Kokua Line
June Watanabe

Anyone can testify
at Legislature

Question: Who are the key legislators who oversee workers' compensation reform bills? How does one get to testify at a hearing?

Answer: Workers' comp legislation falls under the Legislature's labor committees.

Rep. Kirk Caldwell is chairman of the House Labor and Public Employment Committee (phone 586-8475), while Sen. Brian Kanno is chairman of the Senate Labor Committee (586-6830).

Anyone can testify at a public hearing.

The Legislature has a basic "citizen's guide" to participating in the legislative process on its Web site: www.capitol.hawaii.gov/site1/info/guide/guide.asp?press1=info&press2=guide.

If you want to comment on proposed legislation, you are asked to deliver, drop off or fax your testimony at last 24 hours before a scheduled public hearing even if you plan to be at the hearing.

Testimony can be delivered to a committee vice chairman's office, or it may be dropped off any time -- but no later than 24 hours before a hearing -- in a box in the underground turnaround area, just outside the main doors of the Capitol at the end of Miller Street.

Boxes for both Senate and House testimony are checked at 7 a.m. daily and throughout the day, except for Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

You can also submit testimony for a Senate committee by placing copies inside the appropriate committee folder in the filing cabinet located outside of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Office.

Faxes, meanwhile, should be sent to the appropriate Sergeant-at-Arms Office: 586-6501 (House) or 586-6659 (Senate) on Oahu; and 800-535-3859 (House) or 800-586-6659 (Senate) from the neighbor islands.

You also can obtain information by going to the Legislature's Public Access Room, Room 401 at the state Capitol, which is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

It is equipped with computer terminals, copies of legislative documents, reference materials, a fax machine, typewriters, TDD telephone and copy machine.

The staff of the Public Access Room also holds classes on accessing the Legislature's online computer systems, the legislative process and the state budget process, as well as on how to testify and lobby.

For more information on class schedules, call 587-0478.

Q: As I was listening to everyone's memories of the 30-year Johnny Carson era, I was reminded that here in Hawaii, we used to get his show, and others, a day late. Does anyone recall when Hawaii was given "real time" broadcasts from the mainland?

A: The first live television broadcast to Hawaii was on Nov. 19, 1966, when KHVH-TV -- as KITV was then known -- featured the Michigan State-Notre Dame football game, which ended in a 10-10 tie.

It was made possible by the "Lani Bird" communication satellite.


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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