East Hawaii News

Abercrombie Vetoes Three Bills, Denies Signature to 12 More

July 9, 2013, 1:33 PM HST
* Updated July 9, 1:36 PM
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Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced that he has vetoed three bills from the past legislative session – six fewer than he previously indicated he was considering vetoing – and will allow another dozen bills to become law without his signature.

The three bills vetoed and five of the dozen being allowed to become law were previously on the governor’s veto list.

The ninth from the veto list, which deals with the feeding of feral birds on private property, has been signed into law.

The moves come following a review of 291 bills passed by the 2013 Hawaii State Legislature, the governor’s office said in a statement issued today.

Abercrombie has signed 269 bills, and Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui is expected to sign seven more this afternoon.

Tsutsui is serving as acting governor while Abercrombie is out of state, flying on Hawaiian Airlines’ inaugural non-stop flight to Taiwan.

Under Hawaii’s constitution, today is the deadline for bills to be signed into law, vetoed or allowed to become law without the governor’s signature.

After Abercrombie announced his veto list last month, legislative leaders said they had no plans for a special session to override any of them.

The governor’s statement today said that following input from state lawmakers and the public, Abercrombie decided to follow through with vetoes on the following measures:

  • House Bill 654 – Abercrombie said he vetoed this bill because it duplicates actions already being taken by the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs in regards to the licensing of nurses.
  • House Bill 763 – The governor objected to this bill because it seeks funding from the Hurricane Relief Fund for the activities of the Hawaii State Building Code Council. While he said such use of the fund would be “arguably relevant,” he expressed concern it would set a precedent for other uses of the fund.
  • House Bill 988 – The governor said this bill, which relates to rehabilitation of native wildlife affected by an oil or fuel spill, was targeted for a veto because its scope is too narrow.

Five other bills that Abercrombie had placed on his possible veto list but will instead allow to become law without his signature include:

  • Senate Bill 3, which would establish a primary election for members of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs which are currently elected during a “special election” held in conjunction with the general election
  • Senate Bill 68, which would give judges discretion when it comes to certain drug cases with mandatory minimum sentences
  • Senate Bill 1265, which relates to contracts, attorney fees and unclaimed property
  • House Bill 424, which relates to establishment of a new section of law dealing with timeshare conveyances
  • House Bill 1130, which relates to changes in the makeup of the board of directors of the Hawaii Health Systems Corp.

The ninth bill on the veto list, House Bill 619, was signed Monday by Abercrombie.

That bill dealing with the feeding of feral birds underwent numerous changes during the session, which included the removal of penalties for feeding feral birds.

In its final form, it was amended to add “odors and filth” from feeding feral birds to the definition of a nuisance and to allow reporting of that to the state Department of Health. The DOH can, in turn, issue warnings or order property owners to stop providing excessive amounts of feed, said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Gregg Takayama.

“This law will help provide welcome relief to Pearl City residents who have been plagued for years by neighbors whose excessive and inconsiderate bird feeding has attracted flocks of several hundred pigeons, whose droppings and feathers create odors, property damage and aggravation of health problems,” Takayama said in a statement issued today. “Residents in several other Oahu neighborhoods, including Kailua, have raised similar concerns.”

The seven other bills that were allowed to become law without the governor’s signature were:

  • House Bill 1059 (Relating to Court Advisement Concerning Alien Status)
  • Senate Bill 614 (Relating to Public Works of Art)
  • Senate Bill 867 (Relating to the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund)
  • Senate Bill 911 (Making Appropriations for Collective Bargaining Cost Items)
  • Senate Bill 966 (Relating to the Uniform Mediation Act)
  • Senate Bill 1214 (Relating to Transportation)
  • Senate Bill 1388 (Relating to the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii)

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