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Sunday, March 24, 2019
Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review
By Hawaii Family Forum @ 8:33 PM :: 5252 Views :: Education K-12, Family, First Amendment, Life, Drugs

Weekly Recap

From Hawaii Family Forum, March 22, 2019

Abortion Expansion Bill Deferred for This Session!

Good news!  The bill (SB 415 HD1) to allow Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to do aspiration and medical abortions has been deferred the House Consumer Protection & Commerce committee.  155 people signed our online petition!

Without any explanation, the committee deferred the measure on March 21, 2019.  Although the bill was amended by the House Committee on Health to become a task force to study the issue, the CPC committee seemed to be unable to garner the votes to pass the bill in its current version.

We celebrate this victory but remain vigilant because the bill will be back next session because Planned Parenthood has assured the legislature that there is a need to expand these services not only to APRN's but to Physician Assistants and Midwives.

Suicide Prevention Bills

Bills to educate the community and prevent suicide are still moving.  HFF supported these bills.

HB 1416  HD1 Establishes a Suicide Prevention Commission to develop a strategic plan to reduce suicides within Hawaii's correctional system. (HB1416 HD1).  On March 19, 2019, the bill was heard by a joint Senate Committee of CPH/PSM.

The committee(s) on CPH recommend(s) that the measure be PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes in CPH were as follows:

5 Aye(s): Senator(s) Baker, J.Keohokalole, Nishihara, Ruderman, L. Thielen; 

2 Excused: Senator(s) S. Chang, Fevella.

The committee(s) on PSM recommend(s) that the measure be PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes in PSM were as follows:

3 Aye(s): Senator(s) Nishihara, Wakai, Baker; 

2 Excused: Senator(s) Harimoto, Fevella.

STATUS:  The bill will now move to the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

Marijuana Bill Still Alive - Unfortunately

What's interesting to us is that while the legislature hears testimony from so many people in the community against flavored e-cigarettes and the high cost of vaping among our youth, they are still intent on adding another component to the mix.  What crook would be deterred by a $30 fine?  HFF strongly opposes this bill.

HB 1383 SD1 decriminalizes the possession of 3 grams or less of marijuana and establish that the possession is a violation punishable by a monetary fine of $30. Provides for the expungement of criminal records pertaining solely to the possession of 3 grams or less of marijuana. Establishes a marijuana evaluation task force to make recommendations on changing marijuana use penalties and outcomes in the State.

In spite of opposition from Department of the Attorney General, Department of Transportation, Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu, Maui Police Department, Kauai Police Department, Hawaii County Police Department, Honolulu Police Department and Hawaii Family Forum, the joint Senate Committee of the PSM/JDC voted to pass the bill on March 19, 2019.

The committee(s) on PSM recommend(s) that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes in PSM were as follows:

3 Aye(s): Senator(s) Nishihara, Wakai, Baker; 

2 Excused: Senator(s) Harimoto, Fevella.

The committee(s) on JDC recommend(s) that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes in JDC were as follows:

3 Aye(s): Senator(s) K. Rhoads, Gabbard, Kim; 

2 Excused: Senator(s) Wakai, Fevella.

STATUS:  The bill now moves to the Senate Ways & Means.  

ACTION:  To send a message to your Senator about this bill, click here.

Therapy Ban in both House & Senate!

Two bills that adds gender identity to the ban bill that passed last year, are moving.  Our Family Policy Alliance partners were able to help us get attention from national experts who submitted testimony in opposition.  HFF opposes both bills.

We believe these bills are unconstitutional because on January 30, Federal Magistrate Amanda Arnold Sansone (Florida) ruled that plaintiffs' Robert Vazzo, David Pickup, and New Hearts Outreach free speech rights had been violated by the ban, and that the city presented no evidence of minors being harmed by so-called "conversion therapy" within the city of Tampa.

Taking the Pickup and NIFLA decisions together, Judge Sansone concluded that the Tampa Ordinance is, at least as applied to "talk therapy" as described by the plaintiffs, a content-based regulation of speech that should be subject to strict scrutiny.

HB 664 HD2 clarifies that the ban on sexual orientation change efforts applies to conversion therapy practices or treatments that seek to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity. (HB664 HD2) On March 20, 2019, a joint Senate committee of CPH/JDC voted to pass the bill with amendments.

We thank Senator Mike Gabbard who understood the consequences and voted NO on this bill.

The committee(s) on CPH recommend(s) that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes in CPH were as follows:

5 Aye(s): Senator(s) Baker, S. Chang, J.Keohokalole, Ruderman, L. Thielen; 

2 Excused: Senator(s) Nishihara, Fevella.

The committee(s) on JDC recommend(s) that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes in JDC were as follows:

2 Aye(s): Senator(s) K. Rhoads, Wakai;

1 No(es): Senator(s) Gabbard;

Senator(s) Kim, Fevella.

STATUS:  The bill now moves to a full Senate vote.  If passed, the house must agree to the Senate amendment or it will go to a conference committee.

ACTION:  If you would like to send a message to your Senator about this bill, click here.

SB 674 HD1  prohibits conversion therapy for sexual orientation and gender identity. (SB674 HD1)

We thank Rep. Gene Ward who understood the consequences of this bill and voted no.

On March 21, 2019, the committees on HLT recommended that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes were as follows:

5 Ayes: Representative(s) Mizuno, B. Kobayashi, Nakamura, San Buenaventura, Say;

1 Noes: Representative(s) Ward;

2 Excused: Representative(s) Belatti, Tokioka.

STATUS:  The bill now moves to a joint committee of CPC/JUD.

Upcoming Legislative Deadlines


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.


Deadline for passing the single floor vote for adoption required for resolutions in order to move from the originating chamber to the other chamber. 


Deadline for bills that have been amended by the non-originating chamber to emerge from all their committees (with committee reports filed) and be submitted to the clerk of that chamber. This "decking" ensures a mandatory 48 hour opportunity for final review by the non-originating chamber's members before third reading. 


Deadline for bills to pass third reading in their non-originating chamber and to "cross back" to the originating chamber. 

What's Coming Up?



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