June 4, 2010
Dear Governor Lingle,
The Executive Committee of the Hawaii Business Roundtable, respectfully recommends the veto of HB444. The bill was acted upon in a manner which did not provide time for a meaningful or objective discussion of the many issues that surround the proposed legislation.
While the bill attempts to address inequities in rights and benefits for domestic partners, it creates many more new problems which need to be addressed. The law stipulates that the implementation be effective 1/1/2010 which is virtually impossible and raises a number of legal issues. There are a number of questions that arise because of the manner in which the legislation was drafted such as “voidance of the civil union”, and other questions that have implications in the areas of inheritance, employment benefits and property rights. In addition, the effect of HB444 on pension and retirement benefit plans is also very complex given the confluence of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act, the Federal Defense of Marriage Act and the federal tax code, especially given the effective date of 1/1/2010.
It is recommended that a Commission be established to develop a recommendation for the State Legislature to consider in 2011. The Commission should include representatives from a broad constituency to provide thoughtful input which could result in meaningful legislation that will minimize the potential for legal challenges and long term problems.
Thank you for your consideration.
Gary K. Kai
Hawaii Business Roundtable
SA: Business Roundtable urges civil union veto
CB: Hawaii Business Roundtable Urges Gov. Lingle To Veto Civil Unions Bill