HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle today vetoed 30 bills that would adversely impact Hawai‘i, its residents, and the public policies that govern the state. Coupled with bills vetoed earlier this month, Governor Lingle issued a total of 53 vetoes since the close of the legislative session. This is 12 fewer bills than were on a potential veto list the Governor submitted to the Legislature on June 30, 2009.
“My Administration reviewed each of these legislative measures very carefully, and received thoughtful input from the public,” Governor Lingle said. “I talked with and met with members of the community, and determined that some of the bills deserved my signature and others should be allowed to go into law.”
Earlier this month, Governor Lingle signed three bills that were on the potential veto list, including a measure that extends from seven years to ten years the period of time for businesses and farmers to utilize enterprise zone tax advantages (SB 1248 became Act 174), a bill that makes is easier for renewable energy projects to locate on large parcels of land (HB 589 became Act 173), and a bill that revises the State procurement code (HB 1470 became Act 175).
Governor Lingle also will allow to become law nine bills that were on the potential veto list. These include SB 603 SD1 HD1 CD1 which deregulates Hawaiian Telcom, allowing it to compete with other telecommunications companies; SB 1673 SD2 HD2 CD1 which starts the process of allowing state hospitals to become private operations; and SB 199 SD1 HD1 CD2 which tightens the availability of tax credits for investments in high technology companies.
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Among the bills vetoed today are measures that would have created a new $31 million-a-year tax, also referred to as the “barrel tax,” on all petroleum products in Hawai‘i (HB 1271 HD3 SD2 CD1) and a bill that would have required Hawai‘i to relinquish control of its tax decisions to a national governing board set up under the streamline sales tax program (SB 1678 SD3 HD1 CD1).
“Imposing additional taxes on families, businesses and workers at a time when people are reeling from job losses, shrinking incomes, and higher prices is harmful,” said Governor Lingle. “What is particularly distressing is the barrel tax would hurt the lowest income and poorest members of our community the hardest by increasing the cost of gasoline and electricity, and I cannot allow that to happen especially in this current economic climate.”
The Governor’s statements of objections regarding the 30 bills she vetoed today can be found on the Governor’s website at: www.hawaii.gov/gov/initiatives/veto. The full list of all vetoes issued by the Governor in 2009 is also posted on the Governor’s website.