From Hawaii Family Forum, May 3, 2019
Legislative Session Ends!
On Thursday, May 3, 2019, the 30th legislative session closed.
In Latin, "sine die" means "without a day specified for future meeting." Adjournment sine die occurs on the 60th legislative day of a Regular Session, and indicates a suspension of the business of the legislature indefinitely. Next, the Legislature will certify the bills whose form both chambers have agreed to, and will transmit or "enroll" those bills to the Governor. (See column, right side).
National Day of Prayer - Hawaii Style!
Photos courtesy of Tarita Tehotu (top) and Cheryl Witbeck (bottom)
The 67th anniversary of the National Day of Prayer was celebrated on Thursday, May 2, 2019. How awesome is it that among the laws of our nation, one law establishes a day "on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals." Think about it, for one day, every year, America becomes a "house of prayer." Isn't that what Jesus declared the Church should be in Matthew 21:13a?
Marijuana Bill Awaiting Governor Action
HB 1383 CD1
Relating to Marijuana
Provides for the expungement of criminal records pertaining solely to the possession of three grams or less of marijuana. Decriminalizes the possession of three grams or less of marijuana and establishes that the possession is a violation punishable by a monetary fine of $130. Establishes a marijuana evaluation task force to make recommendations on changing marijuana use penalties and outcomes in the State.
On April 30, 2019, the bill passed both the House and Senate.
Senate Vote: Ayes, 22; Aye(s) with reservations: Senator(s) Inouye .
3 No(es): Senator(s) Fevella, Harimoto, Moriwaki.
House Vote: Ayes, 34; Aye with reservation: Representative(s) Johanson 16 No(es): Representative(s) Aquino, Cachola, Cullen, DeCoite, Eli, Har, Kitagawa, Kong, Matayoshi, Matsumoto, McDermott, Okimoto, Say, Tokioka, Ward, Yamane voting no (16)
STATUS: The bill is now awaiting action by Governor Ige.
Suicide Prevention Education Bills Awaiting Governor Signature
As we reported last week, HB 330 CD1 (youth suicide prevention and education), HB 655 SD1 (establishing September as suicide prevention and awareness month) are still awaiting signature by the Governor.
SB383 CD1, requires DOE to establish a mandatory youth suicide awareness and prevention training program and model risk referral protocol, based on existing materials created by DOH, for all public schools, including charter schools. Requires charter schools to provide the training program and risk referral protocol to all school personnel who work directly with students in department schools and charter schools, respectively.
STATUS: On April 30, 2019 it passed unanimously in both the House and Senate and is awaiting enrollment to the Governor.
Palliative Care Education Receives Funding
SB 804 CD1
Establishes the culturally competent palliative care pilot program within the Department of Health to promote palliative care, gather health care utilization data, and conduct bidding for at least two pilot programs for home- or community-based palliative care, one of which must be located in a county with less than two hundred thousand residents. Requires reports to the legislature. Establishes an advisory group to oversee implementation of the pilot program. Appropriates $250,000 for services.
STATUS: On April 30, 2019, the bill passed unanimously in both the House and Senate. It is currently pending transmittal to the Governor.
Conversion Therapy Ban Expanded!
HB 664 SD1
Relating to Gender Identity
Clarifies that the ban on sexual orientation change efforts applies to conversion therapy practices or treatments that seek to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity. (SD1)
On April 25, 2019, it passed Final Reading in the House as amended in SD 1. Votes were as following:
(1) aye with reservation; Okimoto
(3) no(es): Representative(s) Matsumoto, McDermott, Ward
(2) excused: Representative(s) Cachola, Thielen
STATUS: The bill is pending signature by the Governor.
Governor Action Deadlines
What happens at the Governor's Office?
If the bill was sent to the Governor AFTER APRIL 15th (less than 10 days prior to sine die), then...
If the Governor signs the bill by July 9th (the 45th day after sine die), the bill becomes law.
If the Governor neither signs nor vetoes the bill by July 9th (the 45th day after sine die), the bill becomes law without the Governor's signature.
If the Governor intends to veto the bill, the Governor must inform the Legislature by June 24th (the 35th day after sine die) and deliver the veto by July 9th. If the bill is vetoed, it will not become law unless:
- the Legislature amends the bill in special session to address the Governor's objections and the Governor signs the amended bill within 10 days of receipt, or
- the Legislature successfully overrides the veto in special session by a 2/3 vote of all members in each chamber.
The Legislature must convene in special session at or before noon on JULY 9th to act upon the Governor's veto.
From Around the Nation
Michigan Catholic Charities Sues States
Alliance Defending Freedom has announced that they are representing West Michigan Catholic Charities in a religious liberties discrimination suit against the state of Michigan.
This is the second lawsuit filed by an adoption agency against the state after Michigan announced it would no longer contract with faith-based agencies that will not place children in same-sex or unmarried couple homes. St. Vincent Catholic Charities was the first agency to file suit against the state.
To read more about ADF's lawsuit, click here.
HHS Announces Final Conscience Rule Protecting Health Care Entities and Individuals
On Thursday, May 2, 2019, the Health and Human Services Department issued a final conscience rule that protects individuals and health care providers from discrimination or coercion in HHS-funded programs.
The Heritage Foundation's research associate Melanie Israel offered the following response: "The freedom to act, work and live in accordance with one's conscience is a fundamental American principle. No person or entity should face discrimination or coercion for declining to participate in procedures, such as abortion or physician-assisted suicide, that violate sincere moral, ethical, or religious beliefs. The Trump administration's final rule is a much-needed action to protect individual liberties and robustly enforce federal conscience statutes. For more than 40 years, federal law has protected conscience rights of Americans in health care. While the Obama administration provided inadequate enforcement and oversight of federal conscience statutes, this final rule ensures that HHS will safeguard the rights of individuals and entities that dissent on morally sensitive or controversial procedures."
What's Coming Up?
"Alive from New York" Live Stream
On Saturday, May 4, our friends at Focus on the Family are hosting a FREE event in Times Square starting at 2:30 PM Eastern (8:30 AM Hawaii time).
Make sure you register for the live stream here:
With live music, inspirational speeches, and abortion survivor stories, join thousands of viewers across the country to celebrate the sanctity of human life and support mothers facing unplanned pregnancies.
Then watch as they light up Times Square with a live 4D ultrasound broadcast on massive digital screens to help the world #SeeLifeClearly!
HCH: Session Ends With a Surprise