Gas Cap Remains in Legislative Limbo

(KHNL)  With prices at the pump going up and down for months on end, the gas cap remains a magnet for criticism at the State Capitol.

"We've got all kinds of facts and figures in here except the number one fact and figure, the gas cap is a failure," said Republican Sen. Sam Slom.

House lawmakers prefer to suspend the gas cap and force oil companies to reveal information about their pricing practices. It's not clear if that position will prevail by the end of the current legislative session.

"It's a long way between now and then but I think the senate will be open to evaluating our proposal," said Rep. Marcus Oshiro, House Majority Leader.

The gas cap still has support in the Senate, which is pushing changes it says could save consumers an extra 16-cents per gallon.

"Although gas prices in hawaii remain high, the fact is that our gas pricing regulation, while not perfect has benefited consumers," said Sen. Ron Menor, Consumer Protection chairman.

While many tax reform proposals are not advancing, lawmakers said the idea is not dead just yet. With the state projecting an additional $50 million in tax revenue, some lawmakers say there's still room in their financial plan to consider tax reform.

"That's good news because that means we will be able to consider some of the tax proposals that are being looked at right now," Oshiro said.

Senate President Robert Bunda has pushed for expanding the state income tax brackets.

"It gives me great hope we can do something about tax reform," Bunda said. "Obviously we need to be careful as well because we need to look at the areas that need funding."