by: Mari-Ela David
HONOLULU (KHNL) - Despite the controversy swirling around Hawaii Superferry the past few months, Governor Linda Lingle still stands by the ship, determined to rescue this business deal from sinking.
"I don't see it as saving a company, I see it as saving an option for the people of Hawaii," she says.
On Tuesday, the Governor met with Senate President Colleen Hanabusa and House Speaker Calvin Say behind closed doors. The three discussed holding a special session to overrule the court decision on Maui.
"It's clearly the legislature's role to be able to come in and pass a law they feel carries out their intent and the intent of the public," says Governor Lingle.
Governor Lingle, Hanabusa and Say plan to get input from lawmakers about a bill that would let the Superferry operate while an environmental assessment is being conducted. They say the challenge is getting a consensus.
"We may have 51 members with 51 different opinions and in trying to get them together, that's a difficult task," says Rep. Say.
"That's why we can't make a decision without consulting our caucuses and asking them how they feel about that," says Sen. Hanabusa.
One of the Governor's concerns - news of this business deal gone bad will hurt Hawaii's business reputation. Another concern is the $40 million in reimbursible bonds the state will have to pay.
Whether those concerns are enough to trump a court decision, now lies in the hands of lawmakers.
The House Majority will hold an emergency caucus on the Superferry ruling Wednesday.
Hanabusa says the Senate will probably meet either Thursday or Friday.