Thursday, December 05, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Duke Aiona Legislative Wrapup
By Lt Gov Duke Aiona @ 4:00 PM :: 4374 Views :: Family, First Amendment, Hawaii State Government, Life

Hawaii Family Action Legislative Wrapup

Aloha Mai Kakou:                    May 31, 2016

     On behalf of the staff and board of Hawai’i Family Advocates (HFA), I would like to share a summary of HFA’s work with the 2016 Legislature. It bears noting that in a recent Star-Advertiser online poll, 50% of respondents gave the 2016 Legislative Session a “D” or “F” grade!

     One of HFA’s major concerns was an attempt by certain politicians to pass bills (SB 2373 and HB 1255) relating to “assisted suicide.” These bills did not pass, fortunately. However, there continues to be a very strong push on the national level to enact “assisted suicide” legislation in many states.

     The money and other resources behind this movement are enormous and Hawai’i is being targeted by national organizations as one of the primary states to enact legislation.

     Hawai’i Family Forum (HFF) united with other organizations to establish a credible foundation for addressing and ultimately opposing “assisted suicide” legislation and policies. We expect an onslaught of “assisted suicide” bills during the 2017 Legislative Session. Therefore, we must remain steadfast, united and prepared to defeat any efforts to approve these misguided measures.

     Accordingly, our first step is ensuring that elections have consequences. Stay tuned for a summary from HFA and HFF regarding the voting records and positions that candidates seeking elected office have taken regarding “assisted suicide.

     HFA also opposed bills (SB 2615 and HB 1675) relating to what’s described as “conversion therapy.” This proposed legislation was unnecessary and would have adversely impacted parental rights and religious freedoms regarding children’s therapy for sexual identity issues.

     These bills did not pass. However, there is a strong coalition of LGBT activists who will pursue this legislation during the 2017 session. Through its lobbying efforts, HFA will continue educating office holders regarding issues raised by LGBT activists. And just like we did with “assisted suicide” legislation, HFA and HFF will summarize the voting records and positions that political candidates took regarding “conversion therapy.

     Legislation relating to counseling of minors passed this session with support from the Judiciary. Under this bill (SB 2886), allow minors under the age of 14 can receive counseling without their parents’ approval. This could occur if a licensed mental health professional believes it is inappropriate for parents to participate in counseling with their child. Although several aspects of this legislation are troublesome, HFA is most concerned about parental rights being usurped by licensed mental health professionals. Supporters of the bill acknowledge that it addresses relatively rare situations, however.

     Although legislation seeking to decriminalize marijuana did not pass this session, there is no doubt that its supporters will not give up. Again, the first line of defense is making sure that elections have consequences. On a related topic, HFA will monitor issues regarding medicinal marijuana and its dispensary system created by the Legislature and Department of Health.

     Representative Jarrette Keolokalole introduced a resolution (HCR 127) that is very troubling and it reflects the ideology of many state legislators who will introduce bills next year pertaining to illegal drugs. This resolution directs the Legislative Reference Bureau to conduct a study of Portugal’s drug decriminalization system as a potential model for Hawai’i.

     Portugal decriminalized the possession and consumption of illegal drugs for personal use. This includes marijuana, cocaine and other opiates. Representative Keolokalole claims that decriminalization would reduce the use and abuse of illegal drugs in that we could fund treatment for drug users by diverting monies away from the criminal justice system.

     As a former prosecutor and administrative judge of the Hawai’i Drug Court, I assure you this is the wrong path to take. It’s important to understand that the Portugal drug study is skewed and flawed in many respects. Besides being dated, the study was conducted by an organization that favors drug legalization or decriminalization. Once again, HFA and HFF will monitor the actions of political candidates and issue a summary for you.

     Unfortunately, there were no policies or major pieces of legislation addressing cost of living issues such as affordable housing, livable wages and tax structure. More money was appropriated to the Rental Housing Trust Fund. However, there is nothing to indicate that the fruits of these appropriations – namely, affordable housing and/or rental units – will be realized immediately. Remember, the Legislative and Executive Branch’s own numbers indicate Hawai’i needs more than 25,000 affordable housing and rental units today.And that the number will only increase!

     Although there was a significant monetary appropriation relating to homelessness, HFA believes this was unwise. That’s because there is no overarching plan relating to the homeless by the State and the City and County of Honolulu. More importantly, there is no specific plan regarding how Governor David Ige would use these monies. The Governor’s homeless coordinator, Scott Morishige, indicated that a plan on how to spend the approximately $12 million appropriation should be ready by November of this year! Therefore, the Governor has unfettered discretion in spending this costly appropriation.

     I would like to close by bringing to your attention a resolution (SR No. 56) passed by this Legislature that I believe exemplifies the ideological and political principles and beliefs of the majority of current representatives. This resolution praises Planned Parenthood as an exemplary organization that has for decades served the women, children and families of Hawai’i. The resolution also called Planned Parenthood a friend of the Legislature. A significant portion of the resolution denounced past incidences of violence levied against Planned Parenthood and the false and devious allegations and videos (regarding the sale of embryotic and fetus body parts) produced and released by the Center for Medical Progress (a pro-life organization).

     Although much can be said about the accuracy and context of the substance of this resolution, it does, as I indicated earlier, serve as a clear indication of the ideological and political bent of the legislators who approved it. This resolution is a perfect example of how legislators who profess to represent all the people of Hawaii – no matter their religious, political or ideological persuasion – continue to pick and choose winners and losers.

     HFA is perplexed that other organizations – many of which do not receive any government funding and have served women, children and families for decades on a daily basis – were not honored by this Legislature! Therefore, HFA and HFF will submit a resolution during the 2017 Session asking the Legislature to recognize the hundreds of organizations that serve women, children and families.

     The bottom line is that the Planned Parenthood resolution is nothing more than political posturing by the Legislature to support and organization at a time when its credibility – and most importantly justification for government financial support – is under tremendous scrutiny. Our Legislative and Executive branches refused to consider any request to investigate or respond to Planned Parenthood’s policies and practices relating to the sale of embryotic and fetus body parts. The evidence revealed by Center for Medical Progress, if not overwhelming, did at the very least require an inquiry.

     It must be noted that on behalf of the Hawaii Life Alliance, I authored a letter to Governor Ige requesting an investigation by the Attorney General regarding allegations made against Planned Parenthood by the Center for Medical Progress. The request asked for a response to the question of whether or not the Governor would ask his Attorney General to conduct an investigation. To date, we have not received a response.

     Here are my questions to you: Did you feel the 2016 Legislative Session was a reflection of representative democracy? Did your legislator or legislators in key leadership roles give real and honest consideration to your positions, opinions and statements?

     In response to these questions and the many more you have, I urge you to make certain that elections have consequences! We all have a duty and responsibility to exercise our inalienable right to vote. Accordingly, HFA and our associate HFF will provide you with all the information you need about the political candidates in terms of their positions on family, faith and freedom. In the meantime, reach out to at least two people who didn’t vote in the past election. Get them registered to vote, educate them and get them to the polls to ensure that elections have consequences.

     Finally, continue to follow us via our website at www.hffaction.org and on our Facebook page. Mahalo nui loa!

Aloha Ke Akua,

Duke Aiona

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT