SENATE VOTES TO OVERRIDE FIVE MEASURES ON THE GOVERNOR’S VETO LIST
News Release from Senate Democratic Caucus, July 6, 2021
The Hawaiʻi State Senate convened today for the sole purpose of acting upon bills vetoed by the Governor.
During their floor session, the Senate voted to override the Governor’s veto on the following measures:
SB263: Relating To Economic Development
SB404: Relating To Electioneering Communications
SB811: Relating To The Department of Education
SB1387: Relating To Microchip Identification
HB862: Relating To State Government
The Senate will reconvene on Thursday, July 8, 2021 at 3:00pm to reconsider a potential veto override of HB53 and vote on proposed floor amendments to meet the Governor’s objections in his veto message for HB54, HB1299 and SB589.
“We hope to conclude this veto override session on Thursday by voting on the three proposed floor amendments and reconsidering an override of HB53,” said Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi (District 8 – Kauaʻi and Niʻihau).
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HOUSE REPUBLICAN OPPOSES VETO OF CONTROVERSIAL HTA BILL
News Release from Rep Val Okimoto, July 6, 2021
HONOLULU—Hawai‘i State Representative Val Okimoto (R-36 Mililani Mauka, Mililani, Waipi‘o Acres) joined seven of her colleagues to oppose the veto override of House Bill 862, a controversial measure that would, in part, eliminate the $103 million in transient accommodations tax (TAT) revenue for the counties, allow them to charge up to 3% TAT of their own, and replaced the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority's $78 million TAT allotment with $60 million from President Biden's American Rescue Plan. She released the following statement on her vote:
"Generally speaking, gut-and-replace limits discussions between lawmakers and key stakeholders. In this case, we hastily pushed consequential government reform without giving our business community adequate time to comment or recommend changes to the bill.
"I supported the merits of the bill when I voted in favor of it on April 29. For example, I believe that the counties deserve their fair share of the TAT revenue and should collect it on their own terms, and that there is an important discussion to be had about the future of the HTA and how to best utilize our taxpayer money to manage Hawai‘i's tourism industry without raising taxes.
"If I had it my way, I would have tabled the measure this year and given it ample time for public input during the 2022 Legislative Session. The number of bills the Governor vetoed and the backlash the Legislature received this year just shows how important public input is in our democracy."
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