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On the horizon: Governor veto deadline


Out of 3,523 bills introduced this session, the legislature successfully passed 251. As of today, 171 bills of those bills have been signed into law.

 A list of all Acts passed this year can be found at

Last week, the governor transmitted to the Legislature a list of 65 potential measures she intends to veto. You can access a list of possible vetoes with the governor’s explanations here: 

Gov. Linda Lingle has until Wednesday, July 15 to veto a bill. After which, the Legislature can call a special session in order to override a bill that has been vetoed and can do so at or before noon on Wednesday.

Lingle vetoes bill that are pre-empted by or violate federal laws


Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed Monday four bills that are pre-empted by federal law or violate existing federal statutes.  The governor issued her vetoes to ensure that federal officials recognize that the state respects the individual role of states and the federal government in setting legal policy for our citizens.

The four vetoes cover areas as diverse as the labeling of meat and fish products, health care benefits, permanency hearings for foster children, and marijuana.  Specifically the four bills are:

* SB 912 SD2 HD2 CD1 relating to permanency hearings.  This bill does not comply with federal Title IV-E hearings requirements for foster placement hearings as set forth in Section 475 of the Social Security Act.  Notification of non-compliance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was not received until the 2009 Legislative session was almost finished.  The relevant House and Senate chairs have agreed to work on a new bill in 2010 to correct the defects in this measure.

* HB 1611 HD2 SD2 CD1 relating to labeling of meat and fish products.  This bill violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution and is pre-empted by the Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1907 as amended.  This bill also removes criminal sanctions necessary for the proper enforcement of the Hawaii Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

HB 690 HD2 SD2 CD1 relating to insurance.  Significant portions of this bill are pre-empted by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) governing the operation of employee welfare benefit plans.

* SB 1058 SD2 HD2 CD1 relating to controlled substances.  This bill attempts to circumvent provisions of federal controlled substances laws as enforced by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.  Portions of this bill may also violate Section 14 of Article II of the State Constitution regarding the scope of subjects each law enacted by the Legislature may encompass.

“I am concerned that the Legislature, in their efforts to address local concerns, may not have fully taken into account existing federal laws or requirements,” Lingle said. “The State of Hawaii must abide by federal statutes when they prevail or pre-empt state action, as is the case with these four measures.”

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