From Hawaii Family Forum, March 26, 2021
Bullet Dodged on Problematic Bills
Two problematic bills we have been tracking have fallen by the wayside this legislative session and that means great news for now; however, please keep in mind that Hawaii is on a biennial legislative session and that means bills are alive until next session so they could pick up right where they left off next session.
The Recreational Marijuana Bill (SB797), if it had passed, would have legalized 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. Effective 5/6/2137. (SD2). Thank you to all of you that took the time to send in your concerns to the Senate and House. Hawaii Family Forum opposed this bill.
Assisted Suicide Expansion
the bill to expand assisted suicide (SB839) are both dead for this session. We are only in the first year of the biennial legislature so the bills could start up right where they left off next session. Hawaii Family Forum opposed this bill.
In the March 26, 2021 issue of West Hawaii Today, the following statement was attributed to Sam Trad, state director of Compassion and Choices: "We are incredibly frustrated and disappointed, SB 839 is a bill that won the Senate floor vote by an overwhelming 21-4 (vote), is supported by the Hawaii Department of Health and many other organizations, physicians, medical providers and others. Yet, as the days go by, it has become clear that there are no plans to reassign SB 839 so that it would have a chance to become law. There is simply not enough time in the Legislative session to work through four committees. What this means is, House leadership is effectively declining to give our bill a fair hearing.
"We are not taking this lightly," she continued. "This furtive 'quadruple-referral' tactic was employed on at least a dozen other bills this week, and we should all be deeply disturbed that the democratic process has been thwarted in this way." [Read full article here!]
This bill will most likely move again next session.
Suicide Education Prevention Resolution Passes
HR 57, a resolution that designates September as National Suicide Prevention and Action Month passed its first committee. Hawaii Family Forum supported this resolution. We appreciate the yes votes of all the committee members.
On March 23, 2021, the House Health, Human Services and Homelessness passed the resolution. The vote was as follows:
7 Ayes: Representative(s) Yamane, Tam, Gates, Har, Kapela, Nishimoto, Ward;
1 Excused: Representative(s) LoPresti.
Upcoming Legislative Deadlines
MAR 31 - FIRST CROSSOVER FOR CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS - Deadline for concurrent resolutions to pass the required single floor vote in the originating chamber. Upon adoption by the originating chamber, concurrent resolutions move or "crossover" to the other chamber.
APR 8 SECOND LATERAL FOR SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS - All Senate concurrent resolutions (SCRs) with multiple referrals must move to their final committee in the non-originating chamber (the House) by this day..
APR 9 - SECOND DECKING (BILLS) - Deadline for bills that have been amended by the non-originating chamber to emerge from all their committees (with committee reports filed) and be submitted to the clerk of that chamber. This "decking" ensures a mandatory 48 hour opportunity for final review by the non-originating chamber's members before third reading.
APR 15 - SECOND CROSSOVER (BILLS) - Deadline for bills to pass third reading in their non-originating chamber and to "cross back" to the originating chamber.
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