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Thursday, July 1, 2010
Finnegan: HB2377 does nothing to achieve BoE accountability
By News Release @ 10:48 PM :: 6606 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment

Finnegan requests veto of HB2377

Honolulu – Thursday, July 1, 2010.   "For decades we've talked about increasing accountability in education," states Minority Leader Lynn Finnegan."However HB 2377, the bill that sets up an advisory council to submit a list of approved candidates for the Governor to select the B.O.E., absolutely does nothing to achieve accountability and perhaps sends us once again in the opposite direction."

Attached is the letter submitted to Governor urging a veto of HB 2377 HD3 SD2 CD1.

The letter states that a veto of enabling legislation for a constitutional amendment has been done before. In 2005, Gov. Lingle vetoed SB1257 SD2 HD2 CD1, the enabling legislation for the constitutional amendment that required governors select UH regents from an advisory council.  When that constitutional amendment was approved by voters, the enabling legislation was passed in 2007. 

"Hopefully, the legislature will recognize its error and pass enabling legislation free of any advisory council in the 2011 session," says Finnegan.

- 30 - 

Dear Governor Lingle,

I am writing to request that you veto HB2377 HD3 SD2 CD1, a bill that would force future governors to nominate individuals for the Board of Education (BOE) from a list of individuals submitted by an advisory committee as it would damage attempts to bring accountability to Hawai`i's education system.

As you have noted on many occasions, the leadership in Hawai`i's education system is fragmented between the BOE, the governor and the legislature. I was supportive of the constitutional amendment that passed that would make the BOE a governor appointed board. It was a positive step that would make the governor more accountable for the performance of education.

However, whatever good the constitutional amendment would accomplish was completely undermined by HB2377 HD3 SD2 CD1, the enabling legislation for that constitutional amendment. This bill forces the governor to select nominees for the BOE from a list of candidates from an advisory council representing various interests. With this requirement, the governor cannot be held accountable for results in education because he or she will not have the freedom to nominate whomever he or she feels is the best candidate for the job. If the governor is to truly be the ultimate authority for education policy, he or she must not be restricted to selecting a nominee from a list of names that he or she had little input in creating. Otherwise, with this advisory council, we are left with the status quo, a system of shared responsibility with no full accountability.

A veto of this legislation will not harm the constitutional amendment. If the voters approve the amendment, the legislature can pass new enabling legislation next session. This has happened before. In 2005, you vetoed SB1257 SD2 HD2 CD1, the enabling legislation for the constitutional amendment that required governors select UH regents from an advisory council. When that constitutional amendment was approved by voters, the enabling legislation was passed in 2007. This will mean a delay in the implementation of the constitutional amendment, but that is preferred to the implementation of a legislation mandating a deeply flawed appointment process. Hopefully, the legislature will recognize its error and pass enabling legislation free of any advisory council in the 2011 session.

For those reasons, I feel it is imperative that you veto HB2377 HD3 SD2 CD1.

Sincerely

Representative Lynn Finnegan

House Minority Leader

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