I’ll start with the very good news, move to more good news, stray into an area of trepidation, and end with an ask for help.
HB2464 “Stand Your Ground” was “recommitted” in the State House of Representatives on Tuesday 03/08, and therefore is officially “dead”.
Translation: During the private “majority caucus” meeting held prior to the actual floor vote a majority of the members present told Speaker Scott Saiki “I’m not going to risk my election on this stupid bill, it’s bad politics, bad policy, and bad leadership asking me to vote in support.”
Ok. A majority most likely didn’t really say that out loud. But spoken or unspoken that was no doubt the sentiment expressed and consequently HB2464 was killed. Only Rep. Val Okimoto (R-Mililani) and Rep. James Tokioka (D- Kauaʻi) chose to go down with the ship and voted against killing it.
HB2464 is dead because many of you took the time to send an email or two. Trust me on this. A flurry of emails and telephone calls from constituents to those Representatives who had previously voted Yes, made the difference.
In case you missed it, here is my original blog post pulling back the curtain on HB2464 Hawaiʻi Right-Wing Democrats At Work. Here is an excellent column published in the StarAdv A Hawaiʻi Stand Your Ground Law Would Encourage Violence.
Thank you so, so much to those of you who took the time to make the call and send the email. Your effort paid off.
Ditto on minimum wage. Your testimony, your email and your phone calls made a huge difference.
While the House vehicle HB2510HD2 still falls short of the preferred Senate SB2018, it was greatly improved. The $18 threshold is now set to be reached in 2028 instead of 2030, and the first increment now goes to $13 on January 1, 2023. Unfortunately, the House version continues to expand the tip penalty for restaurant workers.
HB2510HD2 will now “cross over” to the Senate where it will undergo further committee hearings. SB2018 has already crossed but has yet to be scheduled for hearings in the House.
If either bill is approved during the upcoming committee hearings “as is” without any further amendments, that measure will then be sent to the governor for approval or veto. If either or both bills are further amended, that will trigger the “conference committee” process.
The conference committee process essentially occurs in a “black box” with negotiations between the House and Senate occurring behind closed doors. At the conclusion of these backroom discussions, a decision is simply announced to the public. Either the measure is killed and both sides blame each other, or it’s passed with possible further amendments, with both sides taking credit.
To be clear, the conference committee hearings are publically posted and meetings are open to the public (but the public is not allowed to speak). There is a charade of transparency but the process is fraught with minefields, prone to mischief, and rife with obfuscation. Legislators attempting to work both political sides of the issue are able to kill a bill just by not agreeing to any proposal put forth by the other side.
Because the process is mostly conducted in a black box and out of the public view – no one ever knows the real reasons the bill died.
Over 500 bills are now in the process of “cross over”. In the coming days, I will attempt to highlight those measures considered to be priority bills by advocates in various subject matter areas.
Until then mahalo and a hui hou.
*Can you help? As Pono Hawaiʻi Initiative (PHI) prepares to enter the second quarter of 2022, I would be remiss if I did not reach out in advance to request fundraising support. If you are able to make an online contribution today, that would go a long way toward reducing our stress and giving us the confidence needed to move forward as aggressively as possible.
In addition to our basic and pretty minimal day-to-day admin costs, we need to “build the bank” in preparation for the coming primary election.
We know for certain that big business, big development, and big tourism will be targeting many of our friends now holding elective office. We must be prepared to support them AND several new candidates who are stepping up to run for election this year.
All funds raised will be used to promote our endorsed candidates and for other expenses permitted under our 501c4 status.
PHI is a 501c4 nonprofit organization however because we are involved in aggressive advocacy and we endorse candidates statewide – contributions are NOT tax-deductible.
No contribution is too small. We have some friends donating just $5 or $10 per month and others who contribute $100 – $1000.
Thank you in advance for any help you can offer with an online contribution today and preferably prior to April 1st. If you prefer, checks may also be mailed to: