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Senator Shimabukuro’s Response to Ethics Violation

Maile Shimabukuro

In February 2016, the law firm Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing invited me to be a speaker at their annual retreat. I was asked to serve as a commenter on a bus tour of the Waianae Coast. The firm’s goal was to educate its employees about the challenging issues facing the Waianae Coast, and some of the positive things happening to address the challenges.

The retreat was at the Aulani Resort, and the firm invited my family and I to stay at the hotel for one night and attend the Paradise Cove Luau along with the rest of the firm during its retreat. Since I was being asked to “work,” I did not realize it would be considered a gift law violation to accept the firm’s offer.

Unfortunately I was unaware that a reporter was trying to contact me on 09/05/16 until after I saw the news story that evening. I was traveling from California to Hawaii that day returning from a Labor Day weekend trip with my family, and my phone had died by the time I got off the plane.

I have a great deal of respect for Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing, which has often worked to support public interest causes. The firm did not ask me for anything other than to help educate its employees about the issues facing the Waianae Coast. I have not, and will not provide any special treatment to the firm.

I do not know which bill the reporter is referring to regarding the gifts law. I am reaching out to him to try and get more details so that I can respond appropriately.

I extremely sorry for this oversight on my part, and take full responsibility for this incident. I have paid the assessed fine, and I welcome your questions and concerns.

Here is a link to the news story:
http://m.hawaiinewsnow.com/hawaii…/…/330510/content/gmU0eO5O

Aloha ,

Senator Maile Shimabukuro
District 21
(Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko Olina, Nanakuli, Ma`ili, Wai`anae, Makaha, Makua)
State Capitol, Room 222

Commentary – Stene’s Disappointed With Big Island State Legislators

I’m very disappointed with our Big Island state legislators. They haven’t responded to any of  my emails, which expressed concern about the Hawaii DOT’s decision  to defer all new state highway projects. State Senator Josh Green was the only legislator that truly acknowledged my concerns about the DOT’s shortsighted decision.

Highway 130 Widening

There is several proposed highway projects in both east and west Hawaii that are  affected by this  deferment, such as the widening of Highway 130 in Puna, and the Saddle  Road Extension in South Kohala. However, there hasn’t been much public push back  as far as I’ve seen, especially from our island’s state legislators.

I strongly believe they should take a stronger stance against the Department of Transportation  in this matter. If DOT continues to allocate 90% of their budgetary resources towards system preservation, this will result in less construction jobs, and more traffic congestion on our island’s highways over the long term.
These profound negative impacts will stifle economic growth on the Big Island.  This should concern our state legislators, as I strongly believe we should continue to invest in our island’s our transportation infrastructure.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

Hawaii Republican Party Terminates Membership of Candidate Kaaihue

The Hawaii Republican Party has terminated the membership of Candidate Angela Aulani Kaaihue.

Angela Aulani Kaaihue

Angela Aulani Kaaihue

“In accordance with the Rules of the Hawaii Republican Party, our Party has terminated the membership of Ms. Kaaihue based on her public statements on social media that she is ‘not a Republican’. Additionally, Ms. Kaaihue has filed as a Democrat in the upcoming Special Election for the remainder of the term of the late U.S. Representative Mark Takai in Congressional District 1.”

“I want it understood by the general public and the media that the recent inflammatory comments made by candidate for Congress (CD2) Angela Kaaihue do not represent the views, values, or the sentiments of our Party and its members,” Fritz Rohlfing Chair of the Hawaii Republican Party stated previously.

Look Out Nate Garner… Councilman Ilagan Starting YouTube Channel

After serving four years on the Hawai’i County Council, Greggor Ilagan is seeking a bigger audience — working with YouTube.

ilagan youtube

One week after the primary election, he launched his new venture as a content creator, Ilagan Videos, with the shaving cream challenge. Besides the Ilagan Challenges, other possible ventures that are being explored include Ilagan News and Ilagan Travel.

It’s far from his original goal of running for the State Senate, but after the hard-fought campaign, it is a way to keep moving. It is also in line with his innovative use of technology to run his office and to reach out to constituents. “Sometimes in life our path changes,” Ilagan said. “And it’s how fast we adapt to that change that matters.”

So the Puna councilman decided to follow a new path outside of government. “Thank you everyone for your support,” he said. “Continue to exercise your right to vote, and please subscribe to Ilagan Videos.”

