2011 Senate and House bills that hamper individual responsibility and choice
Our legislators have been busy this session introducing many bills that ban unusual items, or impose taxes, fees, restrictions and mandates on specific product choices for the people of Hawaii.
This begs the question, why do our lawmakers spend so much energy on these types of measures rather than working to help the economy flourish, reducing government spending and lowering the tax burden that is escalating out of control on the local, state and federal levels?
Here is a list of several bills with bans, fees and mandates introduced in 2011 on the state level:
- making it unlawful, and imposing a fine and imprisonment, for anyone who buys or sells foie gras, also known as duck or goose liver
- stopping the sale of novelty lighters
- prohibiting the sale of toy guns
- mandating the type of outdoor light fixtures sold, so as not to have “light pollution” that threatens Hawaii’s dark night sky
- banning leaf blowers
- banning fireworks, including aerial devices such as sky lanterns
- establishing a ban on genetically modified taro in the state
- increasing taxes on sugary drinks, with the intention of modifying consumers’ behavior (4 bills)
- targeting the use of plastic bags by imposing fees or completely banning them (17 bills)
The following links take you to the status of a few of these bills.
HB77 Prohibits the possession, sale, or distribution of foie gras. Establishes penalties. http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/lists/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=77
HB604 Prohibits the sale or distribution of novelty lighters. http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/lists/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=604
SB1493 Mandates the kind of outdoor light fixture that can be used in Hawaii. http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/lists/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=1493
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Hawaii Votes is a free public service of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii Its purpose is to inform citizens, community leaders, business people, media, and public officials about legislation that affects their families, schools, jobs and communities. The site empowers citizens to take a more active part in the democratic process, and hold their elected representatives accountable. Hawaii Votes gives users instant access to concise, plain language and objective descriptions of bills, substantive amendments, and votes that take place in the Hawaii Legislature. Unlike any other bill tracking utility, Hawaii Votes is unique because all legislative actions are described - not just those selected by a particular interest group. It is searchable by legislator, keyword, and 50 subject categories, so users can create their own custom "voting record guide." See the Web site at http://www.hawaiivotes.org