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Sunday, February 13, 2022
The Legislature is still in session, and your property still is not safe
By Grassroot Institute @ 4:22 AM :: 2337 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Small Business, Taxes

The Legislature is still in session, and your property still is not safe

from Grassroot Institute, Feb 11, 2022

An incredibly small number of all the bills introduced are enacted and most of them are harmful, but a few are worthy of support

How many ways can our state legislators make life more miserable for us?

Apparently it would be several thousand a year, if they had enough time to consider all the bills they introduce. Last year the total that passed or were decked for final reading was 270.

During the early days of a legislative session, trying to figure out which bills to flag and which ones to ignore is the supreme challenge. Some bills, for whatever reason, are dead on arrival. Some bills sneak through under the radar; others make it to the end no matter what anybody says. Favors to special interests are hidden throughout.

Most bills aim to confiscate or regulate; very few are intended to expand accountable government, individual liberty or economic freedom. Fortunately, there also are a few gems. 

Among the bills the institute praised this week:

>> SB2888, which would empower Hawaii’s cottage food operations to sell locally produced cottage food, a policy we recommended in our May 2020 report "Road map to prosperity."

>> SB2697, which the institute has identified as providing the best pathway for the growth of the cryptocurrency market in Hawaii.

>> SB2026, which would allow qualified and licensed EMS personnel from participating states to practice in Hawaii without having to contend with redundant regulatory hurdles.

Bills needing a little work include:

>> SB3252, which would improve access to public records, but which itself could use a little improvement.

>> HB1840, HD1, which, subject to removing an unreasonable affordable-housing requirement, would streamline land-use rules and thus encourage more housing.

Among the major duds we testified on:

>> SB2278, the dreadful "carbon tax" bill which, under the guise of fighting climate change, would send Hawaii fuel prices through the roof and wreak havoc on the state's economy and cost of living. A proposed tax credit intended to benefit mainly lower-income residents would hardly make up for the damage it would cause.

>> SB3076, an 88-page tome suggested by the state Division of Financial Institutions that supposedly would establish a program for the licensure, regulation and oversight of digital currency companies. In reality, the bill contains unclear language and too many hurdles that could cement Hawaii as one of the worst states in the nation for cryptocurrency, as well as cut off residents from this emerging market.

>> SB3205, which is shorter and better than SB3076 but still a rat's nest.

>> HB1507, which under the guise of "tax fairness" would increase the state's capital gains tax significantly. In reality it is simply another way to jack up taxes and discourage entrepreneurship and investment.

To read our testimonies on each of the bills, click on the bill numbers.


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