Finger Flipper Not Showing “Aloha Spirit” Creates Resolution of Removal

(UPDATE) A resolution to remove Chelsea Kent, the woman from Texas that moved to Oahu and became part of the Hawaii delegation at the Democratic National Convention and decided to flip the cameras off while the Hawaii Democrats were reading their votes during a live broadcast… has been removed was created from the Hawaii Democratic Party based on a Hawaii Revised Statute that is to hold the Aloha Spirit in high regards.

Aloha Spirit removalThe Aloha Spirt Law (HRS 5-7.5):

[§5-7.5] “Aloha Spirit”. (a) “Aloha Spirit” is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings each person to the self. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others. In the contemplation and presence of the life force, “Aloha”, the following unuhi laula loa may be used:
“Akahai”, meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness;
“Lokahi”, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
“Oluolu”, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
“Haahaa”, meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
“Ahonui”, meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance.
These are traits of character that express the charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawaii’s people. It was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawaii. “Aloha” is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation. “Aloha” means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. “Aloha” is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence. “Aloha” means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.
(b) In exercising their power on behalf of the people and in fulfillment of their responsibilities, obligations and service to the people, the legislature, governor, lieutenant governor, executive officers of each department, the chief justice, associate justices, and judges of the appellate, circuit, and district courts may contemplate and reside with the life force and give consideration to the “Aloha Spirit”. [L 1986, c 202, §1]

Also a resolution was made to remove Bart Dame as the Hawaii Democratic Party National Committee District Chair for his role in not enforcing things it appears he failed to manage the behavior and expression of Kent and it appears he took no decisive action against Kent.

Bart Dame

Mayor-Elect Harry Kim On “Insights on PBS Hawaii”

On Thursday August 18th, Hawaii County Mayor-Elect Harry Kim was on PBS Hawaii’s television show “Insights on PBS Hawaii“.

Mayor Elect Kim at PBS
Mayor-Elect Kim talked about committing to the be the mayor of the Big Island for the next 4 years, some of the reasons why he ran for office, trust in government in general at all levels while even touching a bit on the Billy Kenoi p-Card legal predictions our current mayor is in.

He also spoke about this current election and the feedback he has been receiving since being re-elected as the Mayor of Hawaii County.  He spoke a little about the divide between East Hawaii and West Hawaii and part of the lack of communication that he had in his previous time in office.

The PBS Hawaii Replay is tomorrow at 2pm but you can watch it anytime here:

 

Senator Schatz Accepting Applications for High School Internship Program

Schatz Seniors Internship Program Open to High School Seniors from Across the State

The office of U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) is currently accepting applications for this year’s Schatz Seniors High School Internship Program.

Sen. Schatz in Puna after Iselle hit the area.

Sen. Schatz in Puna after Iselle hit the area.

The Schatz Seniors program provides a hands-on learning opportunity about the U.S. Senate and encourages students to be advocates in their schools and communities.   Schatz Seniors will work with outreach staff, identify issues of interest to their communities, and attend and staff special events.

“Each year our Schatz Seniors show a commitment to service and our state that keeps me optimistic about Hawai‘i’s future.  I encourage all high school seniors who want to help make a difference in their communities to apply to be a part of our team,” said Senator Schatz.

This is not an office position.  Students will complete the majority of assignments in their homes, schools, and communities and should miss little or no class time.  The internship runs from October 2016 – April 2017, and interns must commit for the full term.  Public, private, charter, and homeschool seniors may apply.  Students must have a GPA of 2.5 or better and have personal access to email throughout the internship.  Schatz Seniors will be selected based on their involvement in their community, diversity of interests and life experiences, and demonstrated leadership.

The application is available on his website at schatz.senate.gov and must be completed no later than 6:00pm on Friday, September 16, 2016.  Please contact our Honolulu office at 808-523-2061 with any questions.

Internships for undergraduate and graduate students are also available year-round in our Washington, D.C. and Honolulu offices.  More information can be found on his website.

Senator Kai Kahele Says Mahalo Hilo!

Senator Kahele Mahalo

This was not a paid ad and I’ve placed this on my website at my own will.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Hawaii’s Open Primary Elections

In a published opinion issued today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Hawaii’s practice of holding open primary elections. The Democratic Party of Hawaii had sued the state office of elections in 2013 and sought to limit participation in the Democratic primary election to registered Democrats only.

Democrat lawsuit

Click to read

The Ninth Circuit ruled that the Democratic Party did not show that the open primary system burdens its associational rights. The Party offered no evidence that the open primary impacted its candidates or messages. The Ninth Circuit noted that Hawaii’s voters may vote in only one party’s primary election.

