Tag Archives: advocacy efforts

SB1171, which would allow construction projects to go forward without full surveys

For information only.  Not a policy of the Democratic Party.

You may be interested in this rally that the Hawaiian community is planning to oppose SB1171, which would allow construction projects to go forward without full surveys (such as the approach used for the H-3 project).  Tuesday April 30, 8:30-12:30, wear red.

Here is a summary of concerns regarding SB1171, the bill that they are trying to pass on Tuesday. The community needs to flip 5 senators to kill the bill:  http://www.oiwi.tv/channels/news/voice-concerns-sb117/

PLDC important update

For those of you who are not yet aware the Public Land Development Corporation is an agency mandated to maximize economic development projects on State Land.  Their projects are exempt from any permitting or zoning regulations.  This is among the worst legislation ever passed by the State.

Senator Thielen just announced that SB707 will be amended to make it a clean repeal bill.  We need to support this legislation provided promises are kept.

To see Senator Thielenʻs announcement click here

This is a powerful change in Senate attitude from blocking repeal to supporting it.  Thank you Senator Thielen for you hard work and negotiating skills.

SB620 last surviving styrofoam bill

This is the last surviving styrofoam reduction bill in the legislature.  Does anyone want to advocate for this bill.

Styrofoam has been identified a serious threat to all life in the sea.  It mimick food use by marine life and kills marine life and sea birds.

This bill is currently scheduled for hearing on 2/10 and must pass out of committee to survive.  This could be a very short commitment.  If you need help to advocate contact Bill at 258-4019 for some quick training in tracking and testifying.

Controlling styrofoam is high on the Caucus priority list.  How high will be determined by how many members choose to support this bill.

Testimony needed bills supporting invasive species control and watershed management

This announcement is posted courtesy of The Nature Conservancy.  It is not a position of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, but is one of the highest priorities of the Environmental Caucus

Please submit testimony in support of bills to be heard on Monday that will fund the DLNR’s watershed protection and invasive species control initiatives:

1.    HB 935 Re Conveyance Tax.  This Administration supported bill proposes to increase conveyance tax rates on properties ≥$2M to fund watershed protection and invasive species control.  Here are the particulars for Monday’s hearing:

ü  Bill text/status: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=935

ü  Hearing notice: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/hearingnotices/HEARING_HSG_02-11-13_.HTM

ü  Submit testimony: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx

2.    HB 357 Bag Fee. This Administration supported bill would place a 10¢ fee on single-use paper and plastic bags with 80% of the revenue going to the DLNR for watersheds and invasives.  The CPC hearing notice is not posted yet, but I will send that as soon as it is.

Talking Points:

 

·         The Rain Follows the Forest initiative is working to ensure fresh water is available for the people of Hawai‘i in perpetuity by protecting our watershed forests, a central goal of A New Day in Hawai‘i plan.

·         Healthy forests that are not overrun by invasive species efficiently capture and deliver fresh water into streams and aquifers for our use.

·         By pulling moisture from passing clouds, forests can actually increase water capture up to 50% more than through rainfall alone.

·         When forests are lost or degraded, Hawai‘i loses its source of fresh water.

·         More than half of Hawaii’s forests have been lost.  Historically, the threat was overharvesting and development.  Today’s threat is invasive plants and animals.

·         The longer we wait to take significant action, the higher the cost will be to reverse the damage, thereby threatening water supplies for future generations.

·         Forests also help mitigate erosion and runoff into our precious streams and coastlines.

·         Healthy forests will become even more critical as we experience the likely effects of climate change, including more severe storms but overall less rainfall, and temperature changes that may benefit invasive pests.

·         The conveyance tax bill would support this watershed protection through essential forest management programs, invasive species control, land acquisition, and other conservation programs.

·         The development and sale of real estate helps drive Hawaii’s economy, but it also puts pressure on our natural resources.  It makes sense to spend a portion of conveyance tax revenue on protecting those natural resources.

·         In recent years, enormous amounts have been invested in the development and sale of real estate, and continued investment in development and construction is helping to lift our economy out of recession.  Yet, we make a comparatively tiny investment in protecting the natural resources that also drive our economy and provide benefits that allow us to survive in the middle of the vast Pacific.

