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Saturday, April 6, 2024
Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review
By Hawaii Family Forum @ 5:09 PM :: 1495 Views :: Family, Health Care, Life, Religion, Drugs

Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review

from Hawaii Family Forum, April 6, 2024


APR 5 SECOND DECKING (BILLS) – Today is the deadline for bills that the non-originating chamber has amended 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 the third reading. 

From this point on, there will be no more public input via hearings. All bills that pass the chamber votes will either (1) (if there is a difference between House and Senate versions) move into a conference committee, which consists of members who voted yes or yes with reservations during hearings, or (2) go to the Governor for signature (if the bill is unchanged between the two chambers OR if the opposite chamber agrees with the changes made).

House Stops Recreational Marijuana

On Tuesday, April 2, Speaker Scott Saiki issued a statement ending the effort to establish legal recreational marijuana.  

House Speaker Scott K. Saiki (D-25, Ala Moana, Kaka‘ako, Downtown) issued the following statement:

“In hearing the overwhelming testimony and serious concerns from members of Hawaiʻi’s law enforcement industry, this bill requires further consideration of the impact legislation will have on our children, economy, and overall well-being.”


23 House members voted no on the second reading, which is a sure sign that there was no overwhelming push to go this route.  This is issue may be dead for this session, but we anticipate it will be back next year.

Mahalo to all of you who took the time to raise your voice on this issue.

Decriminalization De Facto Legalization?

There is an internal battle happening at the State House of Representatives as Legislators debate a decrim bill that will allow up to 2 ounces of marijuana with a small fine. Their reason for doing it? The committee report states, "Your Committee believes that recreational marijuana should be further decriminalized to prevent individuals in possession of small amounts of marijuana, and related paraphernalia, from entering the criminal justice system."

Read the bill here.

SB2487 is creating a way for the issue to remain on the table despite strong opposition. The current version of the bill exempts drug paraphernalia for marijuana from certain penalties under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Lowers the penalties for the possession and transfer without remuneration of certain amounts of marijuana, marijuana concentrate, and marijuana-infused products. Makes smoking marijuana in a public place a violation under the offense of promoting a detrimental drug in the third degree (aka $130 fine) (HD1)

On April 3, 2024, SB 2487 passed Second Reading as amended in HD 1;  Votes were as follows:

Ayes with reservation: Representative(s) Chun, Ganaden, La Chica, Martinez, Quinlan, Takenouchi; 
No: (16) Representative(s) Aiu, Alcos, Garcia, Garrett, Kila, Kitagawa, Kobayashi, Kong, Lamosao, Matayoshi, Matsumoto, Nishimoto, Onishi, Pierick, Souza, Ward
Excused:  Representative(s) Saiki, Todd, and Woodson excused (3).

Status: the bill will now move to the entire House floor for a vote.

Minor Medical Care

SB 3125 HD1 RELATING TO MEDICAL CARE FOR MINORS. This bill authorizes minors who are fourteen years of age or older to consent to medical care and services for sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, and family planning services, including the prevention of sexually transmitted infections. Requires confidentiality policies and practices for insurers and health care providers. (AKA: Don't tell mom and dad!)  (HD1)

The bill was heard on Wednesday, April 3 by the House Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs Committee.  The votes were as follows:

8 Ayes: Representative(s) Tarnas, Takayama, Evslin, Ganaden, Holt, Ichiyama, Ilagan, Miyake;
1 Noes: Representative(s) Kong; and 
1 Excused: Representative(s) Souza.

STATUS:  The bill will now move to the full House for a vote.

Upcoming Legislative Deadlines & Events

APR 11 SECOND CROSSOVER (BILLS) – Deadline for bills to pass third reading in their non-originating chamber in order to “cross back” to the originating chamber.

APR 11 LAST DAY FOR THE ORIGINATING BODY TO DISAGREE WITH BILL AMENDMENTS – The deadline for the originating chamber to disagree with changes made to its bills by the other chamber. When the Senate and House disagree on a bill, members from each chamber can meet in a “conference” committee to reconcile their differences. 

APR 15 SECOND LATERAL FOR SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS – All Senate concurrent resolutions with multiple referrals must move to their final House committee by this date. 

APR 19 DEADLINE FOR FINAL FORM OF BILLS PROPOSING CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS – A proposed amendment’s final form must be provided by written notice to the Governor at least 10 days prior to passing final reading by a 2/3 vote in each chamber. Once adopted by the Legislature, the proposed amendment is submitted to the voters, in the form of a ‘yes or no’ question on the ballot, for ultimate decision. 
APR 19 SECOND CROSSOVER FILING (AMENDED CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS) – Deadline to file committee reports on amended concurrent resolutions.

Catch Up on the Faith and Family First Podcast

Eva and Jim discuss the "Letter to the American Church" documentary in this episode and why Churches should host a free screening.



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