Governor Lingle's Vetoes and Legislature Overrides - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Governor Lingle's Vetoes and Legislature Overrides

1.        HB0030 - Relating to international trade agreements

        Explanation:  This bill places Hawai‘i's firms at a disadvantage regarding tariffs and access to international markets.  In most other states international trade and procurement activities are approved by the Governor.  This bill prohibits Hawai‘i's Governor from approving an international trade agreement without legislative approval and would require notification to the Senate President and House Speaker to convene a special session to approve an agreement.  Forty-eight other states vest approval authority exclusively with the Governor.

2.         HB0091 - Relating to public accountancy  

        Explanation:        This bill makes it harder for persons to get the workplace experience necessary to qualify for licensure as a certified public accountant by eliminating accounting and auditing in the private or government sectors as qualifying experience.  This bill also lowers the educational requirements necessary for licensure as a certified public accountant by eliminating the requirement that an applicant for a CPA license have either a bachelor's degree in accounting or a bachelor's in another subject combined with eighteen semester hours of upper division or graduate level accounting or auditing subjects.  According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Hawai‘i would become the only state to allow persons to sit for the CPA exam without an educational concentration in accountancy.

3.        HB0310 - Relating to technology  

        Explanation:        This bill creates a 15-member Broadband Task Force solely appointed by the Senate President and House Speaker and fails to recognize the proper location within the state government for this function.  The bill instructs the Office of the Legislative Auditor to provide staff support rather than the Department of Accounting and General Services which has management responsibility for the state's internet, website, and communications activities.  The Auditor's primary duties are to conduct post audits of government spending and determine if improper financial activities have occurred.

4.        HB0436 - Relating to human services  

        Explanation:        This bill mandates that chiropractic services shall be covered for purposes of Medicaid fee-for-service and QUEST state provided health care plans.  This obligates the state to pay for this coverage without prescribed limits and regardless of the budget impact.  

5.        HB0718 - Relating to Kaka‘ako  

        Explanation:        This bill is unconstitutional because it sets aside two specific parcels, known as the old ice chute and the fuel dock operations building site, for the continued use of the Kewalo Keiki Fishing Conservancy, which violates Article XI, Section 5 of the Hawai‘i State Constitution. Additionally, a 2002 environmental report found benzene, lead, asbestos and other hazardous chemicals at the site.

6.        HB0855 - Relating to workers' compensation  

        Explanation:        This bill allows an employee to continue receiving workers' compensation medical treatment during an ongoing dispute over the necessity and reasonableness of that care, even if a doctor has declared the employee fit to return to work.  This bill also restricts the workers' compensation rulemaking authority of the Director of Labor and Industrial Relations, which is granted to other executive branch department heads, by requiring the Director to submit proposed rules for approval by both houses of the Legislature.  Without prior approval by the legislature, the rules cannot be sent to the Governor.  

7.        HB1270 - Relating to state planning  

        Explanation:        This bill requires the Auditor to continue to prepare the 2050 sustainability plan, a function outside of the scope of the Auditor's duties, further delays the issuance of the plan, and appropriates an additional $850,000 to the project, bringing the total in state expenditures to $1.7 million.  The task force failed to present a sustainability plan to the Legislature even with the extension granted to it in 2006 and has spent a significant amount of state funds with no report to date.

8.        HB1503 - Relating to employment  

        Explanation:        This bill adversely impacts employers and employees by requiring businesses that are going through bankruptcy or restructuring their finances to prematurely notify their employees and the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations of a possible closure.  Requiring public disclosure may negatively impact the very employees this bill seeks to help by jeopardizing the owner's efforts to reconstitute their business.  Lenders and financial institutions will be understandably hesitant to provide funding, renegotiate leases, extend credit terms, or take other actions if they believe the business is going to close.  Likewise, customers are more prone to take their business elsewhere and employees may seek other jobs, thus further negatively impacting those who remain with the firm.  Additionally, this bill has reporting deadlines that are inconsistent with the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1989.

9.        HB1605 - Relating to traffic control  

        Explanation:        This bill diverts $400,000 from the State Highway Fund for a traffic control center exclusively on Maui that is not part of the approved State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) and is not included in the Maui County budget.  This bill could be amended in special session by the Legislature to use moneys from the state's general fund.

10.        HB1659 - Relating to procurement  

        Explanation:        This bill would use public taxpayer moneys to pay for booths, trade mission expenses, conference fees and related costs that benefit private, for-profit corporations.  This bill would also diminish public-private state and business opportunity endeavors, such as trade missions by requiring donations and contributions from businesses to go into the state's general fund, rather than be used for the specific purpose intended.