PLDC Leg Tracking as of 2/8/13

Senator Solomon refused to hear any of the PLDC bills assigned to her Water, Land and Housing Committee.  If she does the same when the House legislation crosses over the issue of the Public Land Development Corporation will be dead.  It is a tragedy when our right to discuss a critical public issue can be stopped by one legislator.

This is the status of the PLDC bills at this time. All Senate Bills are dead.  The House PLDC Bills will be heard tomorrow (Saturday) at 9AM in the Capitol Auditorium.  See the legislative details by clicking here.

Come and let you legislators know you think Act 55 must be repealed.

 

Repeal Act 55

The following post represents the position of the Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party and is not an official position of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

The House of Representatives is hearing a number of bills about the Public Lands Development Corporation tomorrow (Saturday). You can submit testimony simply by sending in an email (if this link doesn’t work, the email addresses are below). Suggested talking points are also below. Please include your name, the bill number you are supporting/opposing, and the date/time (Saturday, February 8, 9:00 a.m.).

I’m supporting HB 1133 and HB 589 as the two bills that would repeal the PLDC. I’m also opposing HB 942, HB 219, HB 593, and HB 1134 because they don’t repeal the PLDC.

But if you want to have a lot of fun, please join us in appearing in person. We’ll be at the State Capitol in the auditorium (located on the very bottom floor, near the parking area). Politicians are easily influenced by large groups of people. Let’s have a party together and make sure our voices are heard!

Environmental Caucus testimony follows:

Act 55 creates the Public Land Development Corp.(PLDC). The PLDC is mandated to maximize the dollar return from public lands.  Their mission is to enter into public/private partnerships to maximize the economic return from public lands.  Their focus is on tourist development.

So far so good.  Public/Private partnership have many benefits. But Act 55 his deeply flawed and must be repealed.

1. Act 55 exempts the PLDC from all permitting requirements including county zoning laws and building permits.  There is no reason government projects should be exempted from our laws designed to make sure all projects are will planned and designed.

2. Act 55 exempts the PLDC from the government procurement process.  This opens the door to fraud and corruption. 

3. Act 55 gives DLNR two Boards of Directors.  The PLDC can initiate projects which ignore the BLNR land use management plans.  The PLDC can do whatever it wants on public lands without significant citizen over site and without any consideration of existing management plans.

4. The Board of the PLDC is made up of 5 individuals whose expertise is in land development.  There are no land managers of cultural practitioners on their board.  Absolute control over all public land is tremendous power to give five people.

5. The PLDC has the authority to define the adjoining land owners who benefit from their development and assess their property for the cost of development infrastructure.  This places the infrastructure development costs on property owners rather on than on the developers.

There is much more wrong with Act 55 but I donʻt want to write a book.  Act 55 must be repealed and we must start over with proper safeguards and with public participation in the discussion.  You know that the legislation resulting in Act 55 was amended at the last minute and even most legislators didnʻt realize the changes when they voted.

Supporters of Act 55 say the weaknesses in the Act can be correct in rule making.  As legislators you understand that legislation provides the legal framework that guides Government.  Rules are immaterial when the enabling legislation is flawed.

Act 55 is deeply flawed and must be repealed.  However, while the community focuses on the PLDC the Administration has introduce legislation to create the HLDC.  The HLDC as proposed will be the PLDC on steroids.

Watch all proposals to eliminate permitting requirements from public project.  The Governorʻs efforts to expedite his projects without permitting “interference” must be stopped.

You can submit email testimony here:

WALtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov

EDNtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov

FINtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov

For more information about the Public Lands Development Corporation, please see GrandTheftAina.com.

PLDC repeal in jeopardy

This is not a position of the Democratic Party.  The Environmental Caucus supports repeal of Act 55 which created the Public Land Development Corporation.

The PLDC has the authority to sell State land and enter into long term leases on ceded land that is protected by the Constitution with no public oversite.  The PLDC can over ride the land management initiatives of the DLNR essentially turning DLNR into a real estate development agency.  The PLDC projects are excempt from any environment, Hawaiian Cultural and even County planning, building code and zoning regulations.  PLDC. at their discretion may hold one public hear on a project.  The may enter into a public/private partnership to facilitate any project without going to bid.

