What time is it?
Law time!Â That’s what.
The Hawaii Legislature has a little under a month left.Â This is the interesting point because the bills have crossed over and went through both the House and the Senate and back.Â This is the point of the session whereÂ bothÂ sidesÂ meet up in conference and decide the fate of the various bills that have survived the first year of the bi-ennium.Â
Now would be the time to look at what is actually left and make your calls to the Legislators to vote on what is left.Â That’s about all the public can do as there will no longer be any public hearings for the conference hearings.
So what happened to that taro bill or that appropriation for the cause in your community or that controversial issue?
Fear not, there is still another year for that HB(House Bill) or SB(Senate Bill) for that little known cause you are passionate about.Â So rally the troops for next session and hit them (the Legislators) early on in the session.Â Tip: Contact not only your Rep. or Senator, but the chairs of the respective committee that the Bill you’re interested in is referred too.
And if you don’t like a bill…Â In my humblest of opinions, chances are if it didn’t make it out this session,Â there isÂ an equally high chance that it willÂ not make it out next session unless some serious work and lobbying is done.Â
Why?Â Legislators will be introducing more bills into the mix in the ’08 session, in addition to the thousands that are currently in limbo, filed away, waiting for that hearing.Â I guess the hearing is likeÂ the NCAA Basketball Tournament: the Big Dance to become aÂ Champion; law in this case.Â
One also has to consider that our lawmakers our human and may or may not like a bill, killing it in committee as a result.Â Just part of what happensÂ in our “Representative Democracy”.Â
There’sÂ ultimately the Governor factor to figure in.Â It takes the signature of the Governor, the Honorable Linda Lingle, to make a bill for an act, into a law.Â Without it, nada, nathan, no mas.Â The Governor has the power to stall on something.Â That’s why some appropriations for money never see lightÂ for many years, oddly timedÂ with an election…
Then there’s the Veto power.Â With talk of the President vetoing Congress’ actions, there isn’t much need to go indepth about the Veto.Â
Do you get it?Â If you don’t, I can’t blame you, it’s such a complicated, convoluted, compacted chain of events that is hard to understand.Â I’d bet some of elected officials don’t quite understand it themselves.
Â Aloha ke Akua.