Legislative Week in Review
From Hawaii Family Forum, February 22, 2020
1st Decking: One Week Away
This week the money committees, Ways and Means (WAM) in the Senate and Finance (FIN) in the House, are busy trying to get bills ready for crossover. Crossover is the time when bills move from their originating chamber and "crossover" to the opposite one. Once crossover happens, the bills will receive their committee assignment and the process starts all over again.
Bills that are not scheduled for hearings in FIN or WAM but still have one final committee hearing, are also still alive. Committees have until next week Friday to move the bill out of committee and get it ready for final reading. That means that the next few days are critical.
Many of the bills we are tracking are in this position. We are expecting hearing notices to "pop" on several bills. That report is below.
Problematic Bills Awaiting Hearing!
The bills below are pending hearing by their final committee. As of this email, they have not been scheduled for hearing. However, the hearing notices could pop at any time.
SB2361 SD1 is awaiting hearing in WAM. Although the title of this bill refers to marijuana decriminalization, the stated purpose of this bill is "to repeal criminal prohibitions and penalties pertaining to marijuana."(page 4, lines 6-7) According to the State Attorney General, this definition constitutes legalization, not marijuana decriminalization. This bill removes marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols from schedule I of the State Uniform Controlled Substances Act; legalizes the possession and distribution of marijuana in any amount; legalizes the possession and distribution of marijuana concentrates (including tetrahydrocannabinol and hashish) in any amount; and legalizes the commercial promotion of marijuana.
FORCED REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE SERVICES
SB2539 is awaiting hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB2676 is awaiting hearing in the House Finance Committee.
These two problematic bills will mandate insurance companies to provide coverage for a spectrum of sexual and reproductive health care services, including contraceptives, abortion, and sterilization.
MINORS AND PARENTAL CONSENT
HB2043 is awaiting hearing in the House Finance Committee.
SB2277 is awaiting hearing in the Senate Judiciary.
These two problematic bills allow an unlicensed mental health professional, working under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional, to provide mental health treatment or counseling services to minors without parental or legal guardian consent, knowledge, or participation. In other words, it will allow youth aged 14 and older to consent to mental health services in emergency situations or when the involvement of a parent or guardian "would not be in the child's best interests." (Testimony of the Hawaii Youth Services Network.). The Hawaii Psychological Association, which strongly supports this bill believes that youth "who do not want to obtain permission from a parent or do not want to disclose their reasons for seeking help to a parents" should be able to do so.
ASSISTED SUICIDE EXPANSION BILLS
HB2451 is awaiting hearing in the House Finance Committee.
This bill explicitly recognizes advanced practice registered nurses as attending providers and consulting providers capable of performing all necessary duties under the Our Care, Our Choice Act in accordance with their scope of practice and prescribing authority. Reduces the mandatory waiting period between oral requests made by a terminally ill individual from twenty to fifteen days.
SB2582 is awaiting hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
This bill authorizes advanced practice registered nurses, in addition to physicians, to practice medical aid in dying in accordance with their scope of practice and prescribing authority. Authorizes psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, in addition to psychiatrists, psychologists, and clinical social workers, to provide counseling to a qualified patient. Reduces the mandatory waiting period between oral requests from twenty days to fifteen days. But most problematic of all, this bill waives the mandatory waiting period for those terminally ill individuals not expected to survive the mandatory waiting period.
Good Bills Awaiting Hearing!
SB2352 is awaiting hearing in the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
The bill requires and appropriates funds for the Department of Health to engage in a public awareness campaign on the safe haven law in the State. Hawaii law allows women to drop their babies off at safe places (police department, hospitals and fire department) within 72 hours of birth if they decide they are unable to parent them. All 50 states have a Safe Haven (Baby Moses) law.
SUICIDE PREVENTION AND EDUCATION MONTH
HB1691 is awaiting hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.
The bill designates the month of September of each year as Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month.
There are numerous sex trafficking bills moving through the legislature right now. Hopefully by crossover, there will be a more focused bill to highlight.
Upcoming Legislative Events
FEB 28 - FIRST DECKING (BILLS) - Deadline for bills to emerge from all their committees (with committee reports filed) and be submitted to the clerk of the originating chamber. This "decking" ensures a mandatory 48 hour opportunity for final review by the chamber's members before they are asked to vote on the third reading. Note: A bill must pass three readings (votes) in each chamber before being enrolled to the governor.
MAR 5 - FIRST CROSSOVER (BILLS) - Deadline for bills to pass third reading in order to move (or "crossover") to the other chamber. If successful, House bills are sent to the Senate and Senate bills are sent to the House for further consideration.
Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act & Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act: ACT NOW!
TAKE ACTION: Next week, every U.S. Senator must go on record and declare where they stand on two things:
1. Do you support banning late-term abortions after 5 months - a point by which unborn children can feel excruciating pain?
2. If a child is born during an abortion, do they DESERVE the same medical care any other child born at that stage would receive?
Please contact Sen. Brian Schatz and Sen. Mazie Hirono immediately and urge them to vote for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S. 3275), and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S. 311) when they come up for a vote next week. You can use VoterVOICE to send a message by clicking here. Sen. Schatz and Sen. Hirono will most likely vote against it, but we need to raise our voices for life anyway!