Update on SB3095hd1 – The truth, the status and the next steps.

The truth about SB3095hd1:

SB3095hd1 proposes meaningful pesticide regulation of the very largest users of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP’s), requiring disclosure, “no spray zones” around all schools, and a complete ban of the pesticide and neurotoxin chlorpyrifos.

SB3095hd1 is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Hawaii State Teachers Association, The Hawaii Nurses Association, numerous other organizations and thousands of private citizens.

Main provisions:

1) Mandatory Disclosure: Requires the largest users of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP’S) to disclose what they are using.

2) No Spray Zones Around Schools: 100’ no-spray zones around schools during school hours.

3) Ban Chlorpyrifos: A phased-in ban on the dangerous neurotoxin insecticide chlorpyrifos.

The school buffer zones and chlorpyrifos provisions provide tangible protections to the health and environment of our community, and the disclosure element will provide valuable data needed in order for citizens and government agencies to make informed decisions moving forward in the future.

SB3095hd1 represents a meaningful change in public policy and has tangible benefits to health and environmental protection.  While the 100’ buffer zone component is minimal, there is no law whatsoever now requiring any buffer zones at all.  It is also important to note that the existing “Good Neighbor Policy” is voluntary, and only impacts a handful of companies.  SB3095hd1 prohibits ALL users around ALL schools in Hawaii from using RUP’s during school hours.  And the buffer zone component is only one element of the package.  When evaluating the entire package (buffer, disclosure and chlorpyrifos ban), there is no question this measure is strong and meaningful.

The current status of SB3095hd1:

The official status of SB3095 can always be found here: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=3095&year=2018

The latest posting states: 4/10/2018 – Received notice of disagreement (Sen. Com. No. 778).

Translation and a little background on process: 

SB3095hd1 is the “House” version of the measure containing the House amendments that is currently on the table for Senate consideration.

At this point in the process, the Senate can either “Agree or Disagree” to the House version.

If the Senate “Agreed” then the measure would be scheduled for a full Senate vote and then sent to the Governor for approval or veto.

As indicated in the “official status”, the Senate has “Disagreed”.

Note that it is fairly standard procedure for Senate to initially “disagree” to all Bills coming over from the House. These Bills normally “cross over” to the Senate in a group containing numerous Bills.  The typical default position of the Senate is to “disagree” on all of the Bills, then take further time to evaluate each individually and more closely.  In the coming days, it is likely that the Senate will “reverse” its position and decide to “agree” and pass various Bills that they had previously “disagreed to”.  SB3095hd1 may or may not be included.

Typically (but not always) the “lead chair”, in this case Senator Gabbard who has already publicly indicated his support of SB3095hd1, will normally make a recommendation via an official Senate Agree/Disagree Form” requesting approval from other involved Chairs. In this case that form would then be circulated to those Chairs who had previously been involved in hearing various versions of SB3095.  These Committee Chairs including Senator Baker (CPH), Senator Kidani (Education) and Senator Dela Cruz (WAM) – (in that order) would then be given the opportunity to concur with Senator Gabbards recommendation to “Agree” or to oppose it.  The final signature on the form will be that of the Senate President. Any of the Chairs, and/or the Senate President could thus block Senator Gabbards effort and inclination to “Agree” and thus thwart the effort to “Agree”.

Note: The above note is based on my experience and knowledge of “past practice” in the Senate.  I have no direct knowledge and can only speculate as to the actions of various Senators.

If, ultimately the Senate maintains the “Disagree” position then Conference Committee is normally the next step. I say normally, because there is no requirement for a Bill to go to Conference.  This process would typically begin by the Senate “naming conferees” which would like be the same 4 committee chairs or their designees who would then represent the Senate position in the Conference Committee.  Then it would be up to the House to also name its conferees.  There is no requirement that either the House or the Senate must name conferees.  For example if the House position is “take it or leave it”, and assuming there is nothing in the Bill that needs “fixing”, then the House could very well refuse to name conferees and thus refuse to go to Conference.

To my knowledge, SB3095hd1 is a “clean Bill” and needs no “fixing”.  Thus the only reason to take it to Conference would be to make it stronger or make it weaker.  From an advocates perspective, I believe making it weaker is unacceptable.  And, I believe from my discussions with House members that any attempt to make it stronger would “kill the Bill in the House”.  

 Next Steps:

Advocates must continue asking the Senate for approval of SB3095hd1 “as is” and “Agreement” to the House position, and thus avoiding Conference Committee.

Email and telephone calls that are polite, professional but persistent asking for approval of SB3095hd1 “as is” should be made asap to ALL Senators.

In order of priority:

  1. The Senator that represents you and your district is always the most important. – All contact info is here: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/members/legislators.aspx?chamber=S
  1. Kauai Residents should contact Senate President Ron Kouchi who as leader of the body, is without question the most influential individual Senator with the power to pass SB3095hd1, or not. senkouchi@capitol.hawaii.gov
  1. The Chairs who have the power to approve or nix the move to “Agree”.
    1. Senator Gabbard (who has already indicated his support): sengabbard@capitol.hawaii.gov
    2. Maui Senator Baker senbaker@capitol.hawaii.gov
    3. Senator Kidani senkidani@capitol.hawaii.gov
    4. Senator Dela Cruz  sendelacruz@capitol.hawaii.gov
  1. Members of the Senate Leadership Team:

*VP –  Senator Kidani senkidani@capitol.hawaii.gov

*Majority Leader – Maui Senator English senenglish@capitol.hawaii.gov

*Majority Caucus – Leader Senator Galuteria sengaluteria@capitol.hawaii.gov

*Majority Floor Leader – Senator Espero (who has already indicated his support) senespero@capitol.hawaii.gov

*Majority Whip – Senator Kahele senkkahele@Capitol.hawaii.gov

*Assistant Majority Whip – Maui Senator Keith-Agaran senkeithagaran@capitol.hawaii.gov

Who should call and email?

Doctors, Nurses and other medical professionals.

Teachers, Mothers, Fathers and Grandparents concerned about children health.

Anyone living in areas impacted by pesticide drift.

Everyone that is concerned about this issue.

Time is of the essence: Please email and/or call TODAY and no later than the end of the day Friday April 14th.  Please help.  This is important.

About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person. I presently serve now as a volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) www.hapahi.org In a past life I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator and Majority Leader and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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