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80 percent of written testimony, 87 percent of oral testimony opposed SB 1

House Republicans release internal count that finds overwhelming public opposition

News Release from House Republican Caucus November 6, 2013

HONOLULU – As Senate Bill 1 moves to a second vote by the full House today, House Republicans released an internal count showing overwhelming public opposition to SB 1 and urged colleagues to listen to the voice of the people. Of the written testimony published by the joint House Committee, 80 percent of testifiers opposed the bill, as did 87 percent of oral testimony.

“Again and again in the public hearing, testifiers made a valid argument that public opinion should matter in a democracy,” Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson said.“We were elected to represent the people of Hawaii, and we can’t ignore them and their concerns.”

He continued, “Considering what we heard in the five days of testimony and what I’ve heard from my community, I urge my colleagues to be sensitive to the many objections expressed in the hearing and stop SB 1. It’s not too late to support the will of the people.”

“The Legislature has never seen this level of public concern for a bill,” said Rep. Beth Fukumoto. “The numbers underscore what was echoed hundreds of times in the hearing – that the majority of local residents is not comfortable with this bill or the process that it is going through. The public is right to distrust the hasty and confusing process through which this bill is moving.”

The unofficial count found that of 10,749 unique pieces of written testimony submitted to the House, 8,556 (80%) were in opposition and 2,193 (20%) were in support. Of 1,032 oral testifiers, 895 (87%) opposed the measure and 137 (13%) supported it.

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Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson serves as the House Minority Leader and Vice Chair of the House Committee on Finance. He represents the 31st House District covering Moanalua, Foster Village and Aiea. Rep. Beth Fukumoto serves as the House Minority Floor Leader and represents the 36th House District covering Mililani and Mililani Mauka.

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87 percent of House hearing oral testimony opposed Senate Bill 1

House committee passes bill with amendments despite overwhelming public disapproval

News Release from House Republican Caucus November 4, 2013

HONOLULU – House Republicans released an internal count today that found that an estimated 87 percent of oral testimony submitted to the Joint House Committee on Judiciary and Finance opposed Senate Bill 1. The unofficial count of 1,032 oral testifiers found 895 in opposition and 137 in support.

“It’s imperative that decision makers have an accurate picture of public sentiment before casting their votes,” said Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson. “A clear majority of Hawaii residents who dedicated hours, and in many cases days, to testify oppose the bill. Over the last five days of testimony, we heard again and again that this bill leaves too many questions for the courts to answer, that religious rights are not thoroughly protected, and that people feel rushed and frustrated by the process of this special session. We need to be sensitive to the many concerns and objections to this bill overwhelmingly expressed in the committee hearing,” he continued.

“This issue has inspired an unprecedented level of public involvement, and I hope that continues,” said Rep. Beth Fukumoto. “My concern with rushing this committee vote is that members have still not had the time to properly review the effects of the amendments or to review the many thousands of pages of written testimony to find and consider the opinions submitted by our own constituents. We spent many hours in the hearing, but the amount of time allowed by this special session is still completely insufficient.”

She continued, “It’s my hope that my colleagues will listen to the clear voices of our constituents and give this bill the time it deserves in a regular legislative session. The effects of this issue, especially upon religious rights, deserve more consideration to be properly examined.”

  *   *   *   *   *

Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson serves as the House Minority Leader and Vice Chair of the House Committee on Finance. He represents the 31st House District covering Moanalua, Foster Village and Aiea. Rep. Beth Fukumoto serves as the House Minority Floor Leader and represents the 36th House District covering Mililani and Mililani Mauka.

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Oral testimony overwhelmingly opposed to SB1

News Release from Office of Representative Bob McDermott November 4, 2013

We are now in the fourth long day of testimony on SB1 in the joint House committee hearing. An unprecedented 5,000 people have registered to testify. In spite of reports by various news media that the testimony from opposing sides has been “even,” it has not. Opposition to the bill has been overwhelming (actual figures compiled by the House Minority Office).

Thursday: 18% support, 82% oppose

Friday:  20% support, 80% oppose

Saturday:  10% support, 90% oppose

Today (as of 5:00 pm):  9% support, 91% oppose

While there have also been thousands of pieces of mailed-in testimony, a lot of it can be described as “manufactured” by word processors and database merges. Much of it originates from outside our state. The one form of testimony that cannot be faked is real people, taking the time from their families, to come down to the capitol and wait for hours to give personal, heartfelt testimony. These are real people, citizens of Hawaii and voters, and they are still coming to the Capitol by the hundreds.

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