Kakaako, cigarette tax bills to be law
Among the bills Lingle intends to veto is a child health care plan
A PROPOSAL to prevent residential development of the Kakaako waterfront area and another measure to increase the state's cigarette tax are set to become law.
Neither was listed among the 28 bills that Gov. Linda Lingle said she might veto.
Lingle faced a deadline yesterday to notify the Legislature of which measures she might reject.
"These 28 bills are of concern due to various factors including technical flaws, potential unintended consequences, or have a significant negative impact on the public," Lingle said in a news release.
Democratic leaders in the Legislature said they planned to study the bills and the governor's objections before deciding whether to hold a special session to override any vetoes. An override requires two-thirds approval from members of both chambers.
"We don't agree with the governor's decision to veto these bills, but we will carefully consider her reasons and discuss our next steps with leadership," House Speaker Calvin Say (D, St. Louis Heights-Wilhelmina Rise) said in a statement.
Among the bills that face a veto is a proposal for a three-year pilot project to provide health insurance for children ineligible for any state or federal coverage.
The surviving legislation includes Senate Bill 2555, Conference Draft 1, which would prohibit the Hawaii Community Development Authority from selling or approving for residential development waterfront land in Kakaako. Proponents of preserving Kewalo Basin lobbied heavily for the bill throughout the session in response to the HCDA's plans to allow for residential development of the area.
STAR-BULLETIN / MARCH 2006
A bill to prevent residential development of the Kakaako waterfront looks set to become law, as it did not make Gov. Linda Lingle's veto list. These three youths were part of a rally at the state Capitol protesting development of the Kakaako area.
Earlier this month, HCDA announced it would shift its focus to development of the less glitzy, mauka side of Kakaako. Preservationists say the legislation still is needed to prevent future development of the area.
Meanwhile, Senate Bill 2961, CD 1, increases the state cigarette tax 1 cent per cigarette per year for the next six years but contains a flaw that would divert the extra proceeds into the state treasury rather than the intended fund for cancer research and other related health services.
Lawmakers have said the intent of the bill is clear, and they are hoping for a favorable interpretation when it comes time to start collecting the tax on Sept. 30. If not, lawmakers would have to fix the language of the bill next session.
Bills not on the potential veto list may be signed or can become law without the governor's signature.
Among the bills on the veto list is House Bill 3116, CD 1, which would set up a three-year pilot program aimed at providing health insurance for all children in the state.
Democrats had touted it as a first step toward universal health care, but in her statements of objections, Lingle said the bill might not achieve its intended purpose.
"The bill would allow families who would otherwise qualify for federally supported Medicaid QUEST-net to participate in this program, thus crowding out those who genuinely need the coverage," Lingle said.
Senate President Robert Bunda (D, Kaena-Wahiawa-Pupukea) noted that the Legislature and the public still have 10 days to review the list of bills before the deadline to call a special session.
"This is the public's opportunity to express its views on the potential vetoes," Bunda said.
BILLS FACE UPHILL CLIMB
Here is a look at some of the bills that Gov. Linda Lingle has notified the Legislature she might veto. A complete list can be found online at www.hawaii.gov/gov under News Releases.
» House Bill 3116, House Draft 2, Senate Draft 2, Conference Draft 1: Creates a three-year pilot program in which the Department of Human Services pays half of the premiums for the health care provided by a mutual benefit society to uninsured children 1 month to 18 years old who are ineligible for other state or federal health care coverage. Appropriates funds.
» Senate Bill 2004, SD 1, HD 1, CD 1: Establishes Ahu o Laka sandbar in Kaneohe as a state monument; directs the Department of Land and Natural Resources to adopt rules for its protection and maintenance.
» SB 3181, SD 2, HD 2, CD 1: Increases the volume limit of deposit beverage containers to add 2-liter bottles to those that can be recycled under the deposit-redemption program; requires distributors to report container numbers sold and make fee payments on that basis; permits calculation of redemption value by container count in certain instances. Allows refusal of refund for previously processed and baled containers.
Sources: Office of the Governor, Hawaii State Legislature