HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle today vetoed five bills that would discourage the creation of more jobs in the state of Hawai‘i. The Governor issued the vetoes one day in advance of the constitutional veto deadline to highlight the need to ensure that Hawai‘i’s economic recovery is not undermined by legislation that would make it harder for employers to hire and retain their workforce.
“The primary focus of my five-point economic recovery plan is to encourage the creation of jobs in the private sector. This is also the focus of President Obama’s federal economic stimulus efforts,” said Governor Lingle. “It is important that government not send the wrong message to employers and not make it harder or more expensive for them to keep and retain good staff. In addition, it is important for government to respect the rights of employees who are in the workforce.”
The Governor noted that unemployment in Hawai‘i now stands at 7.4 percent, more than double the level one year ago.
The five vetoed bills are:
- HB 31 SD1 CD1 which creates a new restriction on employers that prevents them from being able to inquire into an individual’s credit history for employment purposes, except under limited circumstances.
- HB 952 HD1 SD2 CD1 which removes the right of workers to vote by secret ballot regarding whether or not they want to join a union, eliminating one of the most fundamental and valued democratic principles of a secret ballot.
- HB 1676 HD1 SD2 CD1 which requires private contractors working on a project financed by special purpose revenue bonds to submit collective bargaining agreements to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations when there is no existing statutory requirement that they have such an agreement.
- HB 1479 HD2 SD1 CD1 which places an undue burden on contractors and subcontractors by requiring them to submit fringe benefit reporting forms to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations for both union and non-union workers on public works projects.
- SB 695 SD1 HD1 CD1 which requires employers to continue to pay for disputed medical treatments when an employee challenges the determination by an independent physician that they are ready to return to work. There are adequate safeguards to ensure workers receive appropriate medical care as long as their injury persists.
“Employers and employees alike are rightly concerned about their futures,” the Governor said. “My Administration believes it is paramount that we respect the rights of employees and employers and not add to the financial burdens that would hinder more people from creating and getting jobs during this difficult period.”
The five measures vetoed today were on a list of 65 bills Governor Lingle submitted to the Legislature on June 30, 2009 that she is reviewing for potential veto action.
From that list, the Governor has also vetoed 10 bills that would further increase the State’s budget shortfall, three bills that are pre-empted by federal law or violate existing federal statutes, three bills that make it harder to build affordable housing, and an online tax bill that would put Hawai‘i’s businesses at a competitive disadvantage.
The Governor has until July 15, 2009 to determine if she will veto the remaining measures. The Governor’s statements of objections regarding today’s five vetoed bills are attached and can also be found on the Governor’s website at: www.hawaii/gov/gov/initiatives/veto. The full potential veto list is also posted on the Governor’s website.