Tag Archives: politics

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

Senate proposing rider to override Court decisions on GMO Crops

The biotech industry has quietly inserted a dangerous policy rider into the Continuing Resolution (CR) now being debated on the Senate floor.This dangerous rider was not included in the House-passed CR, and we are extremely disappointed to see that the Senate has included it. Though wrapped in a “farmer-friendly” package, this Monsanto-driven rider is simply a biotech industry ploy to continue to plant GE crops even when a court of law has found they were approved illegally.

Click here to petition the Senate to oppose this rider.

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

 

Late notice, important meeting Meet 2nd Congressional District meet the candidates

Great All American “Meet the Candidates” Congressional Mixer on June 20th at the Atrium, Akoakoa Bldg., Windward Community College 5:30-8:00 p.m.

On the June 20th  “FREE Great All American “Meet the Congressional Candidates” event, all the candidates have agreed to attend.  Attached is a revised announcement.  All interested parties are invited.

Meeting time schedule:
5:30 – Invite people to the food serving table and meet ‘n’ greet. (MC – Tom Masterson)
5:45 – Welcome by Linda Goldstein KCOC President.  Invitation to join the Chamber. Announcements and format.
5:50 – Each candidate takes 2 minutes MAXIMUM to introduce themselves (Alphabetically)
6:05 – Break into groups. Each candidate has 10 minutes with each group.  (8 Groups)
7:30 – Wrap up comments.  Each candidate has 1 minute to give the group their takeaway from the questions and how
that will impact their action in office.
7:45 – Closing remarks and Thanks by MC
8:00 –  Official end of the event.

Biannual General Meeting and Election of Officers

Please Join

The Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi

At its Biannual General Meeting and Election of Officers

The meeting will take place during the State Democratic Convention

May 26, 2012

6:00 p.m.

Sheraton Waikiki ·

2255 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

 (Please visit Convention Information desk or

Environmental Caucus Table for exact room number)

All Caucus Members are encouraged to be present at this general meeting,

so you need not be a delegate at the State Convention to attend.

Neighbor Island member may attend via phone and/or internet

Contact lynnmariesager@gmail.com for password and login informatiom

We will be electing our Officers for the next two years.

Positions up for reelection include:

Chair

Vice Chair

Secretary

Treasurer

At Large One

At Large Two

At Large Three

Oahu County Distric 1 Representative*

Oahu County Distric 2 Representative*

East Hawaii County Representative*

West Hawaii County Representative*

Maui County Representative*

Molokai County Representative*

Lanai County Representative*

Kauai County Representative*

(*Must live in the county/district they represent)

If you are interested in serving on our Executive Committee,

you may review officer qualifications and duties on our website

Look under documents/bylaws

www.environmentalcaucusofthedemocraticpartyofhawaii.wordpress.com

 or simply google Environmental Caucus Hawaii

Farm Land in double jeprody

Posting courtesy of Laura Thielen.

Please read this, and if you are concerned about what is happening, cut and paste the email addresses at the bottom and send an email to the Legislature TODAY.

The Legislature is poised to pass two bills that will eradicate more high quality farmland than Ho’opili.

SB 2341 allows vacation rentals on agricultural lands, including the highest production lands.  Even worse, vacation rentals can be the primary use, no farming is required.

SB 2350 doubles the number of houses permitted on agricultural lots with one ohana dwelling for each farm dwelling.*

If these bills pass, the number of houses built on agricultural lands will dramatically increase and agricultural lots will be priced for their vacation rental value, not their farming potential.

The expansion of tourism has already transformed other areas, like Windward Oahu.  The density of some communities doubled when ohana units were allowed.  The vacation rental market dominates many neighborhoods, affecting home prices.

Nearly 16,000 acres of farmland on Oahu’s North Shore are being marketed for great views or access to the ocean.  These qualities aren’t relevant to farming; they’re relevant to tourism.  The bill permitting vacation rentals as a primary use will destroy any ability to assure these lands remain available for agricultural production.

The price of Oahu farmland is nearly out of reach for food farms today.  These bills will make it impossible for food farms to operate.  The vast majority of Oahu’s food is grown on rented land.  Will landlords force farms to close when neighboring vacation rentals complain about noise, or when they realize they can increase their rental income by transforming all or some of the property to vacation rentals?

The Department of Agriculture, Office of Planning, and City and County of Honolulu have all testified against these bills and the Farm Bureau has raised serious concerns.

Our Constitution requires the State to assure the availability of agricultural lands for agriculture.  The law requires directing non-agricultural uses away from the best farmland.  Several bills before the Legislature this session support increasing local food production.

How is it that the Legislature on one hand says it supports agriculture, but on the other hand takes action to pass laws that will transform the agricultural district into the rural tourist district?

The Senate unanimously passed both bills.  They are now at the House Committee on Water Land and Ocean Resources.

Contact legislators at the links below and tell them to stop SB 2341 and SB 2350.

Email addresses for Chair Jerry Chang, Vice Chair Sharon Har and Committee members:

repchang@capitol.hawaii.gov; rephar@capitol.hawaii.gov; repcabanilla@capitol.hawaii.gov; repcarroll@capitol.hawaii.gov; repcoffman@capitol.hawaii.gov; repherkes@capitol.hawaii.gov; repito@capitol.hawaii.gov; repkawakami@capitol.hawaii.gov, repnakashima@capitol.hawaii.gov, repriviere@capitol.hawaii.gov, repthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov

* While the ohana unit bill was amended to take out Oahu, it just as easily can be put back in, now or next year.

The Dirty 8 + a few

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 repmoshiro@capitol.hawaii.gov 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.

Bill Sager