Monday, May 19, 2008

House members in the news

Today, Rep. Hermina Morita in the Kauai Garden Island on whether to hold a Constitutional Convention:

“It is my personal belief that a con-con is not warranted,” Morita said. “I don’t believe there are any pressing issues that can’t be resolved on the ballot.”

Morita wondered what was so flawed with the Constitution to need a review in 2010. As an example, she pointed out that in the 221 years the U.S. Constitution has been around, not too many changes have been made to that document.

“I just haven’t heard too many compelling arguments as to what is wrong with our constitution,” Morita said. “We have to ask, ‘What needs to be fixed that goes beyond putting a question on the ballot?’ If it isn’t broken, what is there that needs to be fixed?”

Equality of rights and the right to privacy are articles in the constitution that Morita sees as “take away.”

“If we open the constitution for review at this time, it’s not to enhance any rights, it’s to take away rights,” she said. Other protections Morita is concerned may be taken away are term limits in the Legislature, education rights, Native Hawaiian rights, collective bargaining and water resources.

Morita said the state Constitution is a unique document and should be an enduring document of “what ought to be.”

“We should be proud of the document,” Morita said. “We need to look at the purpose of why there should be a con-con.”

Last week, Rep. Cindy Evans and Rep. Mele Carroll in the Molokai Times on their meeting with veterans in Kaunakakai:

“I introduced a resolution that said I want to go out, throughout the whole state, and I want to talk to the veterans,” said Rep. Cindy Evans, to the roughly 50 veterans at the meeting. “This is the third meeting; I’ve been to Maui, I’ve been to Hilo, and I’ve learnt so much.”

“I’d rather just talk story with the people, I’d rather the ideas come from the people,” said Rep. Carroll, who co-introduced the resolution. “So when I’m over there and advocating on your behalf … we push what you want us to do.”

Saturday, Rep. Blake Oshiro in The Advertiser on the signing of HB3040, the electronic enticement bill:

State Rep. Blake Oshiro, D-33rd ('Aiea, Halawa Valley, 'Aiea Heights), the vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee, said lawmakers were persuaded when they heard that many people convicted of electronic enticement were essentially getting a "slap on the wrist."

"By no means is this meant to be the panacea," Oshiro said. "I think what we really want to do is show that, you know, when we see all of these horrendous stories on the news, that these guys aren't going to be walking away with just one year or probation, they're going to be walking away with a really stiff penalty that fits the crime."

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