Local Connection: Legislature - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Legislature

With this week's state-of-the-state speech from the governor and a low-key opening day, Hawaii's legislature is in full swing.

We appreciate that they've heard from the public and set homelessness at the top of their agenda.

But another, and perhaps an even more important goal in the long run…is to rebuild public confidence in their government.

To do this, they must end a practice that happens every year to at least one high-profile issue.

Powerful committee chairs can kill a proposal, even if most lawmakers support it simply by not holding a hearing or delaying a vote past the deadline. The reason is rarely adequately explained. But special interest groups - like unions or certain industries - are usually in the wings.

Other lawmakers rarely complain because it might cost them what little slice of power they've bought with their loyalty. They don't realize that they are selling out their constituents in the process.

It's often said that laws and sausage have one thing in common - you don't want to see how either is made. But we do. Even when it turns our stomach.

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