Your Testimony is Needed!
From Honolulu Republican Party, March 10, 2019
Our voice and opinions are powerful. Our legislators were elected to represent our concerns. It is up to us to voice concerns and to make our voice heard. If we take the time to convey our thoughts to our elected officials and follow up with them, our message will have great impact, but we all must get involved.
Last week was cross over, 524 Senate Bills and 498 House Bill passed third reading in their respective chambers and House bills are sent to the Senate and Senate bills are sent to the House for further consideration. This is our last opportunity to provide public testimony to the committees hearing the bills.
April 11th is the deadline for bills to pass third reading in their non-originating chamber and to “cross back” to the originating chamber. It is also the deadline for the originating chamber to disagree with changes made to its bills by the other chamber. When the Senate and House disagree on a bill, members from each chamber can meet in a “conference” committee to reconcile their differences. This process is not open to the public and no testimony can be submitted.
LEGISLATIVE HEARINGS WEEK 8
Monday March 11, 2019
RELATING TO HOMELESSNESS. Establishes a 3-year Homeless Employment Grant Program that provides homeless individuals with work opportunities and connects them with service providers. Requires the Department of Human Services to submit a report to the Legislature prior to the 2020 Regular Session. Appropriates funds. (HB713 HD1) SUPPORT
RELATING TO ELECTIONS. Requires candidates for president and vice president of the United States to post their most recent income tax return on the Internet at least sixty days prior to and continuing through the date of the general election for free access by the public in order to be included on the state ballot, subject to certain conditions. Prohibits electors from voting for a candidate for president or vice president of the United States unless the candidates have posted their most recent income tax return on the Internet at least sixty days prior to and continuing through the date of the general election for free access by the public, subject to certain conditions. (SD1) OPPOSE
This is nothing more than an anti-President Trump bill. If passed, future candidates may avoid Hawaii all together. This is an extreme case of voter suppression and could be unconstitutional.
RELATING TO CAMPAIGN FINANCE. Establishes an exemption from the prohibition against using election campaign funds to make charitable donations or to award scholarships during the period from the filing of nomination papers to the date of the general election for candidates who are already declared elected to office after running unopposed in an election or who would be unopposed in the general election. SUPPORT
RELATING TO VOTING. Requires that any person who is eligible to vote and applies for a new or renewal motor vehicle driver's license, provisional license, or instruction permit, or a new, renewal, or duplicate identification card be automatically registered to vote if that person is not already registered to vote unless the applicant affirmatively declines to be registered to vote. Authorizes access to and electronic transmission of databases maintained or operated by the counties or the department of transportation containing driver's license or identification card information to election officials and the statewide voter registration system. Effective 1/1/2020. (SD2) OPPOSE
Requiring individuals who would not register on their own to “‘opt-out’ from registration if they want to remain unregistered for whatever reason interferes with the basic right of individuals to decide whether—and to what extent—to participate in the political and democratic process. While we might hope that all citizens will exercise their right to vote, each and every American has the liberty not to do so for whatever reason.
RELATING TO RANKED CHOICE VOTING. Establishes ranked choice voting for special federal elections and special elections of vacant county council seats. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2) OPPOSE
Ranked choice voting is nothing more than a scheme that keeps even more people at home on Election Day. Hawaii already has one of the lowest voter turnouts in the Nation and ranked choice voting will just make it worse.
RELATING TO THE WEED AND SEED STRATEGY. Appropriates funds to the Department of the Attorney General as a grant for Weed and Seed Hawaii, Inc., to maintain the weed and seed strategy, a collaborative effort to prevent crime and rebuild communities in targeted areas. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1) SUPPORT
Tuesday March 12, 2019
RELATING TO CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE. Repeals statutory limitations on the time period in which a survivor of childhood sexual abuse may file suit. (HB18 HD1) SUPPORT
RELATING TO EMOLUMENTS. Prohibits any Governor or county mayor, while holding those offices, to maintain any other employment or receive any emolument, beginning on the sixty-first calendar day after their election or appointment to office. (HB361 HD1) SUPPORT
RELATING TO VACANCIES. Requires vacancies in the offices of United States Senator, State Senator, and State Representative to be filled by special election. SUPPORT
PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE II OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF HAWAII. Proposes an amendment to the Hawaii State Constitution to allow a recount of votes cast at an election to be conducted in a manner to be provided by law. (HB709 HD1) SUPPORT
RELATING TO REMOTE TESTIMONY IN LEGISLATIVE HEARINGS. Requires each house of the Legislature to establish, by rule, procedures for the public to present oral testimony at legislative committee hearings through remote testimony. Appropriates funds. (HB1153 HD1) SUPPORT
RELATING TO CAMPAIGN FINANCE. Creates a comprehensive public funding program for candidates for county elections beginning in 2022. Appropriates funds to the Campaign Spending Commission. (HB1380 HD1) OPPOSE
RELATING TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION. Prohibits food service businesses and stores from the sale, use, or distribution of polystyrene foam containers, expanded polystyrene food service products, plastic straws, and plastic bags. Takes effect 7/1/2021. (SD1) OPPOSE
Overall, banning polystyrene might seem like a good idea, but the impacts and unintended consequences suggests that the costs outweigh the benefits. For every $1 spent on foam containers, alternative packaging will cost food vendors $1.94 that will be passed on to consumers. That’s effectively a 94% tax added to food products to satisfy the environmental desires of progressive democrats. The actual cost could be even higher because Styrofoam is light, easy to pack, and safe for food; the available alternatives are less likely to be as effective and convenient as foam containers. Until a better, less-costly alternative to plastic foam is created, recycling programs aimed at mitigating the environmental costs of Styrofoam are a better option.
