Questionable House Bills for 2015 – and what you can do about them
From the Office of Representative Bob McDermott
Below are bills that might have negative impacts on families or communities. You can TAKE ACTION against these bills by both:
(1) Contacting the members of the respective House Committees that are handling the bill in question; AND
(2) Submitting ONLINE TESTIMONY (click here) if a bill is scheduled for Committee hearing.
HB 321 – The bill attempts to allow medical marijuana for people who medically need it. But the bill may go too far. It mandates the creation of twenty-six medical marijuana dispensaries by 2019. This is misguided, since not all of those dispensaries might meet all qualifications. Further, the bill allows the creation of marijuana lozenges—children might be tempted to use them as candy.
Status: 2/7/15 – The Health and Judiciary Committees heard the bill; the Chair of those Committees are currently amending the bill, and plan to vote on the pending amendments on 2/17/15. The result might be a better bill, or a worse bill. TAKE ACTION by contacting the members of those Committees.
HB 395 – Bill allows minors between 14-17 to receive ”safe places” services from non-profit organizations–in some cases, even without parental consent. Part of this bill includes an appropriation for temporary housing, and could be used to separate children from parents. This Bill undermines parental authority and rights.
Status: 2/10/15 – Bill passed Second Reading. Referred to the Finance Committee; hearing not yet scheduled. TAKE ACTION by contacting the members of that Committee.
HB 459 – Bill attempts to change current Department of Education policy. Current policy requires parent to “opt in” their children before they are taught sexual education. The bill would automatically enroll a student in a sexual education course, unless a parent “opts out”. This measure is a direct response to our Pono Choices efforts last year, it diminishes parental involvement.
Status: 2/11/15 – Hearing held in Heath Committee; decision-making to be held on 2/18/15. TAKE ACTION by contacting the members of that Committee.
HB 631 – Bill would require the Department of Health to list someone as a “born” of a different gender on a birth certificate—based on that person’s self-perceived “gender identity”. The bill would also forbid the new certificate from indicating that it was “Amended“. Politically correct, biologically inaccurate, more social engineering.
Status: 2/13/15 – Hearing held in Heath Committee; decision-making to be held on 2/18/15. TAKE ACTION by contacting the members of that Committee.
HB 819 – Anti-bullying bill. While much of the bill is good, the bill has a negative side: It prohibits public charter schools from practicing discrimination based on “gender identity”. Will this mean girls will have to share restrooms with boys who feel they are girls? The language is not clear. Social engineering.
Status: 2/11/15 – The Education Committee passed the bill; it is waiting to go to the House Floor. If it passes the House Floor, it will then go to the Judiciary Committee. TAKE ACTION by contacting the members of that Committee.