I wish this were not the case and truthfully the weekend work is wearing on me as well. However, if we do not show up with testimony by Monday morning, we will surely end up paying a price for our neglect. Hence.. here is another “all hands on deck” call to action.
We are approaching the half-way point in the legislative process. House bills are thus in the final House committee and getting ready to pass over to the Senate, and vice versa.
Any bill that does not “cross over” in the very near future, will be dead for this session. Thus, this is the last chance for the very important measures listed below, and your testimony in support is urgently needed.
Committee Hearings Scheduled For
(testimony in SUPPORT needed by 9 am Monday 03/01)
Criminal Justice Reform
SB1260 Eliminates the use of monetary bail for traffic offenses, violations, and nonviolent petty misdemeanor and misdemeanor offenses, with certain exceptions. Must-Read – Civil Beat “Restore Justice: End The Cash Bail System.”
Cannabis – Decriminalization, and Legalization
SB758 (https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=758) – Increases from 3 grams to 1 oz the threshold for decriminalization
SB767 (https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=767) – Legalizes the personal use, possession, and sale of cannabis
SB335 (https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billnumber=335&billtype=SB&year=2021) – Requires at least 50% of state ag lands leased for local food production
SB337 (https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billnumber=337&billtype=SB&year=2021) – Cover Crop Incentives
SB338 (https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billnumber=338&billtype=SB&year=2021) – Food Hub Pilot Program
SB341 (https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billnumber=341&billtype=SB&year=2021) – Taro Tax Exemptions
SB1251 (https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billnumber=1251&billtype=SB&year=2021) – Farm to School
For bullet point bill descriptions and testimony assistance for all 5 measures, read HAPA – “Support Good Food and Agriculture Bills!” (https://www.hapahi.org/blog/support-good-food-and-agriculture-bills)
Reproductive Health Care For Rural Communities
HB576 (https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=576&year=2021) Reduces costs and ensures that patients and health care providers are not forced to travel to another island for reproductive health care. See Planned Parenthood Hawaii – bullet points (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sSNAjZHsbPq-Bpo1Z2O4ZRo_nBq9fwEZu06Q0fRjD8U/edit) .
SB350 (https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=350) – Clean water shoreline testing, environmental justice, requires water quality testing, and informing the public of health risks.
HB1352 (https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=1352) – Requires: (1) Inventory of lands that are leased or controlled by the federal government including surplus military lands; (2) Disclosure of known contaminants or environmental hazards associated with the inventoried lands (3) Proposed alternative uses for the lands
Tax Fairness – Budget
SB56 (https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=56&year=2021) – A progressive and comprehensive proposal increasing taxes on high earners, corporations, and property speculators, and temporarily removes certain GET exemptions, in order to raise the revenue needed to avoid cuts in social services and environmental protection.
HB290 (https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=290&year=2021) – Eliminates the weight tax exemption for private vehicles owned by military personnel taxing those vehicles the same as Hawaii resident-owned vehicles.
Special Action Alert from Capitol Watch
Sierra Club of Hawaii
OPPOSE HB1015 by Monday, March 1 (https://www.hawaiicapitolwatch.org/2021-blog/2021/2/23/watch-out-for-these-water-license-bills)
OPPOSE BAD WATER BILL
Update on HB1286 COVID Travel: Blocking County Protections
HB1286 (https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=1286&year=2021) proposes to strip the County from its ability to set travel rules during the pandemic and implements a one size fits all COVID screening policy. This measure has passed all of its committees in the House and awaits a final floor vote before it crosses over to the Senate for further deliberation and votes. Please contact YOUR district Representative and ask them to vote “NO” on the floor when it arrives there. You can find out who your Representative is and their contact info by going here: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/fyl/
Increasing Hawaii’s Minimum Wage
SB676 (https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=676&year=2021) increases Hawaii’s minimum wage from $10.10 to $12 effective July 1, 2022. This is a modest but good step in the right direction, and certainly nothing business needs to fear.
Regardless of which island you live on, please help send a strong message of support to YOUR district Representative and Senator today if you can. It’s easy. IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO – PLEASE Just go to this simple “one-click form” (https://p2a.co/D1SMTxU) and voila, the Representative and Senator who represent you and your district will receive a message indicating your support.
Hawaii has the highest cost of living, yet 20 states have a higher minimum wage.
Pandemic or no pandemic, the minimum wage is going up this year in 26 other states. Our frontline workers who literally slave away at minimum wage jobs in stores, offices, and fast-food restaurants across the state – deserve a raise.
While $12 in 2022 is a good start, we continue to encourage legislators to amend SB676 to include an incremental phased-in increase to $17 in 2026.
Kuleana Academy Leadership Development
Perhaps the most important action of the day: Regardless of where you live in Hawaii, if you have roots within your community, have a burning desire to make our world a better place, believe in putting people and the planet ahead of corporate profits, and have some track record of community involvement (not just talking about it on FaceBook) – please consider applying to the Kuleana Academy (https://www.hapahi.org/kuleana) .
Hawai‘i Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA) is now accepting applications for the 6th Kuleana Academy. This is a five-month political leadership development and non-partisan candidate training program for emerging leaders in Hawai‘i. Watch this short video and apply here (https://www.hapahi.org/kuleana) .
Many readers ask me how they can be most effective with the least amount of energy and time. This short blog piece I wrote recently provides that answer: The Political Power You Don’t Know You Have
Please take action and then share this email with your friends and networks. And then, after the work is done, please join me in taking the rest of the weekend off 😉