RELATING TO THE TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS TAX. Imposes the transient accommodations tax on mandatory resort fees and requires that those fees be included in gross rental or gross rental proceeds. (SD1) OPPOSE
RELATING TO HEALTH. Authorizes advanced practice registered nurses to perform medical or aspiration abortions if certain requirements are met. Clarifies who may refuse to perform an abortion and the notice procedures for refusal. (SD1) OPPOSE
RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. Requires the Auditor to perform a financial and management audit of the Department of Education, Superintendent, Board of Education, and complex areas every three years. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1) SUPPORT
RELATING TO STATE HOLIDAYS. Reestablishes La Ku‘oko‘a, Hawaiian Recognition Day, as an official state holiday. Repeals Good Friday as a state holiday. (SD1) OPPOSE
While we support the establishment of Hawaiian Recognition Day as a state holiday. We oppose eliminating Good Friday. This is an attack on our faith based communities. What is next Christmas.
Wednesday March 13, 2019
RELATING TO TRANSPORTATION. Appropriates funds for the extension of the zipper lane on the H-1 Freeway to Kapolei in the vicinity of the Kualakai parkway on/off ramp. (HB309 HD1) SUPPORT
RELATING TO SUICIDE PREVENTION. Appropriates moneys for youth suicide early intervention, prevention, and education initiatives in Kauai and Hawaii counties. (HB330 HD1) SUPPORT
RELATING TO TAXATION. Exempts locally grown produce and locally raised livestock food products from the general excise tax. (HB616 HD1) SUPPORT
RELATING TO ELECTRIC GUNS. Authorizes law enforcement officers of the Department of Transportation to use electric guns while performing their duties. Requires law enforcement officers of DOT to be accredited by June 30, 2024, for the use of electric guns. (HB1176 HD1) SUPPORT
RELATING TO THE WAIANAE COAST COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CENTER. Appropriates moneys to the Department of Health to provide the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center with funding for an advanced practice registered nurse position and various infrastructure improvements for its school-based health center at Nanakuli High and Intermediate School. (HB1468 HD2) SUPPORT
RELATING TO IMMIGRATION. Makes an appropriation to the Department of Human Services to contract with non-profit providers to provide access to legal counsel to immigrants in immigration proceedings. Takes effect 3/15/2050. (SD2) OPPOSE
Don't be fooled by the language. This is to use taxpayer dollars to provide legal counsel to ILLEGAL immigrants. Even the State AG said this bill may violate Article VII, section 401 of the State Constitution.
RELATING TO TAXATION OF REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS. Disallows dividends paid deduction for real estate investment trusts. Applies to taxable years beginning after 12/31/2019. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1) OPPOSE
REITs bring in investment to help build thriving communities where residents can live, work and play. REITs not only provide a boost to our economy through construction of these projects, but create real job opportunities. Under this measure, it proposes to remove the income tax deduction for dividends from a REIT, this will become a disincentive to invest in Hawai‘i and negatively impact the economy through these investments in real estate. Because investments by REITs generate so much economic activity and create so many local jobs in the State, disallowing the deduction for dividends paid could not only hurt workers in Hawaii, over the long run, it ultimately may result in less tax revenue for the State as its makes Hawaii unattractive for investment.
Thursday March 14, 2019
No hearings on bills we are watching.
Friday March 15, 2019
No hearing on bills we are watching.
Cross Over BILLS (those marked with X in column A are bills we are following.)
Stay up to date view all hearing notices HERE.
Testimony for legislative measures scheduled for hearing by the House or Senate should be delivered at least 24 hours prior to the hearing and may be submitted in person, by fax, or electronically as indicated on the hearing notice.
Testimony for legislative measures scheduled for hearing by the House or Senate may be submitted electronically through the Hawaii State Legislature's website at www.capitol.hawaii.gov by clicking on the button marked Submit Testimony and following the on-screen instructions.
Testimony for legislative measures scheduled for hearing by the Senate may also be faxed to 586-6659 (Oahu) or 1-800-586-6659 (Neighbor Islands).
SENATE HEARING LATE TESTIMONY - Testimony received after the 24-hour deadline will be posted to the Capitol website within 24 hours after the hearing has adjourned and may be marked as "late".
HOUSE HEARING LATE TESTIMONY - Staff will try to incorporate additional testimony received within 24 hours of the hearing if possible.
The hearing committee will post testimony received "on-time" to the Capitol website at the beginning of the hearing. Testimony received after the 24-hour deadline may be marked as "late" but will be posted to the Capitol website as soon as possible following the hearing. Testimony submitted after the hearing will not be considered or posted.
LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR KEY DATES
MAR 11 BUDGET DECKING – Deadline for submitting the budget bill for third reading.
MAR 13 BUDGET CROSSOVER – Last day for third reading of the budget bill in order to move to the other chamber.
MAR 14 TRIPLE REFERRAL FILING (BILLS) – All bills referred to three or more committees must be filed so that they can be in their second-to-last committee in the non-originating chamber the following day. (Note: A referral to a joint committee counts as one committee referral.) This deadline allows ample time for successful bills to make their way to their last committee by the Second Lateral deadline.
MAR 18 TRIPLE REFERRAL FILING (HCRs) – All House concurrent resolutions referred to three or more committees must be filed so that they can be in their second-to-last committee by the following day. (Note: A referral to a joint committee counts as one committee referral.)
MAR 22 SECOND LATERAL (BILLS) – All bills with multiple referrals must move to their final referral committee in the non-originating chamber by this date.
MAR 28 FIRST LATERAL FOR CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS – Concurrent resolutions require adoption in each chamber and are used to state the official position of the Legislature on an issue, or to request action formally without having to mandate it by law. All concurrent resolutions with multiple referrals must move to their final committee in the originating chamber by this date.