HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The governor has vetoed a controversial bill that critics say would have crippled the aquarium fishing industry in Hawaii.
But environmentalists called the measure essential to protecting wildlife around coral reefs.
Senate Bill 1240 would have prohibited the state from issuing new permits to use fine meshed traps or nets for aquarium fishing. It also would have established sustainable take limits for aquarium fish.
In his veto message, Ige said thousands of people called and emailed his office to express their support or opposition to the proposal, which also generated national headlines.
"The one thing everyone can agree on is that one of Hawaii's most valuable resources, the coral reef, must be protected," Ige said.
He added that the state supports the establishment t of a sustainable policy for aquarium fishing.
But, he said, the science doesn't "support the claims made in this bill."
He also said that discussions have started to expand existing fishery replenishment areas from the Big Island to Oahu, capping permit numbers, addressing catch limits and establishing permit fees.
The aquarium fishing bill is one of 13 the governor vetoed Tuesday. Here are the others:
SB 410: RELATING TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
Would have broadened the scope of collective bargaining negotiations by requiring negotiations on the implementation of terms and conditions of employment, including making these violations grievable by employees who disagree with such working conditions.
SB 562: RELATING TO TORT LIABILITY
Would have required the state attorney general to defend any civil action or proceeding brought in any county, based on any negligent or wrongful act or omission of a lifeguard who provides lifeguard services at a state beach park.
HB 1414: RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION
Would have required the auditor to investigate and report on problems with the Department of Taxation's tax system modernization project.
HB 1309: RELATING TO GRANTS
Would have required the director of finance to seek repayment of operating grants appropriated by the state Legislature, if the grantee discontinues the activities or services approved in the grant.
SB 722: RELATING TO EFFICIENCY MEASURES
Would have required the director of finance and a selected state department to develop and implement the efficiency measures pilot project as part of the state's budget system.
SB 713: RELATING TO BUDGET DOCUMENTS
Would have required the six-year program and financial plan and budget to include information on tax expenditures.
SB 1588: RELATING TO GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS
Would have prohibited the issuance of general obligation bonds to finance the repair and maintenance of capital assets where the repair and maintenance costs incurred add value to, and prolong the life of the assets for a period of less than ten years.
SB 1073: RELATING TO THE STATE FOUNDATION ON CULTURE & THE ARTS
Would have appropriated funds to the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts to support its artist fellowship program.
SB 1074: RELATING TO THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HAWAII STATE CAPITOL
Would have appropriated funds to the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts to plan and coordinate the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Hawaii State Capitol.
HB 2: RELATING TO AGRICULTURE
Would have authorized the placement of "tiny homes" of 500 square feet or less of living space within the state agriculture district of Hawaii County. These "tiny homes" will be used by farm workers or their immediate families on land currently being used for agricultural production.
HB 727: RELATING TO MOTORCYCLES
Would have allowed the operator of a motorcycle or motor scooter to proceed cautiously between stopped lanes of traffic and on the shoulder lane of highways. The intent is to alleviate congestion and reduce the risk of injury or loss of life.
HB 627: RELATING TO PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS
Would have established the Office of Public-Private Partnerships within the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, and appropriate funds for a state public-private partnership coordinator position.