Categorized | Government, News

Vetoes, overrides, civil unions as Legislature winds down


The Hawaii House of Representatives joined with the State Senate in overriding 11 of Gov. Linda Lingle’s 14 vetoes. The governor vetoed several revenue generating bills, among others, that are part of a financial plan to balance the state budget.

“The Great Recession made our jobs very difficult,” said Speaker of the House Calvin Say in his final remarks to House members. “We made many hard decisions that disappointed, frustrated, or angered certain people. We, however, were forced to make those decisions because of the dismal economic and budgetary situation.”

“During the 2009 session, we along with the Senate and Governor closed a $2.1 billion budget deficit,” he added. “During this 2010 session, we closed another $1.2 billion budget gap. History, I believe, will show that we, together with the Senate and Governor, bore the burdens of the Great Recession well.”

Bills passed or killed

Thursday, the House also took action on some final bills of the session. SB2626, designating two surf breaks on Oahu as Hawaii surfing reserves, and SB2405, streamlining sales and use tax, were recommitted and are therefore dead for the year.

However, the House did approve HB1948, mandating the state to refund tax returns by 90 days from the day filed or the due date of the tax return, whichever is later, and HB921, creating land trusts for Hawaiian homestead leases. The measures will go to the governor for signature.

The governor has 45 days from the time a bill was received to veto it, sign it into law, or allow it to pass into law without her signature.

Civil Unions

After House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro today made a motion on the House floor to revive HB 444, a measure permitting same-sex civil unions, the members voted to pass the bill on final reading, 31 ayes to 20 noes. The bill now goes to the Governor for signature.

The following measures vetoed by the Governor were overridden by the Legislature and are now law:

House Bills

* H.B. No. 2421, H.D. 2, S.D. 2, C.D. 1 RELATING TO GOVERNMENT. Food and Energy Security
Establishes various initiatives to promote economic development for local food and energy businesses, ensures Hawaii is energy and food self-sufficient and sustainable to the maximum extent feasible, and helps Hawaii’s natural resources and humankind adapt and be resilient to the inevitable challenges brought on by climate change. Increases and changes the name of the environmental response tax, and sunsets the tax on June 30, 2015. (Introduced by Rep. Coffman) – House votes: 42 ayes, 9 noes

* H.B. No. 1642, H.D. 1, S.D. 2, C.D. 1 RELATING TO THE PURCHASES OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. Purchases of Health and Human Services; Request for Proposals
Requires proposals for purchases of health and human services to be submitted by providers licensed to provide the services being bid on. Requires proposals to include all costs, fees, and taxes, including any insurance premium taxes or general excise taxes. Prohibits awards or contracts to include any other payment, rebate, or direct or indirect consideration not included in the proposal (Introduced by Rep. Shimabukuro) House vote – 41 ayes, 10 noes

* H.B. No. 1868, H.D. 1 RELATING TO CIVIL SERVICE. Civil Service; Leaves of Absence
Prohibits civil service employees who accept an appointed position from returning to their civil service positions more than one year later. Provides an exemption for employees covered by collective bargaining agreements that allow for a longer leave of absence to be granted. (Introduced by Rep. Rhoads) – House votes: 41 ayes, 10 noes

* H.B. No. 2085, H.D. 1, S.D. 2 RELATING TO HEALTH. QUEST Contracting
Establishes limits on requests for proposals from health and human services providers for QUEST contracts that exceed $100,000,000 and commence after the term of the agency director expires. Effective upon approval. (Introduced by Rep. Yamane) – House votes: 45 ayes, 6 noes

* H.B. No. 2086, H.D. 2, S.D. 2 RELATING TO HEALTH CARE DATA. Clinical Laboratory Test Results; Privacy
Allows clinical laboratory test results to be provided to authorized persons or any covered entity for any purpose permitted under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Effective upon approval. (Introduced by Rep. Yamane) – House votes: 48 ayes, 3 noes

* H.B. No. 2866, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, C.D. 1 RELATING TO TAXATION. Taxation; Income Tax Rates
Taxes the transfer of a taxable estate located in Hawaii by a nonresident who is not a citizen of the United States. Specifies that a decedent shall be entitled to all applicable exclusion or exemption amounts as determined under the Internal Revenue Code as of December 31, 2009, before being subject to any taxes, including up to a $3,500,000 applicable exclusion amount. Amends the definition of “Internal Revenue Code” to include certain federal tax principles. Adds definitions of “nonresident not a citizen” and “noncitizen transfer”. Retains the State’s ability to “pick-up” the state death tax credit as it existed in the Internal Revenue Code on December 31, 2000. (Introduced by Rep. Say) – House votes: 39 ayes, 12 noes

Senate Bills

* S.B. No. 2159, H.D. 1 RELATING TO TRAFFIC ABSTRACT FEE. Traffic Abstract Fee
Increases the fee for a traffic abstract from $7 to $20, and increases the amount of the fee deposited into the general fund from $5 to $18. (Introduced by Sen. Hanabusa, by request) – House votes: 39 ayes, 12 noes

* S.B. No. 2394, H.D. 1 RELATING TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE DEFERRED COMPENSATION PLAN. Deferred Compensation Plan; Board of Trustees
Makes the Director of Human Resources Development one of two ex officio members on the Board of Trustees of the Deferred Compensation Plan and deletes the requirement for the Director to serve as the Chairperson. Requires the Board to have five employee members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. (Introduced by Sen. Takamine) – House votes: 45 ayes, 6 noes

* S.B. No. 2501, S.D. 1, H.D. 1 RELATING TO PUBLIC ACCOUNTANCY. Peer Review for Public Accountancy
Requires peer reviews as a condition of certified public accountancy permits to practice. (Introduced by Sen. Espero) – House votes: 45 ayes, 6 noes

* S.B. No. 2650, S.D. 2, H.D. 2, C.D. 1 RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES. Department of Human Services
Authorizes the governor to develop and implement an eligibility-processing operations division pilot project for counties with a population of 500,000 or more. Prohibits any department of human services reorganization plan proposed prior to the effective date of the bill or other than the pilot project proposed by the bill. Sunsets June 30, 2011. (Introduced by Sen. Bunda) – House votes: 47 ayes, 4 noes

* S.B. No. 2840, S.D. 2, H.D. 1 RELATING TO PUBLIC PROCUREMENT. Procurement; Construction Projects; Resident
Requires at least eighty per cent of workers on construction procurements to be Hawaii residents; provides sanctions for noncompliance including temporary suspension of contract work, payment withholding, disqualification from the project, recovery of contract payments, and disbarment or suspension. (Introduced by Sen. Bunda) – House vote: 46 ayes, 5 noes

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