HB103: Rein in Power of Governor During State of Emergency
From Grassroot Institute, Feb 4, 2021
Hawaii state Rep. Scott Nishimoto has taken the lead and introduced a bill to rein in the power of the governor during states of emergency. His bill, HB103, was heard by the House Committee on Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness on Tuesday, and the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii both applauded the bill and offered suggestions about how it could be improved.
In testimony submitted to the committee, Institute Executive Vice President Joe Kent said, "By requiring legislative approval for the extension of an emergency past a 60-day time limit, the bill would take a positive step toward protecting the balance of powers and the public trust." However, he suggested two major changes to further advance that goal:
>> Remove the clause that allows the emergency to continue “automatically” if the Legislature fails to take action.
>> Have Hawaii follow the example of other states and allow the Legislature to end the emergency period at any time by concurrent resolution.
Citing recommendations made in the institute's “Lockdowns Versus Liberty” report, Kent also recommended three principles that should be considered when dealing with emergencies touching on public health:
(1) Ensure that restrictions and regulations are narrowly tailored, with a clear connection between the restriction and the public health aim.
(2) Reinforce the importance of due process standards by requiring the government to bear the burden of proving that an order which closes a business or deprives an individual of a right is both necessary and reasonable.
(3) Strive for more transparency in decision-making and directives, including protections for existing sunshine and open-records laws.
LINK >>> READ THE TESTIMONY
HB103: Text, Status
SB1267: Text, Status