Tag Archives: Hawaii Legilsature

Legislative Wrapup 2013

Thanks to Donna Wong of Hawaii Thousand Friends here is a legislative wrap for bills she was tracking.  Caucus member please do a wrap for those bills you were tracking.  It is important for us all to know how are legislators voted on important bills. Click here

Testimony needed

Repeal PLDC.  Sen Solomon is playing political games again.  Tell her to pass a clean bill.  Click here for details.

Support Watershed Management and Invasive Spp control. Click here for details.

ACTION ALERT – Testimony needed – PLDC is back

This is not a position of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.  It is information provided by Hawaii Thousand Friends.

 

Thanks to Hawaii Thousand Friends we have the following information:Next Tuesday 3/5, the entire Senate will vote on THREE bad bills.Including SB 215 SD2, a PLDC look-alike. 

Send opposition testimony on these bad bills to all senators or contact your senator here:   

Senators by Island  

 See article on PLDC-like SB 215:       

“New Development Authority Moves a Step Closer to Reality”  

SB 215 SD2 Relating to Economic Development (Dela Cruz, Chun Oakland, Kidani, Solomon) creates the Public-Private Partnership Authority.

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/SB215_SD2_.pdf

Sound like PLDC? Let us count the ways:

PLDC and SB 215 SD2 purposes are to “create a vehicle and process to use public land…for the economic, environmental, and social benefit of the people of Hawaii.”

Like PLDC, under SB 215 SD2 the public-private partnership administers appropriate and culturally sensitive projects.

Like PLDC, under SB 215 SD2 the “authority shall coordinate and administer projects while ensuring that resources are maintained for the people of Hawaii.”

Like PLDCSB 215 SD2 has a board of directors but only 5 voting members: 3 heads of state departments, 1 member appointed by the Senate president, 1 member appointed by the speaker of the House and 1 non-voting member from the aha moku advisory committee.

Like PLDCSB 215 SD2 dictates that House and Senate members shall “have expertise in small and large businesses within the development or recreation industries, banking, real estate, finance, promotion, marketing or management.”

SB 215 SD2 allows the counties to waive zoning, land use, and permitting requirementson any project by passing an ordinance or memorandum of agreement.

SB 215 SD2 has no process for public hearings or public involvement on the projects, other than the rule-making process.

SB 215 SD2 shall initiate 3 pilot projects: 1) a film production facility on state landssomewhere on Maui, location not specified; 2) 1 unknown county-initiated project; and 3) a mysterious main-street project on previously identified state lands in Wahiawa that currently contain a DOE building, a library, Wahiawa Clinic and a transit center. Could these public lands be slated for a Transit Oriented Development project?

SB 215 SD2 allows for additional projects for educational purposes or to stimulate development and job creation.

 SB 1027 SD1 Relating to Coastal Zone Management (governor’s package)http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/SB1027_SD1_.pdf Exemptsany development by a state agency on state land within the Special Management Area (SMA) from the counties’ Special Management Area Permit and shoreline setback variance processes. 

Exempts development by a state agency on state land from having to be consistent withcounty general plans and zoning.

Creates a new state consistency review process that will be conducted by the state agency proposing the project, with only a 30-day comment period.

State consistency certificationis a statement by a state agency that it has completed the state consistency review and the development is consistent with SMA objectives.  Fox guarding the henhouse?

State agencies are only required to respond to relevant public comments.

After the State Office of Planning publishes the state consistency certification in the OEQC bulletin, development may proceed.

NO  more public hearings or public involvement.

NO  contested case opportunities as provided for under the county SMA process for Maui County, Kauai and Hawai`i Island residents.

 SB 1171 SD1 Review of Historic Preservation Projects (governor’s package)http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/SB1171_SD1_.pdfSB 1171 SD1is in response to the Hawai`i Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling, in Kaleikini v. Yoshioka (Honolulu’s director of transportation), that phasing of archaeological studies is not allowed under HRS Chapter 6E – Historic Preservation. 

SB 1171 SD1 would allow construction of development projects to start before an inventory of all archaeological resources has been completed.

When burial sites and historic properties are not identified before basic planning decisions are made, the many options that could protect those sites are effectively foreclosed.

SB 1171 SD1 is all about Oahu’s rail project:  without the high court’s ruling, the `iwi kupuna would not have been discovered before the 4th and final phase of the 20-mile rail line, and then the argument could have been made that it was too late to stop the train to look for “bones.”

 

Support SB620

SB620 requires restaurants offer an alternative to styrofoam doggie bags.  Styrofoam kills people and wildlife.  It is particularly dangerous in food containers.  Styrene leaches from the foam and is highly cancerogenic as well as causing estrogen problems.

Check here for more information

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.

Status of Natural Resources Bill as of 2/11/13

Status of bills we are tracking as of 2/11/13 is available by clicking here.

We have members actively advocating for the repeal of the PLDC and will ask members to subit testimony on those bills.

Members who want to help advocate for legislation should pick an issue that interests them and advocate for and against bills addressing that issue.  Advocacy will involve tracking legislation, writing testimony, building a constituency of support and giving testimony.  If you need help to learn how to effectively use available tools contact Bill Sager at 808-258-4019 or bsager42@gmail.com.

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.

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