The case, Democratic Party of Hawaii v. Nago, was originally filed in the federal district court of Hawaii. In November 2013, Judge J. Michael Seabright ruled in the State’s favor, upholding the open primary. The Democratic Party appealed. The Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in May 2016.

“The open primary is part of Hawaii’s commitment to make voting easier and to include more persons in the democratic process,” said Attorney General Doug Chin. “This ruling keeps Hawaii’s primary elections open to all registered voters, regardless of their formal party affiliation.”

This ruling has no effect on the 2016 primary or general elections. A copy of the court’s opinion is attached.

Harry Kim Wins Hawaii County Mayoral Race

Harry Kim wins Hawaii County Mayoral Race.

With 42 of 43 precincts reporting… the math makes it impossible for Wally Lau to come back.

Harry Kim New MayorUPDATE:
The last precinct has reported and it is officially now official:

Kim official

Hawaii Election Results Online

Hawaii GifElection results will be posted upon the close of polls on Election Day. Links to the Summary Reports will be available at that time.

* The results files may be temporarily inaccessible while we are uploading new files. Please refresh your browser window (e.g. click the refresh button) to view new results.  Clicking on another year in the menu does not load new results when returning to 2016.

Reports (PDF format)

Hawaii Skydivers Make Historic Jump – Land in Cuba

This past week skydivers from Hawaii flew to Cuba to take part in a historic jump.  Skydive Hawaii presented the largest Cuban flag to be flown over their country to Skydive Varadero.

First Jump over Skydive Varadero, Cuba. It was supposed to be a hop & pop "solo". ? Spectacular! Get to add an AN-2 to my logbook... If you're in Cuba, go check out Skydive Varadero! ‪#‎skydivevaradero‬ ‪#‎vivacuba‬ ‪#‎cuba‬ ‪#‎varadero‬ ~ Frank T.K. Hinshaw

First Jump over Skydive Varadero, Cuba. It was supposed to be a hop & pop “solo”. ? Spectacular! Get to add an AN-2 to my logbook… If you’re in Cuba, go check out Skydive Varadero! ‪#‎skydivevaradero‬ ‪#‎vivacuba‬ ‪#‎cuba‬ ‪#‎varadero‬ ~ Frank T.K. Hinshaw

Frank T.K. Hinshaw made the first large flag jump over Varadero landing with the Cuban national anthem being played over their public address system during the first friendship competition.

Hinshaw posted the following on Facebook:  They let me jump, just like this. Amazing. They could’ve let a Cuban make the historic first jump, but instead they let this crazy Americano do it.

Hinshaw in CubaFellow Skydive Hawaii members, Richard Doppelmayer, Nelson Suarez, William DeBlois and Elio Esqueda joined Hinshaw in the historic jump.  His father Frank Hinshaw (Sr.) was the sponsor and representative for Skydive Hawaii.

T.K. went on to say, “Our goal was to establish friendly relationships with the Cuban skydivers and to understand their needs in order to conduct safer skydiving and grow the sport within their country. We’d like to see more Cubans be able to access the sport…

To that end, we are hoping that we receive a Office of Foreign Assests Control (OFAC) approval to provide gear, training, and possibly an aircraft.

Cuba is beautiful and we believe our island skydiving expertise can bridge the division between America and Cuba. My hope is that our relationship normalize and that both countries can realize their full potential in working together for a brighter future for both the people of the United States and Cuba.”

All You Can Eat Tacos, Chips & Salsa Fundraiser for Madie TOMORROW!

For the safety and concern of her community due to Tropical Storm Darby, 4th District County Council Candidate Madie Greene postponed her taco fundraiser that was going to be held last weekend and has moved it to TOMORROW!

A suggested donation of $15.00 is a steal when you can eat all-the-tacos you want provided by Luquins Restaurant.

Tacos with Madie

Aloha Friends and Community Members,

We cordially invite you to attend a Mahalo Event for Madie Greene this coming Saturday at the Akebono Theater, next to Luquins, 6 pm with awesome entertainment and taco buffet.

All are welcome, so please share with your friends and neighbors.

We hope to see you all there….

Friends of Madie Greene, Candidate for County Council District 4.

