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Aiona calls on public to comment on potential vetoes

MEDIA RELEASE

On his weekly radio call-in show in Honolulu, Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona urged residents to weigh in on the 60 bills passed during the 2009 legislative session that are being considered for vetoes.

“These bills are open for discussion, so I encourage our residents to get involved and voice their opinions,” Aiona said. “Now is the time to speak up. There is no question that many of these bills will draw strong emotions from all sides, and it is critical that they are viewed in the broader context of what is best for our residents and our state going forward.”

For example, Hawaii legislators, following in the footsteps of North Carolina and Rhode Island, have passed legislation that would require companies to collect sales tax if they have marketing affiliates in the state.

Affiliate marketers run blogs or Web sites and get a sales commission by featuring links to outside e-commerce sites.

As a result of this legislation, Amazon.com and Overstock.com informed their marketing affiliates in Hawaii that they are ending their business with them to avoid collecting sales tax in the state.

The governor has vetoed the measure, which the Administration believes would put Hawaii companies at a competitive disadvantage, especially since they would no longer be able to receive commissions for advertisements on their Web site that link to numerous national and international firms that offer goods and services to Hawaii residents. Following the governor’s veto, Amazon.com and Overstock.com reversed course and reinstated relationships with their Hawaii affiliates.

The deadline for the governor to veto bills is Wednesday, July 15.

To comment on the 60 bills being considered for vetoes, send an e-mail to governor.lingle@hawaii.gov or gov.policy@hawaii.gov; fax (808) 586-0006; or mail to the Office of the Governor, Hawaii State Capitol, Executive Chambers, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96813.

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