CAPWatch Conference Update 5.1.15

Conference Committee – Day 7 – Friday, May 1, 2015

CAPWATCHGREAT NEWS – 2 MORE BILLS PASS CONFERENCE!

SB 213 SD2 HD3 CD1           CONCURRENT SENTENCING
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB213_HD3_.pdf

PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS

Senate: Keith-Agaran (Chair); Espero, Harimoto (Co-Chairs);Dela Cruz, Slom

House: Takayama, Rhoads, Johanson (Co-Chairs); Woodson, Tupola

PASSED CONFERENCE COMMITTEE 5.1.15

***

SB 555 SD1 CD1        REFUNDABLE FOOD/EXCISE TAX CREDIT
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB555_SD1_.pdF

PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS

Senate: Tokuda (Chair); Espero, Riviere, Ruderman, Slom

House: Johanson (Chair); Kobayashi, Pouha

PASSED CONFERENCE COMMITTEE 5.1.15

*** 

HB 321 HD1 SD1      MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATEWIDE DISPENSARY SYSTEM
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB321  SD1_.pdf

4.14.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – 23-2 Ayes w/ reservations: Espero, Harimoto, Riviere . Noes, 2 Kouchi, Slom           

House: Belatti, Rhoads, Luke (Co-Chairs); Sanbuenaventura, Takayama, Fukumoto-Chang

Senate: Green (Chair); Espero, Keith-Agaran, Tokuda (Co-Chairs);  Gabbard

The committee will reconvene on Monday, May 4th at noon in Room 229. Here’s the link to the hearing notice: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/hearingnotices/CONF_PSM_05-04-15_C_.HTM

Since leadership in both chambers has stepped in, something will emerge. Our hope is always is that puts patients first.

***

The following bills did not make it this session:

SB 1367 SD1 HD1     PROJECT KEALAHOU
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB1367_HD1_.pdf

4.10.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS

Senate: Green (Chair); Chun-Oakland,Inouye (Co-Chair); Gabbard, Slom

House: Belatti, Kobayashi (Co-Chairs); Jordan, Fukumoto-Chang

This bill needed clearance from the money committees but that did not happen so the bill is dead this session. As with all bills that are “deferred” it is alive for next session and starts where it  left off this session. In other words, this bill will start the 2016 session in conference committee – no more hearings.

***

HB 148 HD2 SD1                  WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB148_SD1_.pdf

4.10.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS Aye w/reservations: Thielen

House: Rhoads, DeCoite (Co-Chairs); Sanbuenaventura, McDermott

Senate: Keith-Agaran (Chair); Tokuda (Co-Chair), Riviere, Shimabukuro, Thielen

This bill needed clearance from the money committees but that did not happen so the bill is dead this session. As with all bills that are “deferred” it is alive for next session and starts where it left off this session. In other words, this bill will start the 2016 session in conference committee – no more hearings.

*** 

SB 737 SD1 HD1         LIMITING INTEREST ON PAYDAY LOANS                                                                 

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB737_HD1_.pdf                              

PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS   Ayes w/ reservations: DeCoite, Har, Kawakami, Keohokalole, LoPresti, Lowen, Matsumoto, Oshiro, Pouha, Rhoads, San Buenaventura, Tokioka, Ward

Senate: Baker (Chair); Kidani, Taniguchi

House: Woodson, Nishimoto (Co-Chairs); Brower, McDermott

The Senate held firm to the 36% cap (the advocate position) and the House would not agree. My prior post has the story from Civil Beat on the blow up at the final conference committee.

***

This was supposed to be it.  Now that the HB 321 conference committee is reconvening on Monday, there is still one more bill that we helped pass that looks like it will make it to the Final vote.

So far we are doing well.

  • We helped 16 bills pass;
  • 2 have already been signed into law as Act 15 (SB 564 – Reentry Commission) and Act 16 (Data Collection re Children of Incarcerated Parents);
  • 11 or 12 bills went to conference (1 was SB 682 the companion bill to HB 321);
  • 7 bills passed conference (and we’re not done yet) – SB 982; SB 211; SB 569; SB 1291; HB 631; SB 213; SB 555

 

It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Nelson Mandela

 

CAPWatch Conference Update – Day 7 – Last Conference Day Drama

Day 7 – Last Conference Day Drama

CAPWATCHI will send out the update of the bills after this, but I have to share a little background and then what happened last night at the legislature. In a nutshell, the majority of both the House and Senate want to see a statewide dispensary system. Conference committee has been a battle with both sides holding firm on the selection process. The House made several concessions to the Senate and still  no movement. On Thursday, both Senate and House leadership (Senate President Donna Kim and House Majority Leader Scott Saiki) started showing up at conference. Then,  on Friday, the Speaker attended. At the 4th conference committee meeting of the day on HB 321 (5:15 pm), Senate Chair Josh Green held firm on the first come, first served approach to applications for dispensaries. The House held firm to their merit-based selection process. When it was obvious that no agreement would be reached, House Chair Belatti deferred the bill (dead for this session but still alive in 2016), banged the gavel, and the meeting was adjourned (to a stunned audience). Then, hours later, something amazing happened – Green was removed from the committee, Espero became Chair and Ihara and Gabbard became new members! At one this morning, a press release came out saying that the conference committee would be reconvening onMONDAY AT NOON IN ROOM 229. Here’s the link to the notice followed by the story in Civil Beat. http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/hearingnotices/CONF_PSM_05-04-15_C_.HTM

***

Hawaii Legislature Resurrects Bill to Establish Marijuana Dispensaries

A Senate panel will reconvene Monday to consider the bill after Senate leadership kicked Sen. Josh Green off the conference committee.

