Bills Awaiting Governor's Signature - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Bills Awaiting Governor's Signature

Westin Ma Westin Ma
Sheela Sharma Sheela Sharma

By Mari-Ela David

HONOLULU (KHNL) - In a week, Hawai'i will have new laws in place - at least 69 of them, from on-site drug testing to a high-tech transformation of the state's economy.

More laws could be on the way as well, depending on what Governor Linda Lingle decides to do.

113 bills are on Governor Linda Lingle's desk.

On Monday, she has to tell the Legislature which bills she might veto - some could affect motorists.

Bills aimed to ease costs to the environment and costs to motorists are a decision away from possibly becoming law. One of the bills - a two-year general excise tax exemption on ethanol-based fuel. For motorists, that means a gallon of gas would be about $.10 cheaper.

"Oh that would help a lot, I mean like, it would take off the gas bill every month," says Westin Ma, a motorist from Kailua.

"Anything helps but 10 cents a gallon is a dollar a tankful so it doesn't make that much difference, it should go back down to where it was about $2 something a gallon," says motorist Regs Scanlan.

Savings at the pump is just a signature away from taking into effect. Governor Linda Lingle still needs to approve the bill. But the state has taken action to make sure oil companies aren't price gouging motorists. Sunday numbers show the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Hawaii is about 43 cents more expensive than the national average. But starting July 1st, oil companies will be required to report to the state why their fuel is so expensive.

Another bill aims to decrease gas emissions. If approved, lawmakers say Hawaii will become the first in the nation to try and reduce green house emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

"Hopefully the bill will be passed and also just the precedent the state would be setting nationwide as far as setting an example for other states in the union," says Sheela Sharma of Palolo, who uses biodiesel fuel.

The Governor may choose to let some bills become law without her signature.

As for vetoes, she has until July 10th to make a final decision.

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