Lawmakers hold special session to override vetoes - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lawmakers hold special session to override vetoes

Senate President Colleen Hanabusa Senate President Colleen Hanabusa
Rep. Blake Oshiro Rep. Blake Oshiro
Rep. Josh Green Rep. Josh Green

By Leland Kim - bio | email

HAWAII STATE CAPITOL (KHNL) - A record number of bills were vetoed by Governor Linda Lingle, R-Hawaii.  Forty one bills were shot down Tuesday at about 12:30 pm, but some of them have a chance at new life.

Bills on the veto list run the gamut: from public housing to education and workers comp, and even medical marijuana.  Both the House and the Senate came back for a special session today, and they're voting to decide which bills to save.

Lawmakers started their day early Tuesday morning, getting ready to look over Governor Lingle's veto list.  Once the 41-item list came down, both the Senate and the House quickly examined it.

"I'm surprised when you find bills in there that either don't have any major implications or are policy statements the legislature has passed," said Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Senate President.  "That the governor feels it is incumbent on herself to veto the bill or send an objection."

The House wants to save at least six bills, including one on early education.

"It is a small step but we have to get started because we are committed to getting children educated as early as possible," said Rep. Blake Oshiro, D-Aiea, Pearlridge, Halawa Heights.

For the Senate, the list is longer: 34 bills.

"It would seem to me, unless a bill has violations of the Constitution or there's money implications and the governor wants to make it clear she's not going to release funds or something along those lines," said Sen. Hanabusa.

But some good news coming out of the governor's office: one of the bills she passed is the "Medical Corps Bill," which pays back doctors' medical school loans if they agree to work in rural areas.

"This will mean people will get to see an oncologist -- a cancer doctor -- a heart doctor, an emergency room doctor, a family medicine doctor much more easily," said Rep. Josh Green, (D) Big Island, who is a physician in the Kona community.

Lawmakers have until midnight Tuesday to come up with a final override list.  Many expect to have things wrapped up by early evening.

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