11.        HB1670 - Relating to the ingenuity charter  

        Explanation:        This bill creates the Hawai‘i Ingenuity Company, a private, for-profit, non-stock, limited liability company within Hawai‘i statutes that would have no attachment with any state department, not be subject to Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs oversight, and open the state to potential legal challenges.  Because this bill exempts this corporation from DCCA oversight, while other limited liability corporations are subject to State requirements, this bill may result in a challenge under the equal protection clause of the Constitution.  Because this bill embeds a private corporation within state law, the bill could make the State legally liable for the acts of a private firm.  Additionally, this bill appropriates $30,000 in general funds to capitalize the corporation.  This appropriation of public funds to a private entity violates Article VII, Section 4 of the State Constitution.  The bill fails to give inventors voting rights in the Corporation and gives them few financial benefits.

12.        HB1764 - Relating to the issuance of revenue bonds to assist Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporations or any of its regional subsidiary corporations  

        Explanation:        SB1792 sets up regional boards for the governance of Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) hospitals. This bill should be vetoed because SB1792 will become law.  Otherwise, if SB1764 becomes law only Maui and the Statewide Hospital Board will be able to issue revenue bonds, denying hospitals on Kaua‘i, O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island from being able to do so.

13.        HB1818 - Relating to government employees

        Explanation:        This bill requires the Governor to submit nominations for heads of departments no later than the 41st day of the regular session of the Legislature.  If a vacant office is not filled within sixty days of the vacancy, then the "highest ranking" and "most senior officer in a civil service position" of a respective department will serve as the temporary executive.  While the intent of this bill is understandable, enactment could lead to situations where an employee with little or no management experience may oversee hundreds or thousands of employees, millions of dollars, and programs that are far beyond the scope of the individual's experience.   Filling these senior positions requires an appropriate assessment of skill level, ability, competency, attitude, and personal commitment to serve.

14.        HB1830 - Relating to child protection  

        Explanation:        This bill provides immunity from prosecution for a person who abandons a newborn baby who is less than 72 hours old.  This bill allows anyone to leave the newborn regardless of whether the individual is in legal possession or related to the infant and without genealogical or medical history about the child.  This bill provides no safeguards to protect the rights of both parents or extended family members such as grandparents.  The infant would be placed at a disadvantage regarding eligibility for blood-quantum based programs.

15.        SB0046 - Relating to government operations  

        Explanation:        This bill requires the University of Hawai‘i, Board of Regents, to publicly disclose proposed compensation, or any change in compensation, for high-level administrative positions in the University system.  Requiring proposed compensation to be disclosed for public comment prior to a contract being negotiated and executed damages the University's ability to negotiate a contract favorable to the University and taxpayers.  This bill infringes upon the employee's right to privacy and is inconsistent with existing sunshine laws.

16.        SB0613 - Relating to education  

        Explanation:        This bill requires the Department of Education to prematurely implement a series of early childhood education program changes before the Early Learning Educational Task Force, set up by Act 259 of 2006, has completed its work.  The Department of Education testified against this bill.

17.        SB0755 - Relating to County Ethics Commissions  

        Explanation:        This bill infringes upon home rule by requiring each county to adopt an ordinance, which creates an "independent body" that will select members for each county ethics commission.  This process conflicts with existing law, which requires each county ethics commission to be established by charter.

18.        SB0837 - Relating to agriculture  

        Explanation:        This bill presents a potential legal liability to the state because it includes lands within the City Urban Growth Boundary in ‘Ewa for purchase by the Agribusiness Development Corporation as agricultural lands using $9.2 million in general funds.  It also would allow expenditure of taxpayer funds to purchase agricultural lands at a publicized asking price from a large private landowner rather than using the state's power of eminent domain to purchase the property at fair market value.  The Legislature has the ability to amend this bill to authorize the use of condemnation through eminent domain.

19.        SB0870 - Relating to the designation of Hawai‘i archaeological data survey  

        Explanation:        This bill may result in an unconstitutional taking because it requires the Bishop Museum, a private, non-profit organization, to make available through an on-line database its collection of archaeological material without compensation.  Disclosing the location of these items could cause security issues and place the items in jeopardy.  Additionally, such disclosure appears to violate the Federal Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

20.        SB0932 - Relating to a comprehensive offender reentry system  

        Explanation:        This bill endangers the well-being of inmates, compromises the safety of the community, exposes the state to costly litigation and provides only a single year of funding for programs with multi-year impacts.  This bill unrealistically requires the Department of Public Safety to return inmates from the mainland at least 1-year prior to their parole or release date to participate in inmate reentry programs without ensuring adequate facilities to house them and without considering the inmate's completion of rehabilitation programs.  It also establishes unrealistic expectations that inmates will be incarcerated in facilities nearest their families without providing a means to do so.

