Gov. David Ige notified legislative leaders and key lawmakers Monday that he intends to veto nine bills.
The Hawaii State Constitution requires the governor to give notice to the Legislature by Monday’s deadline.
On July 12, any measure that has not been signed or vetoed by Gov. Ige will become law with or without his signature.
The bills are:HB1370 HD1 SD2 CD1 (RELATING TO DIVORCE)
This measure authorizes the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) to make direct payments to a divorced spouse of an ERS member or retired ERS member upon order of the court.
Rationale: The ERS must modify its information technology systems before direct payments can be made. It will need state resources to do so. The ERS trustfund cannot be used to pay for ITS work.HB1739 HD2 SD1 CD1 (RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT)
This measure prohibits employers from accessing and/or obtaining employees’ social media accounts and passwords via coercion or other means.
Rationale: In reviewing testimony on this measure, it remains unclear if this practice is occuring in workplaces at a level that requires state intervention at this time.
Also, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) was not provided with any additional financial resources to undertake enforcement. DLIR will need both time and resources to establish an enforcement mechanism.HB1747 HD1 SD1 CD1 (RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLES)
This measure authorizes police officers to request towing of motor vehicles if a driver is arrested for driving under the influence (DUI).
Rationale: Current enforcement does not allow drivers to operate their vehicles anyway, once they’ve been arrested or cited for DUI.
Also, there are other motor vehicle violations where police should be authorized to request towing. We suggest that this bill be expanded to include the other violations for consistency across the state.HB1850 HD1 SD3 CD1 (RELATING TO TAXATION)
The intent of this measure is to allow transient accommodations brokers to register as tax collection agents with the state. This would allow companies such as Airbnb to collect and remit general excise and transient accommodations taxes on behalf of the hosts and visitors who use their services.
Rationale: We believe there could be unintended consequences of this proposed measure. Vacation rentals fall under the city’s jurisdiction. In order for this bill to work as intended, counties must more actively enforce their own laws on vacation rentals before they claim additional tax revenues.HB2016 HD1 SD1 CD1 (RELATING TO PUBLIC EMPLOYEES)
This measure requires the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) to transfer contributions by retirees and beneficiaries to the Hawai’i Employer-Union Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF) for health insurance payments.
Rationale: While we understand the practical reasons for this bill, the ERS would be required to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which protects health insurance information. Additionally, the ERS would need sufficient time and resources to make modifications to information technology sytems to process such payments.HB2277 HD1 SD1 CD1 (RELATING TO THE KING KAMEHAMEHA CELEBRATION COMMISSION)
The intent of this measure is to clarify the membership and mission of the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission (KKCC).
Rationale: Unfortunately, the amendments proposed in this measure create an ambiguity in the law on how the commission will make decisions.
The specific number of commission members was deleted from the bill. Consequently, the commission will not be able to determine a quorum for the purpose of conducting business.
SB2077 SD1 HD2 CD2 (RELATING TO SEPARATION BENEFITS)(Maui Region hospitals transition)
This measure offers benefits to Hawai’i Health Systems Corporation employees facing position abolishment, reduction-in-force or workforce restructuring.
Rationale: This measure is still undergoing fiscal, legal, and policy review at this time.SB2542 SD2 HD1 CD1 (RELATING TO REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE)
This measure establishes a full funding policy and budgetary procedures for routine repair and maintenance of state-owned buildings, including judiciary-owned facilities.
Rationale: This measure is still undergoing fiscal, legal, and policy review at this time. SB3102 SD1 HD1 CD1 (RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND TOURISM)
This measure mandates that the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourist (DBEDT) develop — and state agencies enter into – inter-agency agreements with the department rather than memoranda of agreements (MOAs) or memoranda of understanding (MOUs). This measure also establishes a state grant program to fund business development for qualified businesses.
Rationale: It is not clear from the testimony why state agency inter-departmental agreements are more efficient or effective in directing resource allocation.