - KITV Honolulu

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Howzit Howard: Marcus Oshiro - Hawaii News Now

Howard Dicus (left) and Rep. Marcus Oshiro on Hawaii News Now Sunrise set.

Watch Rep. Marcus Oshiro's interview this morning with Howard Dicus. They discuss balancing the budget in light of Governor Abercrombie's State of the State address:

Howzit Howard: Marcus Oshiro - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL Home

Women's Legislative Caucus to Unveil 2011 Package

The Women’s Legislative Caucus of the Hawaii State Legislature will unveil their package of proposed bills for the 2011 session on Thursday, January 27, 2011, at 1:00 p.m., in Room 423 at the Hawaii State Capitol. The 15 bills and five resolutions are in the priority areas of crime, corrections, healthcare, domestic abuse, and political action. Descriptions of the proposals are listed below.

The package this year is dedicated to Dr. Tricia Wright, Founder of the Perinatal Addiction Treatment of Hawaii (PATH) program and clinic. Dr. Wright is an Assistant Professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health. PATH works with high-risk, pregnant women including those who have unintended pregnancies, those who smoke during pregnancy, and women who binge drink or are obese prior to pregnancy.

The members of the Women’s Legislative Caucus are:

Representatives: Karen Awana, Della Au Belatti, Rida Cabanilla, Mele Carroll, Corinne Ching, Cindy Evans, Faye Hanohano, Sharon Har, Linda Ichiyama, Georgette “Jo” Jordan, Marilyn Lee, Sylvia Luke, Barbara Marumoto, Daynette “Dee” Morikawa, Hermina Morita, Kymberly Pine, Cynthia Thielen, Jessica Wooley.

Senators: Rosalyn Baker, Suzanne Chun Oakland, Carol Fukunaga, Michelle Kidani, Donna Mercado Kim, Pohai Ryan, Maile Shimabukuro, Malama Solomon, Jill Tokuda.

BILLS (15)

RELATING TO CRIME
Sexual offenses against minors; statute of limitations: Eliminates the statue of limitations for civil actions brought by persons subjected to sexual offenses as a minor. (SEN. SHIMABUKURO)

RELATING TO LIMITATION OF ACTIONS
Parental responsibility and liability: Creates the misdemeanor offense of inadequate supervision of a minor for a parent or legal guardian who fails to exercise reasonable care, supervision, protection or control over their minor child. (SEN. SHIMABUKURO)

RELATING TO HEALTHCARE
Compassionate care: Emergency contraception in the ER. Requires hospitals and providers of emergency medical care to provide survivors of sexual assault with medically and factually accurate unbiased information regarding emergency contraception about sexual assault treatment options and access to emergency contraception. (REP. M. LEE, REP. MORITA)

RELATING TO CORRECTIONS
Pregnant inmates; prohibit shackling: Prohibits physically restraining pregnant inmates, unless extraordinary circumstances exist (i.e. prevention, escaping or injuring herself or others.) (REP. M. LEE)

RELATING TO AN AUTOMATED VICTIM NOTIFICATION SYSTEM
Requires department of public safety to establish a statewide automated victim notification system providing crime victims with current information regarding the offender's custodial status. (REP. M. LEE, REP. THIELEN)

RELATING TO SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION
Amends the sex offender registration law to include violation of privacy offenses, including voyeurism. Requires registration for offenders subject to sex offender registration or notification in their jurisdiction of conviction. Repeals obsolete or unnecessary provisions. Creates a tier classification for covered offenses that are not expressed classified. (REP. M. LEE)

PATH CLINIC APPROPRIATION
Appropriates moneys for the continued operation of the Perinatal Addiction Treatment of Hawaii program and clinic. (REP. M. LEE)

RELATING TO DOMESTIC ABUSE ORDERS
Allows a temporary restraining order to remain in effect for 90 days or until service of a protective order, whichever occurs first. Also amends law to provide that protective orders orally stated by the court on the record shall be effective upon service on the respondent. (SEN. TOKUDA, SEN. KIDANI)

RELATING TO LUPUS
Requires the director of the health to establish a working group to develop a plan to increase education and awareness of lupus. (REP. MARUMOTO)

