Just when you think things can’t get worse, they do. Welcome to “Gut and Replace”. Corporate water theft and HB1326 – and now HB1171.
Senator Donovan Dela Cruz Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee as if by magic, has created a second corporate water theft bill (SB1171 proposed SD2). Apparently Senator Dela Cruz is concerned that HB1326 might be killed or weakened by Senator Kai Kahele, Chair of the Water Land Committee.
As insurance, the “Gut and Replace” technique is now in play. This occurs when a Committee Chair (Senator Dela Cruz) takes a bill that previously had nothing to do with water diversion, then schedules a hearing (with only his committee), and “inserts the contents” of a new bill. In this case, the inserted contents are essentially a new corporate water theft bill, much like the existing corporate water theft bill.
A doppelgänger of sorts, only for the purposes of diverting streams and enriching corporations.
Space and time does not allow more detail at this point, but suffice it to say that “the price of poker just went up”. As has been stated many times and never disputed, the passage of HB1326 and now HB1171 will result in a $62,000,000 financial benefit to Alexander and Baldwin (A&B). Leadership in both the House and the Senate have clearly made this their top priority, and are pulling out all the stops.
We must do the same.
Please email and call YOUR district Senator today and ask them to vote NO on both HB1326 and HB1171. The hearing for both of these bills is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2 at 10:45am. A copy of each hearing notice and links to each bills and a testimony link is available by clicking on the bill number. Unfortunately, separate testimony must be submitted on each.
No amendments. The intent and the process, lack integrity.
Short and simple, this is special interest legislation driven by money. Big money.
YOUR Senator must know how you feel on this issue, AND your testimony is important and needed. Please take these two actions today.
While I understand it is increasingly difficult to do so, please keep all testimony professional and courteous. We do have friends in the Senate who want to do the right thing, but who need our support in doing so.
Both of these actions (contact YOUR Senator and submit testimony) need to be taken asap, and preferably no later than 10:45am tomorrow, Monday (though late testimony up until the hearing is accepted).
Testimony delivered via the testimony link on the capitol website is preferred. However, there is a “one click” testimony option available here, along with helpful background information.
And, if possible we need your physical presence at the hearing, State Capitol room #211, Tuesday at 10:45. I understand it is an inconvenience for many and a huge expense for neighbor islanders, but for those who are able to attend please come.
It is a sad reflection on the state of our democracy when legislators are forced into corners by the moneyed and the powerful, and then when they attempt to do the right thing, the process is manipulated to block and derail their efforts. To his credit, Senator Kahele has proposed amendments intended to satisfy concerns, even though these proposals continue to fall short. Now, with the creation of HB1171, the process is further corrupted, shifting the power to WAM alone.
Consequently, we are asking Senators to vote NO, and just kill the bill. To be clear, no amendments can make this better.
For far too long, there has been too much water flowing under this bridge and into the pockets of big business – and it’s time to stop. #killthebill
Read more here: Pulling Back The Curtain On A&B’s Corporate Water Theft
Read Civil Beat: Lawmakers Should Reject Water Rights Bill
Find YOUR Senator’s contact information HERE.