43 Hawaii Candidates Filed to Use Partial Public Funding

In its latest report released Monday the State Campaign Spending Commission listed 43 individuals who have filed to use partial public funding for their election campaigns. This is about 14% of the 296 candidates who are running for a Hawaii office in 2016.

league of women voters logoThe League of Women Voters is delighted so many candidates have responded to this opportunity. We support effective campaign spending controls, limitations on contributions and expenditures, and indirect and direct public financing of campaigns. All of these are part of Hawaii’s Partial Public Financing program.

Ann Shaver, League President stated, “Hopefully all 43 candidates will follow through to actually participate in this progressive program, and others will also file to use these funds.”

Shaver praised the Campaign Commission, which makes more information about the partial public funding program available to candidates and the general public. “Ballots are currently being mailed to voters in advance of the August 13 election date. We encourage voters to consider how candidates pay their campaign expenses, in order to make a fully-informed election choice.”

The public can view reports about candidate spending to see the source and amount of money being expended by candidates, and take advantage of a visualization app to better understand candidate spending: www.hawaii.gov/campaign/. The League provides other current voter information on our website, including candidate statements.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more election information, visit www.lwv-hawaii.com.

Hawaii Democratic Chair Apologizes for Actions of Hawaii Delegate During Roll Call

Yesterday at the Democratic National Convention being held in Philadelphia, as the roll call was being held to nominate the Democratic Presidential Candidate a Hawaii delegate embarrassed the state of Hawaii by flipping off the camera as Senator Brian Schatz was speaking live on camera.

Bird FlipHer name is Chelsea Lyons Kent and she even set up a gofund me page to collect funds from folks to send her to the convention where as of today, she has raised over $3500.00! https://www.gofundme.com/Chelsea4Bernie.

Aloha, my name is Chelsea Lyons Kent and I was elected as a National Delegate for Bernie Sanders at the Hawaii Democratic State Convention. 
The National Convention will be held in July in Philadelphia. I am asking for your help to cover travel costs (airfare, hotel, transportation, etc.).

The Chair of the Hawaii Democratic party sent out this email apologizing on behalf of her actions:

Earlier this evening, the delegates of our state came together to report Hawai’i’s vote in a roll call at the Democratic National Convention. It was a great moment which reflected the hard work that all delegates have put into the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Unfortunately, during the vote one of our delegates was seen making a gesture that was inappropriate and not in keeping with the conduct becoming a national delegate or member of the Democratic Party.

After consulting with the party leadership that was gathered on the convention floor, I made the decision to revoke this member’s floor pass for the evening and provide her an opportunity to apologize for her actions in exchange for being allowed to attend the rest of convention. She was unwilling to do so. Therefore, her floor credentials have been revoked for the duration of convention and she will no longer be a part of our delegation.

Delegates of both campaigns have expressed their shock and disappointment at the incident and have asked me to stress that this in no way reflects the sentiments of the rest of our delegation, regardless of their candidate affiliation. This incident notwithstanding, we have had an excellent convention thus far.

Moving forward, I will continue to express my desire for our Democratic ohana to work together and treat each other with respect and Aloha.

Sincerely,
Tim Vandeveer
Chair, Democratic Party of Hawai’i

Hawaii Governor Attending Democratic National Convention

Gov. David Ige and First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige are scheduled to  participate in the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania next week.

Rep. Joy SanBuenventura posted this photo on Facebook with the following comment, "The DNC opening reception far from protests. before tomorrow's opening gavel...so far everybody is happy but well see what happens tomorrow. #DNC2016 #HIDEMS #joy4puna"

Rep. Joy SanBuenventura posted this photo on Facebook with the following comment, “The DNC opening reception far from protests. before tomorrow’s opening gavel…so far everybody is happy but well see what happens tomorrow. #DNC2016 #HIDEMS #joy4puna”

As governor, Ige is a superdelegate with Hawai‘i’s Democratic Party. Elected delegates and superdelegates from Hawai‘i and across the country will be attending the Democratic National Convention starting Monday, July 25 through July 28.

Gov. Ige is receiving regular updates on Tropical Storm Darby and has the flexibility to return to Hawai‘i if necessary.

He is currently scheduled to return to Hawai‘i on July 29.

No state funds are being used for this trip.

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui serves as acting governor while Gov. Ige is out of state.

Hawaii Senate Looking to Override Governor’s Veto, May Amend Bill

Hawaii Senators are looking at overriding a bill that Governor Ige had previously vetoed.

