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Monday, January 25, 2010
Chamber of Commerce: House Bill before Committee Tuesday not enough to reduce Unemployment "tax shock"
By News Release @ 3:26 PM :: 6589 Views :: Energy, Environment

by Sherry Menor-McNamara  (email sent today to Chamber members statewide)

The Hawaii Chamber of Commerce has been actively advocating on behalf of its Chamber members and pushing for a bill that mitigates the huge increase in the unemployment insurance tax.  We have been meeting regularly with legislators and stakeholders to ensure that information is shared and our position is effectively communicated.

A hearing (Hearing Notice) has been scheduled on two unemployment insurance bills for this Tuesday, January 26 at 9:00 a.m. at the State Capitol in Room 309. Chair Rhoads did not put the Chamber’s bill on the agenda, only his and Vice Chair’s Kyle Yamashita’s bill because he probably prefers to use one of these as a vehicle.   

Although the bills provide some tax relief, the Chamber believes they do not provide enough assistance to help reduce the "tax shock" and safeguard the statewide unemployment rate.  Therefore, we are asking the committees to amend the bills.  The attached handout provides a more detailed explanation.

We urge you to submit testimony and testify at the hearing so that a strong statement can be made to the committee.  Our united efforts could result in a UI bill passing the Legislature before March.

For your convenience, attached are a testimony template and talking points handout.  Feel free to cut and paste of the template and some of the talking points.   


Testimony will NOIT be accepted via e-mail.  Members can submit testimony via:

1. On-line at


2. Faxed to (808) 586-6331 or 1-800-535-3859 (neighbor islands)

Try to submit testimony 24 hours prior to the hearing.  This  allows the chair and committee members enough time to thoroughly review the testimonies.  HOWEVER, if you are unable to submit testimony by this deadline, please proceed to submit.  It will still be considered.   


The following provides some information for those attending the hearing:

  • A two-minute oral testimony limit will probably take place. 
  • The UI bills are the first two on the agenda., so contingent on the number of testifiers, the hearing should end by noon. 
  • You are not required to stay for the entire hearing and may leave after you provide testimony.  The order of testifiers is based on the order the committee receives written testimonies.
  • Metered parking is available at the Capitol.  Discounted parking is available at Alii Place on Alakea or at any downtown municipal parking lots.
  • Tell your “story” however, please be courteous and professional.

If possible, please e-mail me a copy of your testimony and let me know if you plan to attend the hearing.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Thank you for your time and support.  Together we can make a difference.


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