Special session rejected
House Democratic leaders say they will not call a special session to override any Lingle vetoes
If Gov. Linda Lingle's threats to veto 28 bills are carried out today, the measures will die because the House says it will not meet to override any of them.
Lingle praised the announcement from House Democratic leaders yesterday.
According to the state Constitution, a veto must be overridden with a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate, so if the House declines to return, an override is impossible.
Senate leaders had not reached a decision on whether to return today.
The House Democrats said in a written statement that they were rejecting a special override session despite requests from a group of public and private labor unions that wanted to preserve bills Lingle said she was considering vetoing.
"We don't agree with the governor's position, but for the sake of ensuring that we pass the best laws possible, we will take another look at these issues next session and work with all the stakeholders to reach consensus," Rep. Calvin Say, House speaker, said in a statement.
Rep. Marcus Oshiro, House majority leader, added that Democrats think Lingle should not veto a bill that would extend medical insurance coverage to children who cannot get other forms of coverage.
Lingle said she would veto the bill today because it would allow families to drop their coverage to go under the state plan, which could lead to fewer children receiving full coverage.
"This bill would allow families who would otherwise qualify for federally supported Medicaid QUEST to participate in this program," Oshiro (D, Wahiawa-Poamoho) said.
Lingle said yesterday that the bill still needed work.
"There is general agreement that children would have less health care coverage, and that was the driving force for us," Lingle said.
Lingle has threatened vetoes of measures that would:
» Establish the Ahu o Laka sandbar in Kaneohe as a state monument, and direct the Department of Land and Natural Resources to adopt rules for its protection and maintenance.
» Ban the commercial sale of opihi because overharvesting has depleted the limpets on Oahu and easily accessible areas on the neighbor islands.
» Ban vaccines in 2008 with any trace of a preservative containing mercury -- which doctors contend pose no safety problems for the public.