Today in Hawaii's Legislature
Today is First Decking!
From Hawaii Family Forum, February 28, 2020
Today is the 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.
What that means is that some of the bills we have been tracking are dead. Here is a brief recap of those bills:
The bill (SB 2532) that would have provided funding for education on Hawaii's "Safe Haven" law that protects newborns was never heard in the Senate Ways and Means.
The bill (The bill (
The bills below are the status of the problematic bills that are still alive.
Senate Judiciary Committee Refuses Oral Testimony on Abortion Insurance Mandate Bill
Forced Reproductive "Health"
The Senate Judiciary committee did not accept any ORAL testimony on the bill that mandates abortion coverage in insurance plans. It did, however, allow written testimony on the "decision making only" bill. The problematic bill easily passed the committee.
SB2539 SD1 requires health insurers, mutual benefit societies, and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage for a comprehensive category of reproductive health services, which includes abortion, contraceptives and sterilization. Prohibits discrimination in the provision of reproductive health care services.
STATUS: 2/25/2020 - The committee(s) on JDC recommended that the measure be PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes in JDC were as follows:
- 3 Aye(s): Senator(s) K. Rhoads, J.Keohokalole, Kim;
- 0 No(es): none; and
- 2 Excused: Senator(s) Gabbard, Fevella.
The bill is on the calendar for third reading which means the full Senate will be voting on it soon - probably as early as next week.
House Version of Abortion Mandate Bill
The House version of the abortion mandate bill was deferred but the hearing notice was a little strange:
On Thursday, February 27, 2020, an email was sent out by the House Finance about Yes, you read that correctly. A hearing notice was sent out 3 minutes prior to the start of a hearing with the requirement of sending in testimony 2 minutes prior to hearing. We are grateful that the House Finance Committee voted to defer the bill.
Senate Assisted Suicide Expansion Bill Still Alive
Senate "Waives" Judiciary Hearing for Assisted Suicide Expansion
In a move that shows the Senate does not care about public input, SB 2582 SD1 the bill that will expand assisted suicide in Hawaii BYPASSED the last committee it was assigned to. Although it was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Judiciary did not even hear the bill.
STATUS: On February 27, 2020, without any advanced notice, the bill status page simply notated "waived referral to JDC" and the bill was immediately placed on the calendar for third reading. The bill will be voted on by the full Senate next week.
ACTION: Now is the time to contact your Senator and ask them to vote NO on SB2582 SD1. You can do that easily by
LINK: Senate News Release
Minor Mental Health Services Bill Moving
Parental Consent/Notification Not Necessary?
HB 2043 HD2 allows 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. The bill also mandates that the covered treatment will not show up on any health insurance forms. What this means is that your teenager may be referred for mental health services without your knowledge.
STATUS: On February 27, 2020, the House Committee on Finance recommended that the measure be PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes were as follows:
- 14 Ayes: Representative(s) Luke, Cullen, Gates, Hashimoto, Holt, Kitagawa, B. Kobayashi, Nakamura, Nishimoto, Todd, Wildberger, Yamashita, McDermott;
- Ayes with reservations: Representative(s) Matayoshi;
- 1 Noes: Representative(s) Eli
The bill will be placed on the calendar for third reading in the House. Most likely early next week.
Upcoming Legislative Deadlines
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.
MAR 6 - LAST DAY TO INTRODUCE SUBSTANTIVE RESOLUTIONS - Resolutions are legislative measures which may request action of a government entity or state the legislature's position on an issue. They don't have the force and effect of law, require only one reading in chamber, and don't enroll to the Governor.
MAR 9 - BUDGET DECKING - Deadline for submitting the budget bill for third reading.
MAR 11 - BUDGET CROSSOVER - Last day for third reading of the budget bill in order to move to the other chamber.
MAR 12 - TRIPLE REFERRAL FILING (BILLS) - All bills referred to three or more committees must be filed so that they can be in their second-to-last committee in the non-originating chamber the following day. (Note: A referral to a joint committee counts as one committee referral.) This deadline allows ample time for successful bills to make their way to their last committee by the Second Lateral deadline
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FROM AROUND THE NATION
Administration Policy S. 3275 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and S. 311 - Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
Statement of President Trump on Life Issues
[February 24, 2020] The Administration strongly supports S. 3275, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and S. 311, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The Administration appreciates the diligent work of lawmakers to protect America's unborn and newly born children.
A growing body of medical evidence shows that unborn children may experience pain as early as the 12th week of development.
Additionally, scientific research on fetal development published as recently as January 2020 has found that it is highly probable that an unborn child will feel pain between 12 and 24 weeks of gestation. This research also noted that surgeons and medical teams who perform invasive treatments on unborn children routinely recommend fetal anesthesia and pain relief as a matter of practice, but those who perform abortions rarely do so.
[ Read full statement here.]
9th Circuit Court Upholds Trump Admin's 'Protect Life' Rules
9th Circuit Deals Blow to Planned Parenthood
In a 7-4 decision, the Ninth Circuit rejected arguments that the rule forces doctors to violate medical ethics by withholding information from patients or that it violates other federal laws that require doctors inform patients of all medical treatment options.
Enacted in 1970 under President Richard Nixon, Title X is a federal program that funds family planning services for low-income and uninsured people. Congress approved more than $286 million for the program in 2018.
Planned Parenthood has refused to participate by pulling out of the program arguing that the rule was "unethical." Here in Hawaii, the legislature is trying to work around that by forcing all healthcare plans to cover abortion and other problematic "health services." There is no conscience provision in the bill. [Read
Hawaii Senators Vote Against Life
How They Voted
Mahalo to those of you who sent messages through our system.
Forty-one Democratic senators (including Senator Brian Schatz and Senator Mazie Hirono) Forty-four members (including Senator Brian Schatz and Senator Mazie Hirono)