Today, Hawaii State Senator Donovan Dela Cruz sent a letter to Attorney General Douglas Chin requesting an opinion as to whether at this point in time during special session the Senate may override the governors veto as you indicated we may amend a bill

Chin RequestFrom what it appears to me there appears to be a small war going on between the Governor, Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA) and the Legislature.

A list of the bills vetoed and the governors rationale can be found here:  http://damontucker.com/2016/07/13/hawaii-governors-veto-list-and-rationale-summary/

I’m not sure what bill in particular the Senate is looking at overriding so this should be interesting to see what the Attorney Generals opinion is in the next 24 hours per rule 86 of the Senate Rules: Questions to State Officers.

League of Women Voters of Hawaii Creates One-Stop-Site for 2016 Candidate Information

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii  announces the launch of a nonpartisan election resource about candidates, http://www.lwv-hawaii.com/candidates-2016.htm.  Candidate information is available for all counties in Hawaii.  Nearly three hundred candidates were contacted by the League.

primary candidates

This “one-stop shop” for candidate information provides simple tools to help Hawaii voters compare and contrast different candidates. Detailed candidate information, including candidates’ contact information and a statement from candidates about their background and qualifications, is available for offices at the county, state and national levels.

The LWV urges people to become familiar with the candidates and to vote in the primary Aug. 13. The League’s database will be updated to reflect winners of the primary election, so that information continues to be available for the general election on November 8, 2016.

For additional information about online voter registration, location of your polling place, and important voting procedures, the State Office of Elections provides an online guide to voting in Hawaii: http://elections.hawaii.gov/voters/voting-in-hawaii-guide/

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more information, visit http://www.lwv-hawaii.com

Commentary – Democratic Party Continues Support for Native Hawaiian Self-Governance

Democratic Party of Hawaii LogoAt 12:21 a.m. Sunday, July 10, 2016, Democrat Colleen Hanabusa, Hawai‘I Representative to the National Platform Committee, advised via email: “The Caucus’ proposed language, with the following amendment to your first sentence, ‘Democrats also support efforts for self-governance and self determination of Native Hawaiians.

Native Hawaiians are the indigenous, aboriginal people of Hawai‘i whose values and culture are the foundation of the Hawaiian Islands. We support proactive actions by the federal government to enhance Native Hawaiian culture, health, language, and education. We recognize and honor the contributions and sacrifices made in service to our country by Native Hawaiians,’ passed unanimously, just now.”

Quoting Leimomi Khan, Chair of the Hawaiian Affairs Caucus, “The adoption of our platform proposal by the National Democratic Party Platform Committee signifies the continuing support of the Democratic Party for Native Hawaiians since the formation of the Democratic Party of Hawaii on April 30, 1900 by supporters of Queen Lili’uokalani.”

We are proud of this accomplishment. Mahalo to Colleen Hanabusa for being our champion in advocating for passage by the Democratic Party Platform Committee, and the 182 members of the Platform Committee who voted unanimously in favor of it.

Next step: The Platform will be voted upon by all delegates at the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia, July 25-28, 2016.

Hawaiian Affairs Caucus Democratic Party of Hawaii

Hawaii Governor’s Veto List and Rationale Summary

Gov. David Ige announced the vetoes of seven bills that were on his Intent to Veto list submitted to the State Legislature on June 27.

Governor Ige Profile

The governor notified legislative leaders of the vetoes on Monday, July 11, a day before the July 12 deadline.

The following bills have been vetoed:

SB 2077 Relating to Separation Benefits: This bill would have offered benefits to Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) employees who are facing the abolishment of their positions or workforce restructuring at Maui Region hospitals due to the transition from a state operation to a private operation.

RATIONALE:  There are three primary reasons for this veto.

  • The Employees Retirement System (ERS) believes this bill jeopardizes its tax-qualified status because it allows the affected employees to choose between a lump-sum cash payment that is taxable as wages, and a special employer subsidized early retirement benefit.

Under the IRS code, sections governing the state’s ERS plan, this is not permitted and therefore it threatens the plan’s tax-exempt status.

  • Affected employees were given a lump-sum cash payment upon separation from state service. However, the bill does not appropriate funds for this purpose. Nor does it provide authority to Hawai‘i Health Systems to make the payments.
  • Finally – the bill adds an additional unfunded liability of about $17.2 million to the ERS and $18.4 million to the Employer Union Benefits Trust fund (EUTF) to cover Maui employees separated from state service.

This undermines the state’s moratorium on enhanced benefits and puts the state’s long-term financial plan in jeopardy because the state’s long-term financial position is judged by bond rating agencies based upon the state’s outstanding unfunded liabilities.

