Big Island Polls

Big Island Now poll No. 54: Which of these bills should the Hawaiʻi Legislature have passed this year but didn’t?

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The 2024 Hawaiʻi Legislature adjourns May 3.

There have been inroads made this year on some issues important to the state and Big Island.

The Hawai‘i state Capitol in Honolulu. (Big Island Now file photo)

After more than a decade of pushing for stricter coffee labeling regulations, Big Island state Rep. Nicole Lowen will get a win with legislators poised to pass House Bill 2298, which would require roasted coffee, instant coffee and ready-to-drink coffee drinks containing coffee grown and processed in the islands blended with coffee from another region to have at least 51% coffee, by weight, from its area of origin in Hawai‘i.

The measure would make it a violation of state law to use a geographic origin, such as “Kona,” Kaʻū” or Kauaʻi,” in labeling or advertising coffee drinks that contain less than the 51% threshold.

Another House measure that deals with vicious dogs, co-introduced by Big Island state Reps. Greggor Ilagan and David Tarnas along with O‘ahu Rep. Scott Nishimoto, also look to be approved this year.

House Bill 2058 would establish an offense of negligent failure to control a dangerous dog and lay out provisions regarding how dangerous dogs are designated, requirements for owners of said dogs and their impoundment.


The bill’s Senate companion, Senate Bill 2692, stalled after passing first reading in March.

The Legislature also reaffirmed its commitment to protecting marriage equality this legislative session.

Legislators approved House Bill 2802, which proposes an amendment to the Hawai‘i Constitution that would repeal the state Legislature’s authority to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.

“This measure seeks to safeguard marriage equality by removing the Legislature’s authority to restrict marriage, allowing the voters of Hawai‘i to determine the future of marriage rights for our state,” said House Speaker Scott K. Saiki, who introduced the bill, in March.

The bill was sent to Gov. Josh Green for his signature.


Those are just a few examples of measures that made the cut this session. But there are several others that were being watched closely and didn’t.

That includes Senate Bill 3126 relating to emergency aeromedical services.

The measure, which stalled after senators disagreed with amendments made in the House, would have funded a statewide air ambulance program, bringing twin-engine helicopters to Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i and Maui Counties.

A bill that would have lowered the state’s blood alcohol content threshold from 0.08% to 0.05% also won’t be passed this year. House Bill 1935, which was introduced by Big Island state Rep. Chris Todd, stalled after passing second reading in February.

Other measures, including bills that would have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults in the state, created a public funding system for Hawai‘i elections and charged a fee to visitors who stay in hotels or other transient vacation rentals, also failed to make it to the end of this session.


There also were bills carried over from the 2023 session that never saw the light of day again this year.

So we’re asking in our monthly poll what you think about some of the measures — and the issues they tackle — that state legislators put on the back burner.

Press Here to Take the Poll

Leave a comment here or on social media to tell us why you voted the way you did, especially if it was a different measure you hoped to pass this year or if you think several of the bills above should have passed.

The poll ends at midnight May 24. Results will be published May 26.

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