Supporters of Act 55 claim that the short commings of Act 55 can be corrected in the Rules developed by the PLDC to guide its operations.  In fact, only the law matters.

Senator Solomon introduced the legislation in the Senate that creating Act 55.  Now she is blocking all efforts to repeal this terrible legislation.

This introduction is authored by Bill Sager.  The following is thanks to Hawaii Thousand Friends:

ACTION NEEDED

Friday 2/2/13 on the Senate floor, Senator Malama Solomon, Chair of the Water and Land Committee, said that she will not hold a hearing on any of the Senate repeal PLDC bills, and that she will wait to see what crosses over from the House. 

The problem with this strategy is:  if a House repeal PLDC bill crosses over to the Senate but no Senate repeal PLDC bill crosses over to the House, the Senate committee chair can choose to not hold a hearing on any House repeal PLDC bill or can hold a hearing but not have a vote on the bill, thus making a repeal PLDC bill dead on arrival.

Act NOW. 

Contact Senate President Donna Mercado Kim  senkim@Capitol.hawaii.gov

and also contact your Senators and let them know you want the Senate to hear bills that will repeal PLDC.

Senators by Island 2013

List of all Senate repeal PLDC bills :

SB 1 – Introduced by Hee

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/SB1_.htm

SB 245 – Introduced by L. Thielen, Baker, Ihara, Ruderman, Slom

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=245  

SB 338 – Introduced by Keith-Agaran, Baker, English

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=338  

SB 480 – Introduced by English

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/SB480_.htm

SB 663 – Introduced by Green, Ruderman

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=663

SB 780 – Introduced by Slom

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=780

SB 958 – Introduced by Kim

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=958

 

Legislative Deadlines Looming

The first decking is March 1st.  That is when surviving bills will cross over to the opposite legislative body.  Any bill that does not cross over is dead.

The first lateral is must be filed by February 14.  That means a bill must be filed by the clerks office by the 14th so it can move to its final assigned committee.  With a 48hr notice of hearing, double referal bills must be schedule for a hearing by February 12 and triple referal bills must be scheduled for hearing in the second committee by February 5.

If you have a triple referral bill that has not been passed to the second committee, now is the time to bring pressure to have you bill heard. 
Know and understand the internal deadlines for your bill.  Organize you bills supporters and make your desire for a hearing known to the committee chair who is holding it up. 

Everyone needs to know the actions each legislator takes on important environmental legislation.  Let us know hear.

As a Democratic Party Caucus we cannot support one Democratic Legislator over another, but we can certainly share the voting record of our legislators.  We can also recognize supporters of good and bad legislation.

 

A fox in sheeps clothing

This analysis is thanks to Hawaii Thousand Friends.  It is not an official position of the Hawaii Democratic Party

 

– PLDC –
A new name, same purpose

HB 942 Harbors and Parks Development Authority (HPDA)

Click to access HB942_.pdf

Hearing on HB 942:  Wednesday 1/30
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/hearingnotices/HEARING_TRN_01-30-13_.HTM

Submit testimony online: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx

HB 942 – introduced by Souki by request (b/r) as part of Governor’s package
Converts PLDC to the Harbors and Parks Development Authority (HPDA) to “make optimal use of harbors and park lands” which would “serve the State and its people better if managed and developed into suitable recreational and leisure centers”
Defines all harbors and parks lands as all state boating facilities and parklands under DLNR
Gives HPDA the authority to identify harbors and park lands that are suitable for development such as:
State parks: Diamond Head (Oahu), Kokee (Kauai), Hapuna (Big Islnd), Makena Beach State Recreational Area (Maui), Palaau (Molokai)