21.        SB0946 - Relating to administrative license revocation  

        Explanation:        This bill will reduce the deterrent impact of the lifetime driver's license revocation law for intoxicated drivers by allowing these high-risk offenders back on the roads, jeopardizing public safety.  An individual is subjected to a lifetime revocation when he or she has had three or more prior alcohol or drug related driving violations within a ten-year period.  The lifetime revocation provision is intended to protect the offender and others from the chronic offender's own highly dangerous conduct and should remain an option to address the serious problem of impaired driving in Hawai‘i.

22.        SB1004 - Relating to psychologists  

        Explanation:        This bill allows psychologists to prescribe psychotropic drugs to patients of all ages and medical conditions without the required medical expertise, formal education, or training.  It allows psychologists with a prescription certificate to practice outside of federally qualified health centers and to do so without the supervision of a physician, such as a psychiatrist.

23.        SB1060 - Relating to workers' compensating law  

        Explanation:        This bill permanently removes the workers' compensation rule-making powers of the director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and permanently prohibits the director from amending or repealing existing workers' compensation administrative rules.  This bill also requires an employer and/or the employer's insurer to continue paying for medical services and temporary total disability benefits during a workers' compensation dispute, until the director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations makes a decision that such benefits should be terminated.  This minimizes the employers and the insurer's chance of recovering overpayments.

24.        SB1066 - Relating to invasive species  

        Explanation:        This bill imposes a new fee on marine commercial containers exclusively, despite other possible invasive species entry modes into Hawai‘i.  Assessing a new fee only on marine shipments, while using the fee for inspection of other modes of cargo shipment, could be subject to legal challenge.  Additionally, passage of this bill would make it difficult to defend against efforts by other jurisdictions, most notably California, to impose fees on containers coming into Hawai‘i.

25.        SB1191 - Relating to pedestrian safety

        Explanation:        This bill will appropriate $3.0 million over two years for county pedestrian improvements.  Even though the underlying purpose is good, it is not appropriate to subsidize county programs solely with the State Highway Fund while the counties receive funds through the county fuel taxes.  The State Highway Fund has been depleted over the past several years and is not the proper source of funding for this undertaking.  This bill can be amended by the Legislature in special session to ensure the moneys for pedestrian safety come from the general fund.  

26.        SB1922 - Relating to creative media

        Explanation:        This bill appears to violate Section 5 of Article XI of the Hawai‘i Constitution by requiring the University of Hawai‘i to lease a specific property to a specific private party (PBS) at no cost and on specific terms and conditions.  University of Hawai‘i autonomy provides the Board of Regents "exclusive jurisdiction over the internal structure, management and operation of the University".   The land on which the PBS Hawai‘i facility is located was granted to the University by Executive Order 1807, which provides in pertinent part that "the public land hereinafter described is hereby set aside for the following public purposes: For Educational Purposes, to be under the control and management of the Board of Regents of the University of Hawai‘i."  The Bill violates the terms on which the University holds the land by setting aside the authority of the Board of Regents to control and manage the land and substituting the Legislature's determination of how the land should be used for the Regents.  This bill can be amended in special session by the Legislature to delete the unconstitutional provision.

27.        SB1988 - Relating to honey  

        Explanation:        This bill regulates the labeling and advertising of honey products in interstate commerce, which may violate the Commerce Clause and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  This bill could be challenged as an impermissible burden on interstate commerce because it regulates manufacturers and advertisers outside of Hawai‘i who deal with products that contain at least a portion of Hawai‘i-produced honey but who sell their products both in Hawai‘i and elsewhere.  The labeling requirements may also face a First Amendment challenge as a restriction on commercial speech not narrowly tailored to prevent the misleading of consumers.


List of Overriden Bills

11 in total

HB # 30 (international trade agreements)

HB # 310 (broadband technology)

HB # 718 (Kewalo keiki Fish conservancy)

HB # 1270 (state planning)

HB # 1503 (employment)

HB # 1605 (traffic control)

HB # 1830 (child protection - safehavens)


SB # 932 (comprehensive offender registry)

SB # 1066 (invasive species)

SB # 1191 (pedestrian safety)

SB # 1922 (creative media)



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