Governor Ige used his veto power to strike down eight bills passed by lawmakers on Tuesday.
One of the eight bills include a measure that would have established a pilot program to generate revenue through the lease of public library lands to support the Public Library system.
Another measure that would have authorized the use of medical marijuana to treat opioid addiction, substance use and withdrawal symptoms.
“I would note that there hasn’t been an application for opioid addiction treatment as one of those,” said Gov. David Ige. “So I think that those proponents should just go thru the process, identify what they think and what evidence they have that med cannabis is effective in that regard.”
The governor did sign a bill that was on his intent to veto list. It removes the schools superintendent’s authority over preschools.
He allowed one bill to become law without his signature. The measure provides funding to establish a law enforcement standards board for the certification of all law enforcement officers.
HB 1621 RELATING TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
Part 1 of this measure prohibits merchants from charging any fee to repair, replace, or refund damaged or defective goods. Part 2 requires high turnover restaurant franchises to disclose their non-participation in national advertising campaigns and prohibits the franchisor/restaurant chain from limiting or restricting the disclosure.
Rationale: Part 2 of the measure provides a vague definition of “high turnover restaurant.” As written, the law would be unenforceable as the measure does not provide explicit standards to measure conditions such as the average duration of a customer’s stay or determine a menu’s price range. The measure also exempts fast food restaurants, which runs counter to current consumer protections as the majority of complaints received by the Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) regarding this issue involve fast food chains.
SB 48 RELATING TO TECHNOLOGY
This measure merges the Hawai‘i Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC) and the Hawai‘i Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) into the Hawai‘i Innovation, Technology, and Research Corporation.
Rationale: This measure creates operational issues and disrupts the core functions of HTDC. First, it eliminates 1.5 permanent positions and 6.25 temporary positions from HTDC. It appropriates general funds to convert these positions from special funds, but does not create the new positions to replace those eliminated. Second, the additional amendments to HTDC’s budget, when combined with the amendments in the supplemental appropriations bill, create a net reduction in HTDC’s core resources that will adversely impact its operations.
SB 2407 RELATING TO MEDICAL CANNABIS
This measure authorizes the use of medical cannabis as a treatment for opioid addiction, substance use, and withdrawal symptoms resulting from the treatment of these conditions.
Rationale: The Department of Health already has a formal evidenced-based petition process, made available annually to patients and physicians, so patients and physicians can apply to add qualifying conditions to the list of uses for medical cannabis.
SB 2519 RELATING TO THE ENVIRONMENT
This measure authorizes the Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) to enter into contracts with private businesses to remove select municipal solid waste, glass, and food/green waste from the waste stream for use in other businesses, provided that it benefits agriculture and agriculture-related projects.
Rationale: This measure will interfere with the counties’ authority to direct the disposal of municipal solid waste to specific locations under Section 340A-3, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes. The statute authorizes counties to require that solid waste be disposed of at designated facilities or areas. It is unclear whether ADC’s or the counties’ authority would have priority when determining control over the municipal waste disposal.
SB 2524 RELATING TO COUNTY LAND USE REQUIREMENTS
This measure requires the owner of any parcel of land subdivided as a condominium property regime in agricultural or preservation lands, to provide public notice of sale no later than ninety days after the sale of the parcel. This measure also prohibits residential use of sheds or other structures on agricultural lands unless permitted under county ordinances and rules.
Rationale: This measure creates a loophole that would allow residential uses of agricultural land that has been subdivided via subdivision or condo property regime. This could result in urban sprawl and is in direct contradiction with state land use policy that seeks to preserve agricultural land for agricultural use. This bill could result in large, viable agricultural land being broken up and taken out of agricultural production.
SB 2699 RELATING TO THE TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS TAX
This measure attempts to include resort fees in gross rental proceeds that are subject to the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT).
Rationale: This measure creates an extensive and ambiguous expansion of the TAT. The vague language could subject restaurants, spas, and other businesses located in hotels to add the TAT to their services. Currently, the Department of Taxation imposes the TAT on mandatory resort fees. The additional taxes imposed by this measure would result in significant increases in accommodation costs for our residents and visitors staying in Hawai‘i hotel properties.
SB 2919 RELATING TO PUBLIC LIBRARIES
This measure establishes a pilot program to generate revenue through the lease of public library lands to support the mission of the public library system.
Rationale: In general, executive orders set aside public trust lands for public purposes. If those lands are no longer needed for library purposes, executive orders should be withdrawn and the lands returned to the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). Further, the Hawai‘i State Public Library System does not have the resources and expertise to undertake the leasing of public lands for purely income generating purposes.
SB 2992 RELATING TO CAMPAIGN FINANCE
This measure exempts signs and banners from certain election law disclaimer requirements relating to advertisements with the exception of signs and banners advocating the passage or defeat of a ballot issue, which are still required to contain the name and address of the candidate, candidate committee, or non-candidate committee paying for the sign or banner.
Rationale: The Campaign Spending Commission is concerned that exempting signs and banners from certain election law disclaimer requirements will reduce transparency in campaign finance.
Bills on Intent to Veto list SIGNED INTO LAW:
HB 2507 RELATING TO PRESCHOOLS
This bill removes pre-schools from the superintendent’s scope of authority and clarifies that the director of the Executive Office on Early learning may authorize preschool personnel to access a student’s immunization registry information.
Governor’s Message: After the administration completed its due diligence, it was determined that no services would be jeopardized and all preschools can continue to operate with no interruption.
Bills on Intent to Veto List that will become law WITHOUT THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE:
HB2071 RELATING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT
This measure appropriates funds to establish a Law Enforcement Standards Board for the certification of county police officers, state public safety officers, and all state agency employees with police powers. The board will be responsible for developing minimum standards, establishing training programs, and providing continuing education programs for all law enforcement officers.
Governor’s Message: I’m allowing this bill to become law without my signature because I support the intent of the bill and recognize the need for accountability and public confidence in law enforcement.
After meeting with the police chiefs and conducting a thorough review, I agree that more resources are needed, and have concerns about the timeline. There are also many questions about implementation.
I am committed to working with state and county law enforcement officials to successfully implement the measure.
I want to thank the men and women of our law enforcement agencies for their efforts to keep our communities safe. I know the majority of them want to meet the highest standards of professional conduct, and we want to help them succeed.
HB2589 RELATING TO MOTORCYCLES
This measure authorizes the Department of Transportation to allow two-wheeled motorcycles to drive in designated shoulder lanes.
Governor’s Message: I’m allowing this bill to become law without my signature. Although I believe safety concerns remain, I will work with the Department of Transportation to properly vet which shoulder lanes will be accessible to motorcycles.