Some bills get more traction than others
: A state House Concurrent Resolution "Urging the President and the United States Congress to enact legislation to increase, for Social Security beneficiaries, the levels of provisional income, which include Social Security benefits, by an amount equal to the federal cost of living allowance granted to federal employees in Hawaii," went through the State Legislature and was passed in final form on May 3 and "transmitted to public" on May 14. This resolution is very important to seniors paying taxes on their Social Security benefits. My question is, what "public" was HCR 217 transmitted to? Why has this not been printed in the news media?
Answer: We asked the House clerk what "transmitted to public meant" and was told that it entailed mailing certified copies to the individuals/organizations listed in the last "Be It Further Resolved" paragraph in the resolution:
"Be it further resolved that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate pro tem, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Hawaii's Congressional delegation, the Secretary of the Treasury through the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, and the Director of Taxation."
City Editor Ed Lynch said: "We focus our legislative coverage on bills and laws that will affect Hawaii residents and businesses. The state Legislature considers hundreds of resolutions in any given session. While they may address important issues, nonbinding resolutions such as this one do not carry the same weight as laws passed by state lawmakers."
As explained by the state Legislature -- www.capitol.hawaii.gov/site1/info/guide/process02.asp?press1=info&press2=guide -- resolutions do not have the force and effect of law. Rather, they may request that agencies study a proposal or problem and report back to the Legislature, or, as in this case, it may request that the president, Hawaii congressional delegation, governor, and/or other officials take certain action.
To find a list of all the resolutions passed in both the state House and Senate, go to www.capitol.hawaii.gov/sessioncurrent/lists/resoadopted_list.asp.
Q: Can you help make the Manoa pool restrooms safe, particularly for the handicapped and seniors? The floors are wet and slippery 99 percent of the time from constant use. I slipped and saw another person fall recently. A simple solution would be to install a lane of "safety walk" adhesive in the dressing area to the showers and toilets. A call was made to the city a month ago and another two weeks ago, but they have been unheeded so far.
A: "Safety grip adhesive strips" were placed in the Manoa Valley District Park pool facility last month, shortly after we passed on your complaint.
The strips "provide slip resistant walkways to mitigate the problem," a city Department of Parks and Recreation official said.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. See also: Useful phone numbers