RELATING TO CRIME
Removes statute of limitations for prosecution of rape cases. (REP. MARUMOTO)

RELATING TO PROSTITUTION
Provides that the county may impound vehicles used in the commission of street prostitution in specified zones as established by the counties. (REP. MARUMOTO)

RELATING TO DNA COLLECTION FOR VIOLENT CRIMES
Requires DNA collection from those arrested on violent felony charges. While all states require DNA collection for felony convictions, most states have begun considering bills to require collection for felony arrests. (REP. MARUMOTO)

RELATING TO THE COLLECTION OF DNA SAMPLES FROM ARRESTEES OF SEXUAL OFFENSES AGAINST MINORS
Mandates the collection of DNA samples from arrestee for sex offenses against minors. Effective July 1, 2012. (REP. MARUMOTO)

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. (SEN. BAKER)

COMMUNITY BASED REINTEGRATION PROGRAM
Requires Department of Public Safety to develop a plan to use current funding resources to improve community based programs to assist female offender's transition back into the community. (REP. HANOHANO)

RESOLUTIONS (5)

DECLARING THE MONTH OF MAY AS LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH IN HAWAII
While lupus can occur in men, ninety percent of the sufferers are women in their childbearing years, particularly affecting Native Hawaiian women, Pacific Island women and women of Asian descent. People with lupus have many different symptoms, but the most common are fatigue, muscle and joint pain, skin disorders, inflammation of internal organs and inflammation of the vascular and nervous systems. (REP. MARUMOTO)

REQUESTING THE HAWAII MEDICAL BOARD, BOARD OF PSYCHOLOGY, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST PROGRAM, AND MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR PROGRAM TO DEVELOP EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL TO PRINT, DISPLAY, AND MAKE AVAILABLETO PATIENTS INFORMING THEM OF THE APPLICABLE ETHICAL STANDARDS RELATING TO SEXUAL BOUNDARIES IN THE PROVIDER-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP
(REP. MARUMOTO)

ENCOURAGING THE JOHN A. BURNS SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND THE SCHOOL OF NURSING AND DENTAL HYGIENE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII TO INCLUDE BREASTFEEDING IN EDUCATIONAL CURRICULUM TO EDUCATE MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS TO ADVOCATE AND PROMOTE BREASTFEEDING AMONG EXPECTANT MOTHERS
Human breast milk is safe and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses, including diarrhea and pneumonia, which are the two primary causes of child mortality worldwide. (REP. THIELEN)

REQUESTING THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO CONDUCT A STUDY ON WHETHER THE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF HAWAII'S SEX OFFENDER LAWS ARE BEING MET AND WHETHER SEX OFFENDER LAWS ARE BEING IMPLEMENTED IN THE WAY THEY WERE INTENDED
In 1996, the federal government enacted what has become known as "Megan's Law," requiring states to collect and release relevant information necessary to protect the public from sexual offenders. (REP. THIELEN)

RECOGNIZING THE NEED TO REACH OUT TO HAWAII WOMEN AND ENGAGE THEM IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS
(Patsy Mink PAC) The legislature is requested to encourage women of Hawaii to actively play an important leadership role in planning and execution of legislative priorities. (REP. ICHIYAMA)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Will Hawaii Learn the Great Recession?

Rep. Karl Rhoads's editorial on Civil Beat: Will Hawaii Learn the Great Recession?

Fragile Recovery Requires Proven Leadership

Speaker Calvin Say's editorial on Civil Beat: Fragile Recovery Requires Proven Leadership

It’s Really About Values

Rep. Roy Takumi's editorial on Civil Beat: It’s Really About Values

Lawmakers and police push for Makiki neighborhood crime watch

Lawmakers and the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) are offering an opportunity for Makiki residents to learn about community policing and organizing Neighborhood Security Watch programs to create connections between police officers and community members to prevent, deter and reduce crime in the community.

The meeting will be held on Monday, January 24, 2011 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Christ United Methodist Church Educational Chapel. Community policing promotes partnerships to address the immediate public safety concerns of a community, such as crime, social disorder and fear. It empowers residents and the Makiki community to become active in increasing the safety and security of their homes.

