HONOLULU ? After reviewing 293 measures passed by the 2013 Hawaii State Legislature, Gov. Neil Abercrombie today notified legislators of his intent to veto nine bills.
As required by the State of Hawaii Constitution, the Governor must provide 10 working days? notice for any measures that he may veto by July 9, 2013. As such, these bills are still under consideration and further review.
“I greatly respect the legislative process and the work of individual legislators in forming public policy,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “This past session resulted in meaningful measures that will ultimately benefit the people of Hawaii. However, there may be difficulty in implementing some of these bills as they are currently written, and there are other measures that require further consideration.”
The following bills are on the Governor’s intent-to-veto notice:
· HB763 (Relating to the State Building Code)
· SB1265 (Relating to Contracts)
· HB619 (Relating to Feral Birds)
· HB988 (Relating to Native Wildlife)
· HB424 (Relating to Timeshare Conveyances)
· HB654 (Relating to Nursing)
· HB1130 (Relating to the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation)
· SB3 (Relating to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs)
· SB68 (Relating to Sentencing)
Most of these bills are potentially objectionable because of concerns, raised by state departments or agencies, reflected in testimonies provided during the hearing process. The purpose of the notice is to allow sufficient time for the Governor to give additional consideration, have further discussions and inquiries, and conduct deeper analysis before he makes his final decision.
In addition, the Governor notified the Legislature of his plan to line-item veto SB909 (Relating to Making Appropriations for Collective Bargaining Cost Items). Specifically, the Governor will use his line-item authority to veto the funding of the bill associated with the rejected Bargaining Unit 13 settlement offer.
To date, Gov. Abercrombie has signed more than 172 measures into law. The Governor continues to review legislative bills that he must either veto or sign into law by July 9, 2013, or allow them to become law without his signature.
HONOLULU – Gov. Neil Abercrombie released a statement late Friday regarding the Hawaii State Legislature passing SB 1093 CD1, which establishes the school readiness program within the Early Learning System. This legislation builds upon the existing Preschool Open Doors, a Department of Human Services program that already provides some services for our young children.
Gov. Abercrombie stated: “This is a great start. I am very pleased that Senate Bill 1093 has passed and I’m grateful to our legislators for recognizing this important step for the future of our keiki.
“The State of Hawaii can now demonstrate its commitment to preparing our youth by ensuring that high quality childcare and early education will be available, accessible and affordable.
“The priority will be to serve the low-income and some middle income families. We are pleased that the amount provided by the Legislature will allow us to serve the children with the highest need, those most at risk of not attending a preschool program.”
Gov. Neil Abercrombie has invited the Maui community to meet members of his Cabinet and share information vital to the Valley Isle. The event will include breakout sessions focused on areas of greatest importance to the people of Maui, as identified by Maui legislators and community members.
“Governor’s Cabinet in Your Community” on Maui
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
UH Maui College, Ike Lea Auditorium
Gov. Neil Abercrombie
Department of Agriculture Chairperson Russell Kokubun
Budget Director Kalbert Young
State Energy Administrator Mark Glick
Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Chairperson Jobie Masagatani
Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy and Deputy Director
(Environmental Health Administration) Gary Gill
Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairperson William J. Aila, Jr.
Department of Transportation Director Glenn Okimoto, Deputy Director
(Airports) Ford Fuchigami, and Deputy Director (Harbors) Randy Grune
HONOLULU – As promised in his 2013 State of the State address, Gov. Neil Abercrombie today established by executive order the Hawaii Refinery Task Force to assess the impacts of Tesoro’s announcement to close its Hawaii refinery.
“I am tasking this group to investigate the impacts of Tesoro’s impending closure on Hawaii’s fuel supply and economy to ensure a reliable and competitive fuels market,” said Gov. Abercrombie.
“The purpose of the task force is to identify strategies and actions that the state should consider to promote a smooth and stable transition to meet Hawaii’s energy needs as our fuels market evolves,” said Richard Lim, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, who will lead the task force. “It is essential that we begin the process of planning for a future fuels ecosystem that best serves our state.”
Comprised of 29 members from the public and private sectors, the task force is charged with presenting short-term findings and recommendations to the Governor within 60 days of a refinery closure. The task force must also submit an interim and final written report of its activities and recommendations to the Governor by Sept. 30, 2013, and the final day of the 2014 legislative session, respectively.
View the executive order here:
HONOLULU – Following some of the most severe forest fires in Kauai’s history, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has issued an executive order allowing the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to proceed with emergency actions in response to the Kauai fires of summer 2012. The three fires were the largest and most significant wildfires on Kauai island since the 1960s.
“Having this emergency proclamation in place will empower DLNR to act swiftly to purchase materials and implement the necessary actions to prevent further serious environmental damage,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “The order will also aid in the conversion of a forest dominated by non-native species to a greater abundance of native forest and understory species for improved watershed health.”
