"SMALL BUSINESS CAUCUS ANNOUNCES ITS PRIORITIES AND FOCUS FOR THE 2015 LEGISLATIVE SESSION”
Government efficiency, historic preservation and no permanent rail tax lead.
News Release February 11, 2015
The Small Business Caucus of the Hawaii State Legislature today announced its priority list of bills and issues it will support for passage in the 2015 Legislative Session that started January 21 and ends May 7.
The Caucus’s executive committee comprised of House Co-Chairs (Rep. Angus McKelvey and Rep. Gene Ward) and Senate Co-Chairs (Senator Glen Wakai and Senator Sam Slom) have recommended that law-makers support the following legislative priority bills and policy issues:
MEASURE #1: Historic Preservation; Review; Private Residence (HB 218)
HB218: Status, Text
This bill will remove from the definition of historic property any private residence that has not been entered, or nominated by the owner of the residence for entry, onto the Hawaii register of historic places. It also clarifies that nothing in chapter 6E, Hawaii Revised Statutes, shall be construed to require review by the Department of Land and Natural Resources for a private residence fifty or more years old that has not been entered, or nominated by the owner of the residence for entry, onto the Hawaii register of historic places. It has wide spread support from the small business community especially realtors.
“This bill will bring common sense back into the housing repair and renovation market while respecting our historic preservation laws. Instead of making homeowners of 50 year old houses jump through a myriad of historical preservation hurdles to upgrade their residences, this bill will simplify the process and be a huge help to small businesses to get the job done with less delays and red tape,” Senator Wakai said.
MEASURE #2: Small Business Regulatory Review Board (HB266)
HB266: Status, Text
This bill entitles the small business regulatory review board to a separate line item within the budget of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT). The impact of the bill should be able to increase the status and standing of the review board to becoming a real watch dog for the small business community.
Rep. Gene Ward said, “Small businesses in Hawaii are over-regulated and this bill will bring the Regulatory Review Board up to speed as a fully-funded and more respected agency as a watch dog for the regulation of the small business community.”
ADVOCACY POSITION #1: Government Efficiency and Modernization; the Small Business Caucus recommends that members of the House and the Senate support all legislation and efforts to recapture lost revenues by modernizing technologies used by state government to collect tax revenues.
“Upwards to $1 billion is missing in our state treasury due to technological shortcomings in our collection process; the Small Business Caucus backs all legislative and gubernatorial efforts to fully modernize our tax collection system,” Rep. Angus McKelvey explained.
ADVOCACY POSITION #2: Regarding the General Excise Tax; we are supporting no increase or effort to make permanent the General Excise Tax.
Senator Sam Slom stated, “With this recommendation, the Small Business Caucus will hopefully be taking the lead at the State Capitol against any legislative measures this session to make the rail G.E.T. tax increase - permanent.”