"Community policing provides residents with a greater sense of security,” said Representative Della Au Belatti, District 25 (Tantalus, Makiki, McCully). “Residents can aid police in combating crime in our community by acting as extra eyes and ears of HPD. It also increases community pride and unity.”

On Oahu, property crime rose 5 percent while violent crimes decreased 1 percent in 2009. The spike in property crimes ended a six-year trend of declining offenses.

According to an annual report released by HPD in June 2010, there were 33,375 property crimes on Oahu in 2009, compared with 31,781 in 2008. Violent crimes show a slight decrease with 2,537 reported in 2009, compared with 2,575 the year before. Police have said in the past that crime tends to go up during tough economic times. Despite the increase, the current crime rates follow years of declining crime numbers, police emphasize.

Residents of more and more neighborhoods, from the North Shore to Manoa, have been coming together in recent years to form community policing groups to watch out for one another. Lawmakers and police are hoping to kick start new groups in the Makiki area with this introductory meeting.

“Crime prevention is everybody's responsibility,” said Sergeant Lawrence Santos. “Community policing reduces crime and improves the quality of life. It also addresses community concerns and can assist in the development of a community warning system.”

“Security watch groups are residents taking their community back,” Santos added. “It’s a proactive approach against crime and other social problems within the community. In addition, it not only serves residents, but has huge benefits for local businesses in the area.”

This event is hosted by Makiki's state and city legislative delegation, including Representative Della Au Belatti, Senator Carol Fukunaga, and Council Members Ann Kobayashi and Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo, and HPD District 1 Community Policing Team.

A local-style potluck will immediately follow the meeting. Christ United Methodist Church is located at 1639 Keeaumoku Street (between Wilder and Heulu). Please call Berna at 586-9425 or send email to b.fo@capitol.hawaii.gov for the meeting agenda or if you will attend as part of a group or organization.

House committee leadership and chairs

Speaker of the House Calvin Say today announced the House of Representatives leadership team and the Committee chairmanships for the 26th Legislature. They are:

House Leadership Team

Speaker: Calvin K.Y. Say (District 20 – St. Louis Heights, Palolo Valley, Maunalani Heights, Wilhelmina Rise, Kaimuki)

Vice Speaker: Joey Manahan (District 29 – Sand Island, Mokauea, Kalihi Kai, Kapalama)

Majority Leader: Blake Oshiro (District 33 – Aiea, Halawa Valley, Halawa Heights, Aiea Heights)

Majority Floor Leader: Cindy Evans (District 7 – North Kona, South Kohala)

Majority Whips: Mele Carroll (District 13 – Kahoolawe, Molokini, Lanai, Molokai, Keanae, Wailua, Nahiku, Hana); Pono Chong (District 49 – Maunawili, Olomana, Enchanted Lake, Kaneohe); Ken Ito (District 48 – Heeia, Haiku Valley, Kapunahala, Kaneohe); John Mizuno (District 30 – Kamehameha Heights, Kalihi Valley, Fort Shafter); James Kunane Tokioka (District 15 – Wailua Homesteads, Hanamaulu, Lihue, Puhi, Portion of Old Koloa Town, Omau)


Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs

Agriculture
Chair: Clift Tsuji Vice, Chair: Mark Hashem

Consumer Protection and Commerce
Chair: Robert Herkes, Vice Chair: Ryan Yamane

Culture and the Arts
Chair: Jessica Wooley, Vice Chair: Della Au Belatti

Economic Revitalization and Business
Chair: Angus McKelvey, Vice Chair: Isaac Choy

Education
Chair: Roy Takumi,Vice Chair: Della Au Belatti

Energy and Environmental Protection
Chair: Hermina Morita, Vice Chair: Denny Coffman

