Democrats deny governor's request to amend bills
Legislative leaders are rejecting Gov. Linda Lingle's last-minute request that the Legislature amend four of 33 bills that the governor is threatening to veto.
Lingle said she prefers lawmakers change the bills so they can become law rather than override her vetoes.
Lingle said bills on her veto list have technical or legal flaws that "may subject the state to litigation or negatively impact the public."
Under the state Constitution, the Legislature may return on Tuesday and either override Lingle's vetoes or remain in session and amend the bills to meet Lingle's objections.
Democratic leaders, however, said all the bills Lingle might veto went through the legislative process, including multiple public hearings. The bills would allow PBS-Hawaii to share a University of Hawaii building with the new Creative Media Academy; take $3 million from the Highway Fund for pedestrian safety measures; create a Maui traffic control center; and authorize the purchase of agriculture land in Kunia.
"I don't believe this is something that can be worked out," said Senate President Colleen Hanabusa (D, Nanakuli-Makua).
House Speaker Calvin Say had the same reaction as Hanabusa. The governor, Say said, should have made her request a week ago. Say (D, St. Louis Heights-Wilhelmina Rise-Palolo Valley) added that the governor can introduce the bills next year to change the laws.