Hawaii Legislature Brings 47 Bills Back to Life

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

UPDATED Monday 4/30/2012 11:30 a.m.

In Lazarus-like fashion, the Hawaii Legislature on Sunday resurrected 47 measures that had failed to meet a Friday deadline.

They include bills to reform the state's crowded criminal justice system, help seniors and the homeless, eradicate the coffee berry borer beetle, develop space tourism and stimulate international travel to the islands.

The measures will be voted on quickly and en masse at a joint House and Senate meeting Monday morning.

The 47 bills had technically died because legislators did not agree to them by a 6 p.m. deadline Friday. That's because the House and Senate could not first agree on the supplemental budget.

That agreement finally came about 3 a.m. Saturday. And lawmakers said they recognized they had to give more time to important bills.

But they also set restrictions on what they would exempt. For example, the revived bills had to have already had general agreement among House and Senate conferees.

What's not included is Senate Bill 755, the one granting some state and county projects exemptions from environmental review — Speaker Calvin Say's top priority. It was never heard during conference committee.

Also dead is a plan to extend the increased daily rental-car surcharge to help fund rental car facilities at Honolulu and Kahului airports but also direct some money into state coffers.

Nor did lawmakers agree to the governor's plan for replenishing the state's Hurricane Relief and Rainy Day reserve funds.

Another big measure, the undersea cable bill which would put in place a framework to connect Oahu to neighbor islands to share electric power, did not pass by Friday's deadline and was not on the list of revived bills. But the measure could still move if the Senate agrees to House amendments.

What remains? House and Senate floor votes on Tuesday and Thursday, the day the 2012 session is scheduled to adjourn.

Here is a list of measures that Civil Beat was tracking through conference committee week. For a complete list of the 47 bills revived by the Legislature, click here.

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