East Hawaii News

Abercrombie Identifies Nine Bills as Candidates for Vetoes

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Gov. Neil Abercrombie today issued notice that he intends to veto nine bills passed during the recent legislative session.

The Hawaii constitution requires that the governor provide 10 working days’ notice for any measures he may veto.

July 9 is the deadline for bills to be signed into law, vetoed or allowed to become law without the governor’s signature.

A statement issued by Abercrombie’s office said most of veto candidates are potentially objectionable because of concerns raised by state departments or agencies or reflected in testimonies provided during the hearing process.

“The purpose of the notice is to allow sufficient time for the governor to give additional consideration, have further discussions and inquiries, and conduct deeper analysis before he makes his final decision,” the statement said.

One of the measures on Abercrombie’s list is House Bill 619, which relates to nuisances and feral birds.

In its original form, anyone who fed a feral bird on their own property “such that the feral bird causes a common nuisance on other property” would have been subject to an unspecified fine. Subsequent violations would have been considered a petty misdemeanor.

The measure was later amended by the House to remove the “common nuisance” factor and to exclude chickens from the definition of wild birds.

It was later amended further by the Senate – and then passed by the full Legislature – to remove all the previous penalties. It was also changed to add “odors and filth resulting from a person feeding feral birds” to the definition a nuisance and to allow for the reporting to the Department of Health any nuisance injurious to the public health “as soon as possible.”

Another bill on the list is Senate Bill 3, which would establish a primary election for members of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. They are currently elected during a “special election” held in conjunction with the general election.

Abercrombie is also considering vetoing Senate Bill 68, which would give judges discretion when it comes to certain drug cases with mandatory minimum sentences.

The other bills on the veto list are:

  • House Bill 763, which relates to the size and makeup of the Hawaii State Building Code Council
  • Senate Bill 1265, which relates to contracts, attorney fees and unclaimed property
  • House Bill 988, which relates to rehabilitation of native wildlife affected by an oil or fuel spill
  • House Bill 424, which relates to establishment of a new section of law dealing with timeshare conveyances
  • House Bill 654, which relates to nursing
  • House Bill 1130, which relates to changes in the makeup of the board of directors of the Hawaii Health Systems Corp.

No specific reasons for the potential vetoes were provided.

The governor also indicated that he plans to do a line-item veto of Senate Bill 909, which concerns collective bargaining with public employees. His office said he plans to veto the part of the bill dealing with funding of a settlement offer rejected by the unit of the Hawaii Government Employees Association comprised of professional and scientific employees.

As of today, Abercrombie has signed 172 bills into law out of the 269 measures passed during the session that ended May 2.


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