Adding to the unfunded liabilities raises concerns for these agencies, about the state’s commitment to financial sustainability.

“This transition to a new system of care has never been done before. It is complex, and there are multiple stakeholders and issues at play. I have exercised my Constitutional duty to veto the bill and submit a remedy so the transition can move forward. My proposed cure remedies legal, technical and fiscal issues while respecting public employees and the collective bargaining process as the employees separate from state service. It is a path forward,” said Gov. Ige.

Proposed Amended Bill:

Governor David Ige submitted a proposed amended bill to the legislature that balances the needs of the various stakeholders and constituents on Maui. The proposal addresses the three primary concerns and are summarized as follows:

  • The state of Hawai‘i and the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation as the employer – will negotiate with the exclusive representatives — for separation benefits for affected employees who separate from state service.
  • Affected employees would be authorized to purchase retirement credits for the amount of time they would have received if they had remained in state service up to June 30, 2017.
  • An appropriation of $25 million in general funds for allocation by the Director of Finance to HHSC – for the payment of the separation benefits and related fringe costs.

HB 1850 Relating to Taxation: This bill would have allowed transient accommodations brokers to register as tax collection agents with the state.

RATIONALE: Looking at this bill from the single lens of taxes owed to the state, this measure did provide a mechanism to achieve that goal.

However– the use of an intermediary system — such as “tax accommodations brokers” as tax collection agents also provided a shield for owners who do NOT currently comply with county laws.

This could have also encouraged owner-occupants to choose “transient accommodation renters” at a time when affordable rental housing in our state is severely stressed and homelessness remains a critical concern statewide.

HB 1739 Relating to Employment: Would have prohibited employers from accessing or obtaining employees’ social media accounts and passwords by coercion or other means.

RATIONALE:  It remains unclear the extent to which this is occurring in workplaces at a level that requires state intervention at this time.

While the intent of this bill is commendable, it contains no provisions for enforcement or due process. The measure states that “an employer found in violation…  shall be subject to a fine of not less than $25 and not more than $100, to be collected by the director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.”

However, DLIR does not currently have the staff, resources or expertise to administer the measure, which would include taking complaints, determining violations, education of rights, determination and collection of fines and administrative review.

HB 1747 Relating to Motor Vehicles: Would have authorized police officers to request towing of motor vehicles if a driver is arrested for driving under the influence.

RATIONALE:  This measure would have authorized police to tow vehicles only for the offense of driving under the influence. This severely limits this bill, particularly for repeat offenders. The original intent of this bill was to allow police to tow for VARIOUS traffic offenses, including driving without a license, habitually driving under the influence and operating a vehicle while a license has been revoked.

This bill would have also undermined a law that permits towing of a vehicle when an operator has been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, without a valid driver’s license or with fraudulent license plates or registration emblems.

HB 2016 Relating to Public Employees: This measure would have required the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) to transfer contributions by retirees and beneficiaries to the Hawai‘i Employer Union Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF) for health insurance payments.

After January 1, 2017, the EUTF would have been required to authorize automatic electronic payments to EUTF in lieu of withholdings.

RATIONALE: This bill would have required “information system” modifications. The process development procedures will take longer to implement than the January 1, 2017 deadline will allow. Also – the ERS Board of Directors expressed concerns about the lack of authorization to expend funds from the ERS Trust Fund, to make the necessary modifications that would have been required to implement this bill.

HB 2277 Relating to the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission: This measure aimed to clarify the membership and mission of the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission.

RATIONALE: The specific number of commission members was deleted from the bill. This created a problem in determining quorum. This problem can be resolved by either restoring the maximum membership number or providing a specific number of members required for quorum.

SB 3102 Relating to the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism: This measure would have required state agencies to implement inter-agency agreements without entering into a memorandum of agreement or memorandum of understanding.

The measure also aimed to diversify the economy by establishing the High-Growth Grant Program, and appropriate $1 million to the HGGP special fund to provide business grants.

RATIONALE: The concern is that this bill did not provide a clear rationale for requiring the implementation of inter-agency agreements without MOAs or MOUs. Also – the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) does not have the expertise and resources to develop inter-agency agreements for all programs statewide.

In addition – the purposes of the High-Growth Grant program were very broad. The program’s special fund would likely not have been self-sustaining without more clarity about the program’s purpose.

A complete list of vetoed and approved bills can be found here: http://governor.hawaii.gov/