by Linda Smith
HONOLULU, HAWAII - Earlier today the Hawai’i State Legislature overrode 34 vetoes that will be detrimental to Hawai’i and its residents, including legislation that will add to the budget shortfall. The governor issued 53 vetoes after the Legislature adjourned.
“By their actions today, the Majority Party in the State Legislature continues to deny the State is in a financial crisis. Almost every person who lives in Hawai’i has to cope with the loss of a job or an increase in taxes. They know first-hand the reality of our present economic situation as they face a difficult future,” Governor Linda Lingle said. “Now is the time State legislators should be showing leadership rather than making it harder to create jobs in the private sector or adding additional financial burdens to the State,” the Governor added.
Among the bills that will become law include measures that will take away the right to a secret ballot from employees who wish to form a union, make it difficult for employers to check the credit history of prospective employees, and will require employers to continue to pay the medical costs of individuals who are deemed ready to return to work.
The Legislature passed bills that would increase state spending by millions of dollars beyond the current budget. “The State cannot spend money it does not have,” Budget and Finance Director Georgina Kawamura said. “My Department will be forced to recommend the Governor not release the appropriations in these bills.”
In addition to bills that hurt job creation and spend more money, the Legislature overrode vetoes that sought to prevent the placement of programs in the wrong cabinet agencies and giving special privileges to certain companies and residents, contrary to the State Constitution and wise public policy.
It is important to note, the Legislature did not override several key vetoes the Governor issued including a bill that would have hurt small landowners and affordable housing construction in Kakaako; legislation that would have dismantled the Dept of Business, Economic Development and Tourism; the bill that would have required Hawai’i to participate in a national “streamline sales tax” program; and, a major tax increase that would have imposed a barrel tax on all petroleum products used in Hawai'i.
The Governor issued a total of 57 vetoes of bills passed during the 2009 legislative session, 23% of the total number of bills passed this year. In early May Governor Lingle vetoed four tax increase measures that the Legislature overrode prior to adjourning.
A complete list of the Governor’s veto messages can be found at http://www.hawaii.gov/gov/initiatives/veto
RELATED: Hawaii Legislature overrides 34 vetoes
Earlier today the Hawai'i State Legislature overrode 34 vetoes, which Gov. Linda Lingle criticized, saying it will add to the budget shortfall.....