End of the 27th

Honolulu Weekly - May 8, 2013

On Thursday, May 2, the 27th Hawaii State Legislative session came to an end. Here’s a look at some bills that passed into law, and some that didn’t.

SB 1214: Barely passing the final floor vote (13-12), SB 1214 stemmed from a letter, drafted by the State Attorney General and endorsed by the Office of Consumer Protection, that found the practice of tire-booting to constitute “criminal tampering.”

HB 1147: A bill that would require political action committees (PACs) to disclose their four largest contributors in advertisements, with the goal of increasing transparency and decreasing negative attack ads, passed unanimously in both houses.

HB 1481: A bill which would have set up a public funding program for candidates seeking office in the House, and might have reduced the necessity for campaign donations that tie candidates to big-business interests, died in conference.

HB 31: The bill, which would slap a $50 fine on those who hamper normal bus stop use, was recommitted to conference, effectively killing it. “We’re talking about the homeless. In the grand scheme of things, someone lying on a bus stop is not something we should be concerned with,” said Sen. Sam Slom in opposition.

SB 69: A bill to require stricter background checks on people trying to register weapons purchased outside the State passed 23-1.

SB 1084: Puts the issue of public funds going toward private early-education programs to a public vote at the next election. Sen. Jill Tokuda, who introduced the bill, said it “does not water down the State’s separation of church and state. This Constitutional amendment would allow government to step up to the plate and partner with the private sector as we seek to prepare our children to succeed in both school and life.” The bill passed 21-4.

SB 1087: Allows for low-cost loans to help stimulate sustainable infrastructure and meet Hawaii’s clean energy goals. Sen. Mike Gabbard led the Senate to a 24-1 vote in favor of the landmark legislation.

HB 668: Transferring the Medical Use of Marijuana Program from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Public Health, signifying a change in the State’s attitude toward medical marijuana; the bill passed 24-1.