It’s like “waiting to exhale,” Kauai County Councilman Gary Hooser told Civil Beat recently.

He was referring to Kauai County Council Bill 2491. The county council, as well as many members of the public, are waiting anxiously to see whether Mayor Bernard Carvalho will veto the bill which requires biotech companies to disclose pesticide use and farmers to report any genetically engineered crops they are growing.

The mayor has until Thursday (Oct. 31) to decide what he’s going to do with the bill that passed two weeks ago at 4:30 a.m. after a marathon 18-hour plus hearing. He could veto the bill, sign it into law or allow it to take effect without his signature. 

Carvalho will likely wait until the final hour to make his decision, said Beth Tokioka, a spokeswoman for the mayor. “He’s been immersed in legal review since receiving the bill,” she said by email. 

The bill, introduced by Hooser and Councilman Tim Bynum, passed the county council with a 6 to 1 vote on October 16. The bill ostensibly has enough support to pass even if the mayor does veto it. The county council only needs five votes to override a veto. But it’s possible that not enough council members will support an override. As the hours wore on and haggling over amendments intensified during the bill’s final hearing, some council members seemed to waiver in their support.

During hearings, Carvalho pressed the county council to hold off on passing the bill while he worked with state officials to tighten regulations on pesticides. He said the bill could be difficult and costly to implement. The biotech industry has also threatened to sue the county if the bill passes. …

Loading Kauai Mayor Faces Deadline on Pesticide, GMO Bill

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