by: Paul Drewes
(KHNL) - On Monday, Governor Linda Lingle announced her list of bills she may veto to lawmakers.
When the Governor made up her list, it includes bills she feels could face legal challenges or have potential fiscal impacts, but it also includes a bill supported by most lawmakers and at one time the governor herself.
Crossing the street is a dangerous thing to do here in Hawaii.
"We're talking about 33 fatalities every year, in addition to that we have 1-2 pedestrians hit every day, and every year we have an average of 600 pedestrians who get injured." says AARP State Director, Barbara Kim Stanton.
But a bill passed by lawmakers took aim at lowering those numbers. And initially, even the Governor was on board. "I testified in support of the bill in session." says Lingle.
The bill would set aside three million dollars to improve the timing of crosswalks,
making them better marked and safer to cross.
But that bill may not be allowed to cross into law as the Governor added it to her potential veto list. Because the funding for the measure would come from the state's highway fund. "Our state highway fund has been dropping in balance and we have a backlog of traffic projects and I don't feel comfortable knowing we would lose that money that would get matched by the federal government." says the Governor.
But supporters of the bill feel the Governor's action makes safety take a step back.
"This is an important measure meant to help pedestrians, to show them they are more important than roads, so to have the Gov. put it on the veto list, it sends the wrong message to the community." says Stanton.
Meanwhile many who walk along our roads are left waiting. For some sign our streets will get safer.