From Hawaii Family Forum, February 20, 2021
Recreational Marijuana Clears First Committee
Marijuana Bill On the Move
SB 767, the bill that will legalize recreational marijuana cleared the Senate PSM Committee on Tuesday, February 16. Once again the main groups opposed are the Honolulu Police Department, Maui Police Department, Hawai'i Public Health Institute, Coalition for a Drug-Free Hawaii, and the Hawaii Hotel Visitor Industry Security Association. Hawaii Family Forum opposes this bill. The main argument used by proponents is the potential revenue that will come from legalization. While the legislature debates economical shortfalls and the "do not balance the budget on the backs of the poor" is used quite a lot, it seems as if that will be overlooked in this instance. Another strong concern we have is the rise in vaping among our youth in Hawai'i. This situation is only getting worse and we believe that adding marijuana to the mix is only going to make it worse. We should fix one problem before we create another one.
STATUS: On February 16, 2021, the Senate committee(s) on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs recommended that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes in PSM were as follows: 4 Aye(s): Senator(s) Nishihara, English, Baker; Aye(s) with reservations: Senator(s) Riviere ; 1 No(es): Senator(s) Fevella. The bill now moves to a joint committee of Senate Judiciary & Ways and Means.
Casino Bill Folds!
Casino and Lottery Bills Deferred by Committee
0n Thursday, February 18, 2021, the Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, after deferring decision making twice, voted to "fold" the casino bill by deferring the bill indefinitely. The chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee (Senator Donovan DelaCruz) SB 1321 had tried to keep the bill alive by suggesting amendments, but three voices on the Senate HWN would not be swayed. We truly appreciate the wisdom of Senator(s) Acasio, Ihara and Fevella. To be fair, both Senator(s) Shimabukuro and Keoholole asked really good questions during the hearing and were very fair in the leading of the committee. Hawaii Family Forum opposed this bill and we are grateful to the hundreds of you who wrote/call/testified in opposition.
Another gambling bill, SB 85, would have authorized the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to engage in lottery and bingo enterprises pursuant to state law (SD1) also failed in committee with the same three members voting no.
MAHALO FOR YOUR KOKUA!
Task Force to End Illegal Gambling
Bill to End Illegal Gambling Clears First Committee
SB 1381, a bill introduced by Senator Fevella, establishes a special intergovernmental task force to eradicate illegal gambling and drug activities and to establish community safe zones across the State. We feel that this bill would be a great way to ensure that Hawaii's communities will stay protected from illegal gambling and drug abuse. Hawaii Family Forum supported this bill. (Read committee report)
STATUS: On February 16, 2021, the Senate committee(s) on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs recommended that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes in PSM were as follows: 5 Aye(s): Senator(s) Nishihara, English, Baker, Riviere, Fevella. The bill now moves to a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Ways & Means.
Abortion Expansion Bill Sails Through House Consumer Protection & Commerce Committee
Bill to Allow Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to Perform Aspiration Abortion on the Move.
Not surprisingly, HB 576 HD1 made it out of the House Consumer Protection committee on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 with amendments (HD2). After asking several questions about the scope of practice, the committee voted to pass the bill out with clarifications that the bill will only apply to APRN's (and not Physician's Assistants), and that they can only perform an aspiration abortion and not provide any "operations." The procedure will be limited to only the first trimester according to HD2. Hawaii Family Forum opposes this bill. (Read committee report)
STATUS: On February 17, The committees on House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce recommended that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes were as follows: 8 Ayes: Representative(s) Johanson, Aquino, Hashem, Mizuno, Morikawa, Onishi, Tarnas; Ayes with reservations: Representative(s) Kitagawa; 2 Noes: Representative(s) Kong, Matsumoto; and 1 Excused: Representative(s) Har.
The bill will now move to the House Judiciary Committee.
Upcoming Legislative Deadlines
FEB 25 - MAR 3 MANDATORY 5-DAY RECESS - Hawaii's Constitution mandates a 5-day recess between the 20th and 40th days of the regular session. Neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate convene or assemble formally in chamber on recess days. Committee hearings do take place.
MAR 5 - FIRST DECKING (BILLS) - Deadline for bills to emerge from all their committees (with committee reports filed) and be submitted to the clerk of the originating chamber. This "decking" ensures a mandatory 48 hour opportunity for final review by the chamber's members before they are asked to vote on the third reading. Note: A bill must pass three readings (votes) in each chamber before being enrolled to the governor
NO on the Equality Act
Take Action on the Equality Act
H.R. 5, the so-called federal "Equality Act," was (re)introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday, February 18, and a vote on this bill could take place as early as next week. If this legislation passes Congress, it will almost certainly be approved by President Biden, who vowed to sign it into law within his first 100 days in office. Please contact your U.S. House member through Hawaii Family Forum's Family's Action Center and strongly urge them to oppose this bill.
Faith in Politics Podcast
Title 9, Court Win in California and 40 Days for Life!
Join us in this episode as Meridian Baldacci from the Family Policy Alliance discusses the controversy surrounding Title IX.
Come Join Us!