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Monday, March 15, 2021
Hawaii Republican Party Legislative Week in Review
By Brett Kulbis @ 6:34 PM :: 2407 Views :: Republican Party

Legislative Week in Review

From Honolulu Republican Party March 14, 2021

March 11th was the 1st Crossover. This was the deadline for bills to pass third reading, in their respective chambers, in order to move (or “crossover”) to the other chamber. House bills are sent to the Senate and Senate bills are sent to the House for further consideration. If a bill did not make the crossover, it is essentially dead for the 2021 session.

Now is the time to take action and let your voice be heard with testimony in the committee hearings which begin meeting this week!

From our Friends at the Grassroot Institute Hawaii & Tax Foundation Hawaii


contains so many tax increases it's hard to fathom, yet at the end of the day, only one Hawaii senator opposed it.

Twenty-four of Hawaii's 25 senators apparently believe it's OK to enact what Tom Yamachika of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii called the "Enola Gay" of all tax bills. The bill was approved with bipartisan support and now goes to the House, where it is expected to face resistance, thank goodness.

Referring to SB56, Yamachika wrote in his latest weekly column: "Why do I call this bill the Enola Gay? You might remember from the history books that Enola Gay was the name of the aircraft that dropped the first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima in World War II. Here, of course, the bill’s destination isn’t Japan; it’s the pocketbooks of us the taxpayers."

As Keli'i Akina, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii president, wrote in his most recent 

An income tax hike.
A capital gains tax hike.
A corporate income tax hike.
A conveyance tax hike.
“Temporary” repeal of more than two dozen exemptions to the general excise tax.

The bill is not law yet, but already it's receiving national attention for how it might propel Hawaii to the lead of states with the highest income tax rates. U.S. News & World Report, The Associated Press and newspaper, radio and TV outlets across the country are reporting on the development, with headlines such as "Hawaii Senate approves nation's highest income tax rate." 

The focus of the bill is to raise money from Hawaii's wealthier residents to make up for the drop in revenues caused by the state's yearlong lockdown of the private sector to combat COVID-19. But few doubt that SB56, if enacted, won't claim all Hawaii's residents — and the state economy as a whole — as collateral damage. 

"This bill raises the state top tax rate from 11% to 16%. I believe it will affect many small businesses that operate as S-corporations," one small-business owner wrote to the institute."Raising the state income tax rate 45% for seven years is too drastic, and the length of time for such a high increase is not good. It will give Hawaii a bad reputation."

As if it didn't have one already

The Grassroot Institute will have more to say about this bill in the coming days, but as Joe Kent, institute executive vice president, said in his "There is a far better route to improving state revenues than levying higher taxes on Hawaii’s struggling residents and businesses. If the state needs more revenues, policymakers should focus on growing the economy. In our current condition, even small economic gains would have big effects."

From our Friends at Hawaii Family Forum


SB 839 SD2 Authorizes advanced practice registered nurses, in addition to physicians, to practice medical aid in dying in accordance with their scope of practice and prescribing authority. Authorizes psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists, in addition to psychiatrists, psychologists, and clinical social workers, to provide counseling to a qualified patient. Reduces the mandatory waiting period between oral requests from twenty days to fifteen days. Waives the mandatory waiting period for those terminally ill individuals not expected to survive the mandatory waiting period. (SD2)

STATUS: On Tuesday, March 9, 2021, the Senate passed the bill.  Mahalo to the four brave Senators who voted no (Senator(s) Fevella, Gabbard, Kim, Riviere).

The bill crossed over to the House where it has been assigned to four committees: Referred to HHH, CPC, JHA, FIN.



HB 576 HD3 authorizes advanced practice registered nurses to perform medication or aspiration abortions.  We appreciate the NO votes below.

STATUS: On March 9, 2021, HB 576 HD3 passed Third Reading as amended in HD 3.  The vote was as follows: (39) Ayes (3) Ayes with reservations Representative(s) Kitagawa, Quinlan, Tokioka (9) Noes: Representative(s) Aquino, Cullen, Eli, Har, Kong, Matsumoto, McDermott, Okimoto, Ward.

The bill crossed over to the Senate and has been assigned to HTH/CPN.  That means ONE hearing in the House of a joint committee.


SB 767 SD2 Legalizes the personal use, possession, and sale of cannabis in a specified quantity. Requires licensing to operate cannabis establishments. Subjects cannabis establishments to excise taxes and income taxes.

STATUS:  On Tuesday, March 9, 2021, the bill passed Third Reading in the Senate as amended (SD 2).  We appreciate the NO VOTES of five Senators (Senator(s) Fevella, Inouye, Kidani, Misalucha, Moriwaki).

The bill crossed over to the House and has been assigned to the following committees: HHH, JHA/CPC, FIN.

From our Friends at the Hawaii Firearms Coalition
HB31  Firearm storage, age changed from 16 to 18. Referred to PSM, JDC. (Oppose)
HB662 Restores limited firearms ownership for misdemeanor offend. Referred to PSM, JDC/WAM. (Support)
HB891 Electric gun, repeals ban w/restrictions. Re-referred to JDC. (Oppose)
HB1366 Bans possession of ghost guns. Re-referred to JDC/WAM. (Oppose)
HR77  HPD permitting. No referral to date. (Monitoring)
SB301 Bans mags over 10 rounds. Referred to JHA. (Oppose)
SB307 50+ cal firearm ban. Referred to JHA. (Oppose)
SB459 LEOSA adhere to state laws. Referred to JHA, hearing scheduled for March 16 at 2pm. (Monitoring)


Watch House and Senate committee hearings live or recorded via Youtube.

Hawaii House of Representatives
Hawaii Senate

Now is the time to take action and let your voice be heard with testimony in the committee hearings which begin meeting this week!

2021 Remote Testimony Procedures
2021-2022 Senate Committee Hearing Schedule
2021-2022 House Committee Hearing Schedule

Scheduled Committee Hearings Report

Legislative Session - In light of the City and County of Honolulu’s current COVID-19 restrictions, please be advised that this year there will be no in person hearings or access to legislators at the capitol building.

2021-2022 Senate Legislative Program
2021-2022 Senate Leadership and Committees
2021-2022 House Leadership and Committees
2021-2022 House and Senate Directory

Senate First Crossover

(Senate Bills Sent to House)

House First Crossover

(House Bills Sent to Senate)


Legislative Calendar

(MAR 18–TRIPLE REFERRALFILING(BILLS) – All bills referred to three or more committees must be filed so that they can be in their second-to-last committee in the non-originating chamber the following day. (Note: A referral to a joint committee counts as one committee referral.) This deadline allows ample time for successful bills to make their way to their last committee by the Second Lateral deadline.

MAR 22–BUDGET DECKING – Deadline for submitting the budget bill for third reading. (Changed from Mar 15.)

MAR 23(SENATE) AND 24(HOUSE) – FIRST LATERAL FOR CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS – All concurrent resolutions with multiple referrals must move to their final committee in the originating chamber by this day -- Mar 23 for SCRs, Mar 24 for HCRs.


Become A Citizen Activist

Becoming an effective citizen activist, you must learn how to track a measure you’re interested in and know how and when to submit testimony. That requires knowing how our State Legislature works. Click HERE to prepare yourself for the 2021 Legislative Session.


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