I signed a petition against the bills to gut our environmental reviews. SB755 now contains many of the exemptions, but other exemptions are in separate bills. County Plans and Zoning will be able to be ignored and citizen participation is minimized. SB 2927 allows for development projects in vicinity of rail and bus hubs to be exempt from county planning and zoning. The environmental laws enacted in the 1970s are under attack, and your help is needed. Please keep up the pressure.
The administration is doing everything possible to eliminate all impediments to State projects the Governor wants to implement in the name of jobs. The proposed legislation in these bills will eliminate environmental review and county plans and zoning and even building codes. These projects will be implemented with no opportunity for citizen review or oversight.
Many of these bills have been slipped into the process at the last minute. SB755 was a gambling bill that was gutted and the permit exemption language was inserted. It would have snuck through unnoticed except for Henry Curtis and Rep Thielen who alerted the environmental community.
SB755 is referred to FIN. Email Rep Oshiro at email@example.com or call his office at 586-6200 and ask him to hold SB755. If the bill is scheduled for a hearing you can submit testimony by going to capitol.hawaii.gov. Enter SB755 in the bill search box, then click on testimony and fill out the form.
Remember who voted for these terrible bills when it comes time for you to vote.