Governor vetoes bills restricting appointees
A bill that would have given political parties the ability to decide whom the governor should appoint to fill legislative vacancies has been vetoed by Gov. Linda Lingle.
It is one of three bills rejected by the governor Tuesday.
The governor also said no to House Bill 173, which would have required future state adjutant generals to be officers in the Hawaii National Guard for at least five years. Maj. Gen. Bob Lee, the current adjutant general, opposed the bill.
Currently, the law requires only that the leader of the Hawaii Army and Air National Guard hold at least the rank of major and serve as a commissioned officer for at least 10 years in any military service.
"This bill serves no legitimate purpose in protecting the people of Hawaii," Lingle said in her veto message to state lawmakers.
The legislative vacancy bill came about after the controversial appointment last year of Bev Harbin to replace Democratic Rep. Ken Hiraki, who resigned from his 28th District seat. Harbin joined the Democratic Party three days after Hiraki announced his plans to resign, party officials said at the time.
"This bill places the ability for determining who may be appointed by the governor with the political party leadership of the vacating office holder," Lingle wrote in her message. "This in spite of the fact that these individuals are not elected by the public and, as such, are not accountable to them."
Lingle said that House Bill 2454 narrows the field of qualified candidates that the political party can consider to those who are registered members of that party for at least six months prior to the appointment.
"Such a provision fails to recognize that this may unreasonably restrict the pool of potential candidates," Lingle wrote.
Lingle also vetoed House Bill 1155, which grants natural-medicine practitioners the authority to administer natural medicines by injection.
"This bill is objectionable because it does not provide adequate protection for the health and safety of the public," the governor wrote.
The Legislature has until tomorrow to override the vetoes.