Request hearings for the Jones Act reform resolutions in the State House
by Michael Hansen, Hawaii Shippers Council
The pair of companion resolutions calling on Congress to enact a limited Jones Act exemption for Hawaii and the other noncontiguous domestic trades were introduced in the Hawaii State House of Representatives on March 13, 2013. On March 18th, the Resolutions were referred to four committees for hearings.
The resolutions – House Concurrent Resolution 150 (HSC150) and House Resolution 119 (HR119) – are both entitled “Requesting Congress to Exempt the Noncontiguous Domestic Trades of Alaska, Hawaii, And Puerto Rico from the United States Build Requirement of the Jones Act for Large Oceangoing Ships.”
The Hawaii Shippers Council strongly supports the resolutions.
Although the resolutions have been referred to four committee for hearings, none of the committees have yet scheduled a hearing. As such, we are asking that you contact the relevant committee chairs and request that they hear the resolutions.
The resolutions have been referred to four committees for hearing in the order as follows:
1. Transportation (TRN) / Economic Development & Business (EDB). This first referral is to a joint committee hearing of the two most important committees in terms of subject matter for the resolutions. It is also the first committee hearing that must be held and the resolutions passed out before the other committees can hear them. The Chair and Vice Chair of the Committee on Economic Development & Business, Representatives Clift Tsuji and Gene Ward respectively, were sponsors of the resolution and support hearing the measure. The key to having the resolutions heard by a joint hearing of the TRN / EDB committees is the concurrence of Transportation Chair Ryan Yamane. Apparently, the Jones Act industry has been actively lobbying Chairman Yamane urging him not to hear the resolutions as they are opposed to any changes in the law.
2. Consumer Protection & Commerce (CPC). The second referral for the resolutions is to the Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce. CPC will only hear the resolutions if they are heard and passed out by TRN/EDB. Presumably the purpose for a CPC referral is that Jones Act reform is a consumer issue in that it has the prospect for improving competition and lowering prices in the domestic Hawaii maritime trade to benefit the consumer.
3. Finance (FIN). The third referral to Finance appears to be perfunctory as no direct expenditure by the State of Hawaii would be involved in federal Jones Act reform.
The contact information for the relevant House Committees are provided below for your convenience.
The State House must complete hearing the resolutions, pass them out of committee, and finally pass the resolutions in a floor vote for the resolutions to crossover to the State Senate by the April 12th deadline.
Please contact Transportation Chair Ryan Tsuji today and respectfully request him to hear and support the resolutions – HCR150 / HR119 – as soon as possible to begin the process.
The Hawaii Shippers Council (HSC) is a business league organization incorporated in 1997 to represent cargo interests – known as “shippers” – who tender goods for shipment with the ocean carriers operating the Hawaii trade. Please contact the HSC at email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to be placed on our email list.
Ryan I. Yamane
House District 37 – Mililani, Waipio Gentry, Waikele
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 420
House District 32 – Moanalua Valley, Salt Lake, Aliamanu
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 327
Economic Development & Business (EDB)
House District 2 – Keaukaha, parts of Hilo, Panaewa, Waiakea
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 402
House District 17 – Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 318
Consumer Protection & Commerce (CPC)
Angus L.K. McKelvey
House District 10 – West Maui, Maalaea, North Kihei
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 320
Derek S.K. Kawakami
House District 14 – Hanalei, Princeville, Kilauea, Anahola, Kapaa, Wailua
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 314
House District 25 – Makiki, Punchbowl, Nuuanu, Dowsett Highlands, Pacific Heights, Pauoa
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 306
Scott Y. Nishimoto
House District 21 – Kapahulu, McCully, Moiliili
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 421