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Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Gov Lingle submits potential veto list to Legislature
By News Release @ 4:36 PM :: 5269 Views :: Energy, Environment

HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle today submitted to the State Legislature a list of 65 bills that she is considering for potential vetoes.  The complete list is attached HERE.

The bills are being considered for potential veto due to various factors including significant negative impacts on the public, legal or constitutional concerns, potential unintended consequences, and technical flaws in the legislation.  Because of the complexity of certain bills, the Governor has placed them on the list to preserve her option to veto them while the Administration continues to review the legislation.

Specific areas of concern include bills that would extract more taxes from state residents (HB 1271, SB 1678 and HB 1544); impact end-of-life choices (HB 1379); curtail affordable housing choices (SB 1160 and SB 1350); and, remove the Public Utility Commission’s oversight to control basic telephone service (SB 603).

In addition, due to the unprecedented $2.7 billion revenue shortfall between now and June 30, 2011, as projected by the Council on Revenues, the Lingle-Aiona Administration has increased scrutiny of all bills for potential budgetary implications.  As a result, a number of bills were put on the potential veto list because they call for new or increased spending at a time when the State cannot afford to expand the cost of government or further deplete the State’s limited fiscal resources.  Twelve bills on the list fall into this category of potentially negative fiscal implications (HB 36, HB 343, HB 358, HB 982, HB 986, HB 989, HB 1504, HB 1809, SB 266, SB 423, SB 1248 and SB 1665).

“While the Legislature has passed legislation that they believe is important and the public played a key role in the legislative process, it is my duty as Governor to ensure the bills that become law are constitutional, fiscally responsible and in the State’s and the public’s long-term interest,” said Governor Lingle.

“This year, given the unprecedented fiscal crisis we are facing, my Administration is taking an extra cautious approach, beyond our already high level of fiscal prudence, to examine bills that would erode our ability to balance the State budget or that would delay our economic recovery,” the Governor added.

The Governor is required by the Hawai‘i Constitution to give the Legislature 10 days notice of any bill she is considering vetoing, prior to the deadline when she must take final action on the bills passed in the 2009 legislative session.  This year the deadline to veto bills is July 15.  Any bill on the potential veto list can still be signed by the Governor or allowed to become law without her signature.  Placing the bills on the potential veto list allows the Governor additional time to deliberate, and provides further opportunities for the public to voice their support or concern relating to the bills.  Bills not on the potential veto list cannot be vetoed.  Therefore, the list is more inclusive to preserve the Governor’s option to veto a measure that is still being reviewed.

Over the next 10 days, the Lingle-Aiona Administration will continue to carefully review the bills on the list.  As she has done every year since taking office, the Governor has been seeking comments on bills passed this legislative session from the public, including individuals, businesses, industry and professional associations, nonprofit groups, and community organizations statewide. In addition, the Administration sought input from legislators, the counties, law enforcement agencies, neighbor island liaisons and state boards and commissions.

This year the Legislature passed 251 bills.  As of today, 163 bills have become law.  Four bills were vetoed while the Legislature was still in session.  For a complete list of bills that have become law this legislative session or to read the Governor’s statements of objections on bills already vetoed, visit the Governor’s Web site at: www.hawaii.gov/gov/initiatives/laws.

Public comments on the 65 bills being considered for vetoes on July 15 may be sent to the Governor’s office as follows:

Email:        governor.lingle@hawaii.gov or gov.policy@hawaii.gov

Fax:          (808) 586-0006

Mail:         Office of the Governor, Hawai‘i State Capitol, Executive Chambers, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96813

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