GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
With last night's midnight deadline to settle bills, Senate and House conference committees worked feverishly at the state Capitol to iron out differences.
Taro’s time tarries, tardy till ’25
Taro has been a symbol of Hawaii for generations, but a legislative screw-up keeps it from becoming the official state plant until 2025.
Lawmakers made a mistake when they wrote the popular, feel-good bill designating taro as the state plant: The law would not go into effect for another 18 years.
"It does happen, rarely, when you just don't catch something. Before you know it, it's heading up to the governor's office," said Rep. Hermina Morita (D, Hanalei-Kapaa), who sponsored the bill.
The error happened when a House committee changed the law from taking effect immediately to taking effect Jan. 1, 2025. This kind of date change is common as House bills are passed to the Senate, often just to ensure they do not become law without a thorough debate. The date is supposed to be changed by the Senate before it gets to Gov. Linda Lingle's desk.
Obviously, that did not happen this time.
Lingle signed the bill (HB 659, HD 2) into law Tuesday and asked lawmakers to review the law next year.