Bills to allow public funding of political campaigns, to change agricultural land designations and to require solar water heaters on new homes are going to become law.
Gov. Linda Lingle yesterday released a list of 52 bills passed by this session of the state Legislature that she was considering vetoing, but many of the major pieces of legislation are not on the list.
A look at some of the bills that Gov. Linda Lingle has given notice that she might veto.
» House Bill 2438: Establishes a process to ensure that only fire-safe cigarettes are sold in Hawaii starting in fall 2009.
» HB 2250: Establishes a statutory scheme for the regulation of interisland air carriers, provided that federal legislation is enacted to permit implementation.
» Senate Bill 156: Authorizes the establishment of permanent absentee voting.
» SB 2843: Requires manufacturers of electronic devices, such as televisions and bulky computer equipment, to collect and recycle such devices.
Source: State Legislature
According to the state Constitution, if Lingle did not include the bills on her veto list by yesterday's deadline, they will become law with or without her signature.
Jeff Mikulina, Hawaii Sierra Club executive director, said the solar-heating bill would be the "foundation of achieving Lingle's vision of renewable energy in Hawaii."
But Mikulina added that a measure that allows agricultural landowners to move up to 15 percent of their land to another classification is giving too much to developers.
"This would put into law something that developers have always wanted, which is a way to make it easier to develop ag land," Mikulina said.
The Hawaii Farm Bureau, however, said the measure would help preserve local agricultural by limiting how much land could be taken out of an agricultural designation.
Meanwhile, Kory Payne with Voter Owned Hawaii, which has lobbied for four years for a public campaign-financing bill, said the bill will change political campaigns on the Big Island.
It allows candidates for the Hawaii County Council to accept publicly financed campaigns.
"We could be seeing higher voter turnout, more candidates running and a shift away from courting wealthy donors," Payne said.
The measure will take effect for the 2010 elections.
Senate President Colleen Hanabusa said the bills that Lingle might veto are not crucial to public groups, so it is unlikely the Legislature will come back into session to override Lingle's vetoes.
"I am not sure that, collectively, these bills rise to the level of concern," said Hanabusa (D, Nanakuli-Makua).
House Majority Leader Kirk Caldwell said House members would meet this week to discuss any potential overrides, but he was pleased that the three "top-of-mind" bills were not on the list.
"I think that's good news for the people of Hawaii," said Caldwell (D, Manoa).
"She probably heard from both sides in great detail," he added. "I think, after looking at the pros and cons in those bills, she realized that the pros outweigh any of the cons."
Lingle said the bills are being considered for veto due to various factors, including significant negative impacts on the public, budgetary implications, legal or constitutional concerns, potential unintended consequences, micromanagement of department operations and usurping the executive branch's authority.
"The Legislature and many individuals in the community worked hard to pass these measures," Lingle said in a news release. "However, it is my responsibility as governor to ensure that the bills are legal, constitutional, fiscally sound and in the best long-term interest of the public."