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Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Governor Releases 'Intent to Veto' List
By News Release @ 4:02 AM :: 814 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government, Homelessness, Second Amendment

GOVERNOR RELEASES INTENT TO VETO LIST

News Release from Office of the Governor, Aug 31, 2020

HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige has notified legislative leaders and key lawmakers of his Intent to Veto the following 6 measures. The Hawai‘i State Constitution requires the governor to notify the Legislature of the bills he intends to veto not later than the 35th day after adjournment, which is August 31st.

On September 15, any measure that the governor has not signed or not vetoed will become law without his signature.

INTENT TO VETO LIST:

HB1523 RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION BUDGET.

This measure provides funding to the Department of Education utilizing Coronavirus Air, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding to purchase devices for schools with student populations of fifty per cent or greater or reduced price lunch for the period from July 1, 20202 to December 30, 2020.

Rationale: This measure is not necessary as the Department of Education has received funds via the Governor’s discretionary funding for this purpose which does not limit the schools that are eligible.

HB1846 RELATING TO ENERGY EFFICIENCY.

This bill mandates that all State facilities with an area of ten thousand square feet or more (not including Aloha Stadium) implement all cost-effective energy efficiency measures by January 1, 2024; that the State Energy Office be tasked with collecting all utility bill and energy usage data for state-owned facilities monthly and making such information available in a publicly accessible format; and that beginning July 1, 2020, if feasible and cost-effective, designs for all new state building construction must maximize energy and water efficiency, energy generation potential, and use of building materials that reduce the project’s carbon footprint.

Rationale: The State is already in the process of implementing the energy efficiency changes that the bill addresses. The bill does not clearly define energy efficiency and the word “all” creates a possibly unrealistic expectation that could open the State to lawsuits. Additionally, there are concerns that contractors employed under this legislation will be able to benefit from both the contract paid for by tax-payer dollars as well as tax credits associated with the kind of work done with no assurance that the overall cost of the project will be adjusted appropriately.

HB2124 RELATING TO THE CODE OF ETHICS.

This measure Amends the State Ethics Code to prohibit the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and other high-level government officials from representing any person or business for a fee or other compensation regarding any legislative or administrative action for 12 months after termination from respective position.

Rationale: The additional restrictions put on volunteer boards and commissions members who fulfill an important role in protecting our community through their service will make it significantly more challenging to recruit for already difficult to fill positions.

SB2206 RELATING TO HOMELESSNESS.

This bill authorizes the Board of Land and Natural Resources to issue revocable month-to-month temporary permits for the emergency sheltering of homeless persons on state lands up until ninety days after the emergency relief period specified in the Governor’s final Supplementary Proclamation relating to the COVID-19 emergency, irrespective of any separate proclamation terminating the disaster emergency relief period in the Governor’s final Supplementary Proclamation relating to the COVID-19 emergency.

Rationale: Under emergency proclamation, the Governor already has the ability to take the necessary actions to implement the purpose of this bill. As written this bill exposes the state to liability.

SB2523 RELATING TO PUBLIC SAFETY.

This requires the Department of Public Safety to expend certain appropriated funds during fiscal year 2020-2021 for the community-based work furlough program for female inmates.

Rationale: The measure is not required because the Department of Public Safety is already in the process of awarding a contract to a community-based furlough program. Furthermore, enacting this measure would jeopardize public safety as it restricted the department from expending payroll and operating costs.

SB2638 RELATING TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

This bill establishes a 5-year pilot program intended to strengthen government response to domestic violence and increase offender accountability; amends the offense of abuse of family or household members to provide for a petty misdemeanor offense; allows a deferred acceptance of guilty or no contest plea in cases involving petty misdemeanor or misdemeanor abuse offenses; requires the court to revoke the defendant’s probation or set aside the defendant’s deferred acceptance of guilty plea and enter an adjudication of guilt in specific instances outlined.

Rationale: Currently any person convicted of an abuse offense is prohibited from owning or possessing any firearm. Of grave concern with this bill is that abusers who are granted and complete a term of deferral would not be subject to the firearm prohibition because a deferral is not a conviction. This would allow abusers to own and possess a firearm.

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