Finance
Chair: Marcus Oshiro, Vice Chair: Marilyn Lee

Hawaiian Affairs
Chair: Faye Hanohano, Vice Chair: Chris Lee

Health
Chair: Ryan Yamane, Vice Chair: Dee Morikawa

Higher Education
Chair: Scott Nishimoto, Vice Chair: Mark Nakashima

Housing
Chair: Rida Cabanilla, Vice Chair: Pono Chong

Human Services
Chair: John Mizuno, Vice Chair: Jo Jordan

International Affairs
Chair: Karen Awana, Vice Chair: Mark Hashem

Judiciary
Chair: Gilbert Keith-Agaran, Vice Chair: Karl Rhoads

Labor and Public Employment
Chair: Karl Rhoads, Vice Chair: Kyle Yamashita

Legislative Management
Chair: Kyle Yamashita, Vice Chair: James Kunane Tokioka

Public Safety and Military Affairs
Chair: Henry Aquino, Vice Chair: Ty Cullen

Tourism
Chair: Tom Brower, Vice Chair: James Kunane Tokioka

Transportation
Chair: Joe Souki Vice Chair: Linda Ichiyama

Water, Land and Ocean Resources
Chair: Jerry Chang, Vice Chair: Sharon Har

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Opening Day at the Hawaii State Legislature 2011

Opening Day Speech by Representative Blake Oshiro


INTRODUCTION

Governor Abercrombie, Lieutenant Governor Schatz, Chief Justice Recktenwald, OHA Chair Machado, Mayor Arakawa, other honored guests. Colleagues, family members, and friends – Aloha and Welcome.

As we open the 26th State Legislature, I’m going to borrow a page from the new Administration’s theme, "this is truly a new day" for Hawaii.

Now, of course, I am not going to be even remotely attempting to take any thunder away from Governor Abercrombie and his State-of-the-State on Monday. Heaven knows, the sheer voltage, not to mention the volume, of our new Governor is not anything I can match.

So, what I can humbly offer, is my straight-talk and insights. Please take my enthusiasm with the sincerity of which it is offered and do not take offense with what can sometimes be an "informality" of my tone and words. After 40 years, I've come to learn I am who I am . . . for good or bad and I can't pretend to be something I am not.

And so with this, as the parameters of our "new Day," I first need to recognize those for who it truly is a "New Day." I will let my esteemed Minority colleague have the privilege of introducing his new Republican freshmen. But let me take the opportunity to once again introduce to you the Democratic Freshmen: Dee Morikawa, District 16, Niihau, Lehua, Koloa, Waimea; Mark Hashem, District 18, Kuliouou, Niu Valley, Aina Haina, Kahala; Linda Ichiyama District 31, Moanalua Valley, Moanalua, Salt Lake; Ty Cullen District 41 Waipahu, Village Park, Waikele

NEW DAY


I call this a "new day" for you because you are now at 2nd level of what I call the 3 levels of legislative leadership: 1.) politician – this is what you become that the day you decided to run for office. 2.) legislator – you become that today, when sworn in; 3.) statesman/stateswoman - highest level of our office. It is representing your constituents by doing what is in the best interest for the state and creating policy that is best interest for all.

Now, whether I, or anyone else who is in the body meets the qualifications to be called a statesman, is entirely a subjective test.

And, during your careers, trust me, you will be called MANY MANY things. But in this time, as we head into the coming days of the session, what we sorely need, are statesmen.

Because statesmen shall be willing to work together, work collaboratively and cohesively to overcome some of the harshest realities.

Statesmen will be needed to help us address a $700 mil. budgetary deficit where we must look for creative approaches that still preserve services but not unduly burden private sector and residents.

This is after we closed a $2.1 billion budget shortfall in 2009 and $1.2 billion in 2010 without increasing the general excise tax rate, without increasing income taxes on 97% of residents, and without taking the counties' hotel tax share.

Statesmen will be needed to balance the needs of our fragile economy – one that likely has hit bottom and is only beginning a slow rehabilitation, to ensure that when the recovery happens, that we are poised to make the most of it.

And as statesmen must be able to see these positive signs on the horizon

We must continue our commitment to working with our Hawaii Tourism Authority to see that the steady gains and improvements in our #1 industry continues
• We have already seen the data that visitors total spending in November 2010 rose 30.4 percent, or $227.8 million
• Total expenditures for the first 11 months of 2010 were $10.3 billion, a 16 percent increase compared to the same period last year, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.
• And for the third consecutive month (since September 2010) total visitor spending increased by double digits on all islands.