Between May and August 2012, approximately 3,000 acres burned in West Kauai, including 1,012 forest acres burned in the Na Pali-Kona Forest Reserve, Puuka Pele Forest Reserve and Kuia Natural Area Reserve, damaging or putting at risk local wildlife and native ecosystems. Immediate action is needed to stabilize and quickly revegetate denuded slopes and minimize the long-term ecological impacts to the mauka forests and marine ecosystems from heavy rains, downed woody debris and runoff.
The emergency proclamation’s principal objectives are to:
“We are confident these timely actions will help reduce imminent hazards to public safety and natural resources. We are working to ensure that the best local and regional knowledge is utilized in short- and long-term mitigation efforts,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson.
Since August, DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife has already taken critical remediation steps to reduce harmful environmental conditions and ensure public safety. These actions include continued closure of sections of two forest reserves for public safety, until further notice; hazard tree removal from forest reserve roads by a team of statewide foresters; surveying and mapping all of the burned areas; acquisition of a significant amount of grass seeds to be used in a large scale soil stabilization effort; and ongoing consultation with local and regional experts to develop a short- and long-term forest restoration management plan.
Kauai Forest and Grassland Fires of Summer 2012
Last summer, Kauai County and state firefighters collaborated in battling three fires that burned a combined 3,000 acres and cost $840,000 in DLNR firefighting costs alone:
The Governor’s emergency proclamation can be viewed here:
HONOLULU – In his third State of the State address, Gov. Neil Abercrombie today outlined plans to maximize the state’s sound fiscal footing and improving economy by focusing on business innovation, food and energy security, and early childhood education.
“Two years ago, our administration had just taken office amidst an extremely difficult fiscal and economic outlook,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “But as a result of our collaborative efforts, shared sacrifice and judicious administrative action, we have made clear progress and are again looking at a healthy positive balance. Now, we must move from the status quo and provide for future generations of Hawaii.”
To further economic improvement, the Governor has asked Lt. Gov. Shan S. Tsutsui to take a lead role in expediting investment in the state’s economy via construction, repair and maintenance projects and public private ventures. These long-range investments, including capital improvement projects, have already helped to stimulate the island economy and generate local jobs while improving public infrastructure and facilities.
Furthermore, the Governor proposed the creation of the “HI Growth Initiative,” a new state investment program focused on building a vibrant environment for innovation that supports entrepreneurial high-growth businesses and creates high-wage jobs. The program will engage with the private sector to startup and grow creative and innovative companies.
To strengthen the local agriculture industry, he proposed aggressive promotion of state agency purchases of Hawaii agricultural products to provide a consistent and regular market for goods. The administration will also work to increase access to capital for local farmers and ranchers by expanding the state Department of Agriculture’s loan programs.
The Governor also highlighted the potential of minimum wage earners to provide an immediate infusion of dollars into the economy, announcing that he will be proposing a bill to increase the minimum wage by $1.50 to $8.75 beginning in January 2014. “Everyone is worthy of their labor,” he said. “Industry and corporations do not lack for support in these halls. Neither should those who work the hardest for the least return.”
In the area of energy, the Governor proposed embarking on a clear path toward increased use of liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as the establishment of the Hawaii Refinery Task Force to serve as a collaboration of government energy industries and utilities to immediately work on short-term and long-term findings and recommendations.
“LNG will reduce energy costs and reduce our carbon footprint because the resource is abundant, available, and the technology exists for us to use it now,” he said. “Our state, our residents, our constituents, our businesses and communities need relief. To do nothing puts everyone in the state at risk.”
Additionally, a new financing mechanism, administered by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, will be developed to help residents, businesses and organizations to take advantage of energy options.
To maintain the state’s current fiscal stability and outlook, the Governor proposed recapitalizing the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund and Rainy Day Fund and, as detailed in the administration’s 2013-2015 fiscal biennium budget presented last month, proposed addressing long-term liabilities by budgeting $100 million starting next fiscal year, with plans to continue to pursue payment in the coming years.
“And then there is the greatest unfunded liability question of all – the failure to address early childhood development and education in Hawaii,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Leaving our keiki unprepared for elementary school puts them at a crippling disadvantage in terms of being able to meet the demands the future will make on them.”
The Governor reaffirmed his commitment to giving keiki the best opportunity for school success and a strong early childhood education program. The administration has included $32.5 million for the Executive Office on Early Learning in the biennium budget for a school readiness program.
The Governor also proposed addressing Hawaii’s aging population.
“As we look to the future, we must never forget where we came from, and to whom we owe our gratitude,” he added, announcing that he will be asking the Legislature to increase the Kupuna Care budget by $4.2 million and make it permanent.
“Those who came before us, sacrificed to help build our state and create the foundation upon which we stand today. By being part of the permanent base for the Department of Health and the Executive Office on Aging, we can allow programs to properly plan and rely upon a steady stream of funding. This should be seen as an investment that will pay immediate dividends as the aging population of Hawaii both grows in numbers and lives longer.”
To read the entire State of the State address, go to: http://governor.hawaii.gov/2013-state-of-the-state/
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