Tag Archives: Hawaii

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Hawaii native forest watersheds threatened

While climate change will increasingly stress our native forest watersheds in most immediate threat is the impact of feral plants and animals.  Without strong management intervention our native forests will be destroyed by feral animals and invasive plants. Quarantine and … Continue reading

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/

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Bill Tracking as of 24 February 2013

Bill Tracking as of 24 February 2013.  Bills needing action are in bold. Click here to see tracking document.

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Call to ACTION – HB1330 DOCARE funding

Our near shore fishery is in trouble. Today, these same resources are estimated to contribute $800 million in annual revenue to the state, with an added recreational, amenity, fishery, biodiversity, and educational value of $364 million per year. The Division … Continue reading

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

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.

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.