We must also do our part to protect jobs and keep people working by continuing support more construction, especially for the public sector projects to make up for what may be lacking in the private sector.
• Our state is on the verge of beginning one of the largest public works projects in our history. Honolulu’s mass transit project will secure jobs, modernize our transit system, and shape our island’s growth for generations to come;
• key to this will be responsible land use planning – ensuring we "keep the country country," and create a more energy efficient, sustainable urban core.

And we must look at ways we can continue to diversify our economy -- looking at burgeoning industries like renewable energy, film, agriculture, and high tech. We must continue to offer and develop jobs that keep our college graduates here in Hawaii.

NEED FOR STATESMEN

The urgent need for statesmen is no more exemplified than the tragedy in Arizona. I’d like to quote President Obama, who made the following remarks on the recent shootings/violence:

“As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let's use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together.”

This tragedy reminds us of the importance for us all to aim and achieve the highest level -- shine past the vitriol and venom of political rhetoric; work hard and develop skills at becoming a legislator; raise the level of discussion and discourse to engage and inspire.

Finally, a preview of the session would be somewhat inaccurate and misleading if we did not deal with the obvious and contentious issue of civil unions.

Here, I cannot speak on behalf of the majority, for this is truly an issue that is not delineated nor designed by party affiliation or by our caucuses. Instead, what I can say is that we must go back to being the statesmen/women -- we must allow ourselves to have an honest and open debate on this topic, to avoid labels and rhetoric -- and to find what is ultimately just and not let justice become subjugated by economics.

For to be "Just" - guided by truth, reason, and fairness, to get beyond our personal conflicts or past political expediency or re-electability – that is what we must seek as our north star, our constant point when we navigate through new and unexplored territories of policy, when we ride thru waves of uncertainty. We must hold fast to our gut belief in what is just. And so long as we do so on the floor, in hearings with the administration before us -- or sometimes, even in our own caucus -- we can look back and know that we did what we needed to do and what we were elected to do. Thank you.

SNAPSHOTS: Beards Appeared and Artistry




Rep. Tom Brower with Governor Neil Abercrombie on Opening Day of the 26th Legislature.


Visitors on Opening Day admired the artwork, created by Rep. Brower, on his office walls.

• On the left wall is his “things that fly” decals, which include birds, insects and fairies.
• The center wall features Piet Mondrian’s “Composition 2” from 1930, a piece that helped popularize the neoplasticism (De Stijl) movement. Art from this movement is characterized by the use of (only) primary colors and values, and straight (horizontal and vertical lines) and rectangular forms, avoiding symmetry. Supposedly, Mondrian designed this piece with the Golden Ratio in mind. A few visitors got their picture taken in front of it.
• The right wall features Verner Panton’s well-known black/white piece, “Geometri,” of 1960.

Lawmakers at Royal Kunia Community Center Grand Opening

Several lawmakers attended the grand opening and blessing of the new Royal Kunia Community Center (RKCA) to congratulate and recognize the Royal Community Association and Kunia Residential Partners. The new center, serving the approximately 2,000 homes of Royal Kunia, features a multi-purpose room, community association offices, restrooms, a kitchen and barbecue lanai for the use of Royal Kunia residents and their guests, marking a major milestone in the community, more than 20 years after the first homes were built.


Photo (from left to right): Rep. Ty Cullen (District 41-Waipahu, Village Park, Waikele, Waikele); Mike Freeman, the RKCA Board President; Sen. Mike Gabbard  (District 19 - Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia, Makakilo, Kapolei, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Portions of Waipahu and Ko 'Olina); Rep. Sharon Har (District 40 - Royal Kunia, Makakilo, Kapolei, Kalaeloa). 

2011 Legislative Timetable

Find it here.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Free tax preparation at the Capitol

What: Federal and State income tax preparation and filing at no cost for low- to moderate-income taxpayers who qualify. In partnership with the Hawaii Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development and its affiliate programs, State legislators kick-off this year’s tax season with a special clinic designed to help taxpayers claim valuable tax credits, file electronic returns, and get their refunds quickly and easily. Tax preparation volunteers are trained and certified by the IRS, and may help taxpayers with special tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.

For more information about the early season clinic at the Hawaii State Capitol and to make an appointment, taxpayers should call 808-548-8887. Free parking will be available at the public blue-metered stalls in the Capitol’s underground parking.