Small boat harbors: Kaunakakai (Molokai), Manele (Lanai), Waianae (Oahu), Port Allen (Kauai), Honokohau (Big Island), Maalaea (Maui)
Like PLDC, HPDA can: do marketing analysis to determine the best revenue-generating programs for harbors and park lands; enter into public-private agreements to appropriately develop harbors and park lands
Permissible uses of harbors and park land same as PLDC: office space; vehicular parking; commercial uses; accommodations (i.e. hotels, homes, vacation rentals, time share); fueling facilities; storage and repair facilities; and seawater air conditioning plants.
Keeps same PLDC board structure substituting OHA administrator for Director of Finance
Like PLDC, HPDA shall prepare the Hawaii harbors and park land optimization plan
Like PLDC, harbors and park land planning activities of the authority shall be coordinated with county planning departments, county land use plans, policies and ordinances
Like PLDC, HPDA HRS 171C-8 states “All harbors and park lands optimization projects, land development plans developed by the authority SHALL be approved by the board. (Note: No set of rules can mitigate or over rule the word SHALL because it is in the law. Leaving no opportunity for denial)
DLNR cannot transfer harbors or park lands in fee simple to HPDA
Like PLDC, HPDA creates the Harbors and Parks development revolving fund; can acquire by condemnation, real, personal or mixed property for public facilities including streets, sidewalks, parks, schools and other public improvements
HPDA can seek assistance from HDCA (Hawaii Community Development Authority) regardless of whether the development opportunities are within a community development district which are: Kaka`ako, Kalaeloa (Barbers Point) and Heeia on Oahu and Hamakua on the Big Island.
Adds PLDC Chapter 171C to the definition of “public work” under Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) 104 Wages and Hours of Employees on Public Works
Deletes “public school special fund” which can now be found in SB 237  http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=237
Deletes “project facility program” which can now be found in HB 557  http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/HB557.htm

Hearing re: Public Land Development Corporation

This article does not reflect the official position of the Hawaii Democratic Party

Repeal of the Act 55 which created the Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC) is among the highest priorities of the Environmental Caucus.  This is an important hearing because it takes a comprehensive look at the PLDC and the legislation that has been introduced to either repeal or amened the PLDC.

Act 55 creates the PLDC and gives it powers to enter into public/private partnerships to develop state land to maximize tourism.  It gives the PLDC unlimited power to sell or enter into 85 year leases with developers.  It can do this with out a bid and without public review.  Act 55 excludes the PLDC from any permitting requirements and requires only one public hearing.  The PLDC has the right to designate the area around their development which will benefit from the development and access the landowners within that area with a tax to pay for the infrastructure required by the development.  Land owners who cannot pay the assessment will loose their property.

The administration says these problems will be addressed by the rules the PLDC develops to govern its activities.  Attorneys who have reviewed the law tell us that rules are much easier to change and only what is in the law really matters.

The bottom line is Act 55 is deeply flawed and should be repealed.  At the very least, Act 55 must be amended to provide for transparency and removed the exemption from permitting requirements.

If you cannot give testimony personally, pleae email your testimony to the committees assigned to hear the bills you are interested in.  Go to capitol.hawaii.gov and register.  Once registered, you can track bills, get hearing notices and submit testimony.  If you have questions, call the Public Access Room at 587-0478

**************

Press release announcing hearing.

House of Representatives Takes First Step to Address the Public Land Development Corporation

The House Committee on Water and Land has scheduled a hearing on Saturday, February 9, 2013 regarding the abolishment of the Public Land Development Corporation or alternatives to achieve the original intent to generate revenue from public land.

In response to public frustration over the manner in which the Public Lands Development Corporation was created, how its rules were promulgated, the broad powers granted to the organization, and the lack of public input and participation in that process, the House Committee on Water and Land will be hearing bills that will either repeal the Public Land Development Corporation altogether, amend, or start from scratch and create a new agency that will provide far greater community input and oversight.

“As the Chair of Water and Land I am approaching the issue from the standpoint of repeal,” said Rep. Cindy Evans (District 7, North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala). “The PLDC cannot exist as is, something has to change; however, I am open to options and the most compelling argument will move forward.”

Rep. Nicole Lowen (District 6, Kailua-Kona) Vice-Chair of the Committee on Water and Land stated, “My community has expressed serious concerns about the PLDC, particularly about exemptions from planning, zoning and environmental laws. This legislation was passed with very little public oversight the first time around, and, this time, the public deserves to have a voice in the political process.”

“The people I have spoken with on Maui who understand the implications of PLDC support a full repeal. While I recognize the need for increased DLNR revenue and improved public land efficiencies, we must achieve these goals without posing a threat of undermining public input or skirting environmental regulations” said Rep. Kaniela Ing (District 11, South Maui). “The people, especially on the neighbor islands, are saying “try again” – we, as lawmakers, need to listen to them.”

Contact:
Office of Representative Cindy Evans 808-586-8510