Domestic violence resolution gets stuck in House because of the letter 'C'

Domestic violence resolution gets stuck in House because of the letter 'C'
Dara Carlin
Dara Carlin
Sen. Suzanne Chun
Sen. Suzanne Chun

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

DOWNTOWN HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A domestic violence resolution designed to make sure judges stick to the law and not grant batterers child custody, is just one final house vote away from passing.

But on Wednesday, SCR91 got stuck on House Speaker Calvin Say's desk.

He wasn't available for comment, but his staff says it's all because of one letter.

The holdup is the letter 'C'. The resolution is an 'SCR' but Speaker Say's office says it should be labeled 'SR'. There are questions though on whether that really makes a difference.

"The survivors are hurt, they're really hurt. If you look at some of the testimony they really put themselves on the line coming forward, going public with some of their stories. So it's disappointing," said Dara Carlin, a domestic violence advocate.

'SCR' stands for Senate Concurrent Resolution which means the House and Senate are involved.

'SR' stands for Senate Resolution, which means only the Senate is involved.

SCR91 calls for an investigative child custody task force made up of Senate members, no House members.

That's why Speaker Say's office says he refuses to pull it out onto the House floor for a full vote. A staff member says the House has nothing to do with the resolution.

"Initially we wanted the House and the Senate to both be involved. We were not too sure if the House wanted to do that. And so the proposal that went over to the House was basically a Senate investigative committee," said Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland.

The hope was that the House would support it.

And some lawmakers who wish to remain anonymous tell Hawaii News Now that technically, Speaker Say could've still pushed the resolution through, regardless of its label.

But with Thursday being the last day of the legislative session, time has run out.

Sen. Chun Oakland says interested lawmakers will still form the task force, just without the formal legislative stamp of approval.

The informal child custody task force is set to have its first meeting at the end of May.

Sen. Chun Oakland says they'll try to push for SCR91 again at next year's legislative session.

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