East Hawaii News

Forfeiture Bill Dead for 2013 Session

March 8, 2013, 5:47 PM HST
* Updated March 8, 5:50 PM
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Thursday was “Crossover Day” at the state Legislature, which means bills that failed to obtain the three votes required to be sent over to the Legislature’s other body are done for the year.

That means that Senate Bill 1342, which would have allowed the government to seize homes and other real property for a petty misdemeanor, is dead for the session.

Under current state law, forfeiture of any property requires at least a misdemeanor offense and seizure of real property requires a felony.

Critics of the measure included Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth, a proponent of the forfeiture process who said the bill went too far.

The bill was approved by two Senate committees and passed its second reading before being referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor. That committee’s chairman, Sen. Clayton Hee, did not schedule the bill for a hearing.

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Hee did not respond to a request for comment.

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