Vote miscount keeps flags flying - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Vote miscount keeps flags flying

Kym Pine Kym Pine
Rida Cabanilla Rida Cabanilla
Tom Brower Tom Brower

By Duane Shimogawa bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A crucial vote involving flags flying at planned communities is causing quite a stir among lawmakers.

House Bill 2311 would allow homeowners to put up flag poles and fly large American flags. A vote to move the bill forward failed, but that's not what the video shows.

It would take 17 votes to keep this "Flag Pole" bill alive. But on Thursday, it fell short by three votes. That's according to the clerks count. But this video shot by the house minority office shows 17 hands up in support of the bill.

"I think if you watch the video, you can't deny it didn't have enough votes and to debate that issue is just silly at this point, it got the votes, everybody knows it," The introducer of the bill, Representative Kym Pine said.

But Representative Rida Cabanilla, who chairs the House Housing Committee disputes that.

"To me if the leadership or the people that's paid to do the counting says it's 14, then it's 14 for me, so that's the number I'm standing by," Cabanilla said.

Representatives, Tom Brower, Maile Shimabukuro and Marilyn Lee were not counted, despite being shown that they did vote for it on the video.

"We have three clerks, they do the best job they can, but some legislators are sitting in chairs blocking the views of other people, so they did a hand vote and it was counted," Brower said.

Pressure from military veterans on Thursday forced lawmakers to reconsider the bill.

"What I am excited the most about and what I've been fighting for this whole time is not whether the bill is bad or good, but whether it should have equal chance like any other bill," Pine said.

The "Flag Pole" bill is still alive. A public hearing has been scheduled for 9 a.m., Wednesday.

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