Who: Hawaii Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development (HACBED); State Legislators: Speaker Calvin Say, Representative Della Au Belatti, Representative Tom Brower, Representative Sylvia Luke, Representative Scott Nishimoto, Representative Karl Rhoads, Representative Scott Saiki, Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland, Senator Brickwood Galuteria

When: Saturday, January 29, 2011
9:00am-2:00pm, by appointment only

Where: Hawaii State Capitol
415 South Beretania Street, Room 329

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Community Happenings: Makiki Cleanup, Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed for Makiki Community Clean-up Day, to join Representative Della Au Belatti, Friends of the Makiki Community Library, and Hui o Makiki to paint over graffiti, clean up the park and various other projects for the library. A completed waiver is necessary to participate. Call 586-9425 for more information.

Makiki Community Clean-up Day, inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. and his dedicated service to others, is a day for friends and neighbors to work together for the betterment of the entire community.

When:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, January 17, 2011
8:00am-2:00pm

Where:
Makiki District Park and Makiki Community Library
1527 Keeaumoku Street
Honolulu, HI 96822

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rep. Blake Oshiro weighs in on Arizona shooting




Rep. Blake Oshiro talks about his own experience with threats and personal attacks, meeting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as legislative colleagues, and the political climate in the wake of the shooting in Arizona.

Local Leaders Weigh In On Rhetoric In Wake Of Shooting - Honolulu News Story - KITV Honolulu

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hawaii Open Data Project/Doug White Project

We've added a new link to the Hawaii Open Data Project/Doug White Project, a helpful resource directory and listings of public records in the state. Find it here or under the links section at the top of the page. The Hawaii Open Data Project was put together by Ryan Ozawa, and it includes a section of records obtained by Doug White.

The back story of this project is compelling, ending with a victory for greater transparency by government agencies. Doug White in particular spent a better part of a year and about $1000 of his own money to secure information from the Lingle administration - information that should be readily available to the public. Ryan Ozawa also faced roadblocks when he requested information from government, which inspired the start of Open Data.

Hawaii Public Radio aired their story last month: Public Records Not Easy To Come By In Hawaii

Monday, January 3, 2011

House staff member will be on Jeopardy!

Melissa Nilles (Rep. Har's office manager) will be on Jeopardy! on Wednesday.
Don't miss Melissa Nilles, Representative Sharon Har's office manager, on Jeopardy! Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. on Hawaii KGMB 9. Melissa said that she taped the show in September but was not allowed to tell anyone about it. She also can't tell us if she won. We tried to pry it from her. No such luck. But you can check out Melissa's "howdy" piece on the show's website.

Q and A with Melissa Nilles

What did you do to prepare?

Once the taping got closer, I made sure to record and watch Jeopardy every day, using a pen as my “buzzer” and trying to remember to yell out the answers in the form of a question! I also studied a few books of general knowledge and tried to stay up-to-date on current events, but basically decided that I could only cram so much and had to rely upon what I already knew well.

What would you say was the toughest subject for you? What was the easiest?

I honestly can’t remember all the categories I saw, but in general I’m pretty strong on political facts, music, pop culture, literature and sports. I’m much less confident on ancient history, art, science and world geography.

We know you can’t tell us if you won, so can you tell us what it was like to meet Alex Trebek?

It was very surreal to meet Alex Trebek – you don’t meet him until right before the taping starts and then he’s over there reading the clues for the rest of the game, until you “chat” at the end. He takes a picture with each contestant during a commercial break, and spends a lot of time answering the questions of the audience during the other breaks. (He only thinks some of the Saturday Night Live Celebrity Jeopardy skits are funny, for what that’s worth )

Were you nervous?

I was more nervous at the in-person audition I did in Washington DC than I was at the taping, for some reason. Once I got up on stage I just did my best to focus and figure out how to work the buzzer. You can definitely tell what an advantage the returning champions have, as they are that much more experienced and relaxed than their brand-new opponents!

How would you sum up your experience?

This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it will be very exciting to re-live it when it broadcasts this week. Appearing on Jeopardy is definitely one of those ‘bucket-list’ items and I consider myself very, very fortunate to have checked it off of my list