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Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Bad Bills Still Alive as Legislation Cross Houses
By Sen. Sam Slom @ 9:13 PM :: 6914 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment

Bad Bills Still Alive as Legislation Cross Houses

by State Senator Sam Slom

As published in the Waialae-Kahala Neighborhood Board Report #3, March 17, 2011.

Today was the 32nd day of the 2011 60-day session.  A long list of bad bills that will take away more of your liberty, freedom and money crossed from both houses of the State Legislature as crossover voting commenced on March 8 and 10. In the end many bills which I voted “No” for in the Senate are still alive in the House and many bad bills from the House that I will vote against have come to the Senate. A partial list of bad Senate bills follows:

  • SB 1363: Adds a new tax on plastic and other non-reusable grocery/store bags. No!
  • SB 1059: Bans the use of plastic bags. No.
  • SB 1270: Raids the Hurricane Insurance Relief Fund. A No vote. Hawaii is going to hurt when another hurricane hits.

I voted “No” on several salary increase bills for public workers including SB 1081, SB 1082, and SB 808. We can’t afford raises at this time.

  • SB 367: Establishes a $1 to $2 billion underwater power transmission cable that will cost the ratepayers more for electric power and reward our monopoly utility. No!
  • SB 1289: A 50% increase to the alcohol tax. This bill would have originally taxed soft drinks too. No!
  • SB 1: This is a backdoor type of legislation to establish a Hawaiian government without the support from federal legislation (i.e. “Akaka Bill”). Many Hawaiians oppose this state intervention. Voted No on crossover day. SB1520 is another bill in the same vein.
  • SB 939: Establishes the position of “fall prevention and early detection coordinator” under the Dept. of Health to study and educate the elderly about fall prevention. No!
  • SB 318: This is a new increased and costly film industry backed tax credit bill. The content of this short form bill was replaced with SB 1550, the original version of the bill.
  • SB 1355: I vote no on the “streamlining” internet sales tax for online purchases every year as I did this year.
  • SB 1324: Extends $3 per day vehicle rental tax. No!
  • SB 132: Limits the time when leaf blowers can be used. No.
  • SB 233: New tax on additional tobacco products. No.
  • SB 173: Ban on novelty cigarette lighters. No.
  • SB 925: Raid on tobacco settlement fund. No.
  • SB 179: Imposes bottle tax in dietary supplements. No.
  • SB 1458: Establishes classes of medical marijuana and places new tax on marijuana sales. No.
  • SB 1506: Requires health insurers to fund childhood obesity pilot project. No.
  • SB 725: New tax on solid waste that goes to landfills. No.
  • SB 935: Raids “rainy day special fund”. I voted No.
  • SB 1040: Raises penalties for violation of OSHA. No.
  • SB 1086: Requires previously frozen bread with a label using 20 point or larger type. No.
  • SB 1327: DOT authorization for increased passenger facilities tax without amending administrative rules. No.
  • SB 1328: Automobile registration tax increase. No.
  • SB 1329: Vehicle weight tax increase. No.
  • SB 643: Forfeiture of vehicle for excessive speeding penalties, No.
  • SB 1186: Daily $10 TAT on complimentary rooms. No.
  • SB 1088: Unemployment benefits—business mandate. No.

Were there any good bills? Some include the following which I supported:

  • SB 630: Repeal of the mandated requirement for 10% ethanol added to gasoline.
  • SB 871: Allows home schooled children to participate in public school extracurricular activities.
  • SB 994: Prohibits public employees from hiring their relatives to the same agency.
  • SB 1187: A constitutional amendment that will allow for an elected attorney general. I introduce a similar bill every year.

You can check the latest updates on both Senate and House bills as well as their various draft versions plus testimony and committee reports at the State Legislature website: http://capitol.hawaii.gov. Go to “Bill Status & Documents”.

Updates also appear on our Senate Minority websites at senateminority.wordpress.com and hawaiisenatewatchdog.org.

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