MAY 2, 2015·By ANITA HOFSCHNEIDER

http://www.civilbeat.com/2015/05/hawaii-legislature-may-resurrect-bill-to-establish-marijuana-dispensaries/

Hawaii lawmakers are looking to revive a bill to establish a medical marijuana dispensary system after conference committee negotiations collapsed Friday.

Update A conference committee made up of Senate and House negotiators plans to reconvene Monday at noon to consider House Bill 321, according to a Senate press release emailed at 1:21 a.m. Saturday.

After Sen. Josh Green refused to agree to a House draft of the bill, Senate leaders kicked him off of the panel and made Sen. Will Espero the new chair.

Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and House Speaker Joseph Souki sent a letter to all lawmakers Friday evening saying they decided to grant a waiver of negotiation and filing deadlines for the bill.

The deadline for completing negotiations was supposed to be 6 p.m. Friday. But under the waiver, the conference committee can meet between noon and 2 p.m. on Monday, with a conference committee report due by 5 p.m. that day.

The rule waiver comes after HB 321 had apparently died Friday when Green and Rep. Della Au Belatti couldn’t agree on the application process for potential dispensary owners.

Green rejected Belatti’s final draft of the bill, contending that it would invite organized crime into Hawaii. Belatti held her ground, saying that she was representing the view of House leadership.

A notice posted late Friday on the Legislature’s website revealed that Green had been discharged from the committee and Sen. Les Ihara was added to it. Espero, a big proponent of the bill and head of the Senate Public Safety Committee, took Green’s place as the lead negotiator.

Kim announced Friday night that the Senate might agree to the final draft presented by Belatti. In that version, Belatti capitulated to many of Green’s concerns about the structure of the dispensary system but not his preference for a first-come, first-served application process.

The late developments came as a relief to Rafael Kennedy, executive director of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, who has been lobbying hard to pass the bill this year.

“We’re excited that there may still be an opportunity for this bill to be passed and get patients the access to medicine that they desperately need,” Kennedy said.

How the Bill Fell Apart

Kennedy began the week expecting approval, given the bill’s broad support in both the House and Senate. Medical marijuana has been legal in Hawaii for 15 years and there’s consensus among political leaders that it’s time to give patients a place to legally buy it if they can’t or don’t want to grow their own.

But when the conference committee led by Green and Belatti met Tuesday, it became clear that there was a huge gulf between the lawmakers’ visions for the program.

Green preferred a program where a single health care professional in each county would own all of the dispensaries and marijuana farms. He wanted eligible applicants selected on a first-come, first-served basis, and said his version took into account concerns from law enforcement.

Belatti favored more licensees and dispensaries over a longer timeline. She wanted the state Department of Health to choose licensees through a merit-based evaluation. Compared with Green’s, her version was more in line with the recommendations of a state task force report.

House and Senate leadership have spent the last few days trying to convince Green and Belatti to come to an agreement.

Even Gov. David Ige got involved. Green spoke with Ige’s chief of staff Wednesday, but declined to meet with the governor directly and said he wouldn’t revise the bill even if the governor planned to veto it.

“The governor doesn’t know half of what I know or what you know or Sen. Espero knows about this program,” Green told Belatti Friday. “He is a fantastic guy but he is not in the trenches.”

While Green resisted Ige’s overtures, the senator did compromise some, including agreeing to expand the definition of who could own the dispensaries so that it wouldn’t be limited to health care providers.

For her part, Belatti agreed to permit fewer licensees, and adopted Green’s requirement that a licensee own both the dispensaries and the production centers.

But 40 minutes before the deadline, neither would budge on the application process.

Green argued that Belatti’s proposed process was ambiguous and would open the door to favoritism and lawsuits.

“It is a process that would result in behind closed doors decision-making that has utterly no connection to right or wrong,” said the senator from the Big Island.

Despite her longtime support for establishing dispensaries, Belatti stood firm.

“That simply is the only and last point remaining,” she said. “The House cannot accept the Senate’s decision and I’m sorry but the bill is deferred.” She slammed her gavel and left the packed room.

Triage Began Almost Immediately

Minutes afterward, Espero met with Kim to try to figure out a way to revive the bill.

After a short floor session at 6:30 p.m., the Senate’s 24 Democrats went into caucus to discuss what to do.

Later, Belatti requested a recess during the House session and spoke quietly on the floor with House Speaker Joseph Souki, House Majority Leader Scott Saiki and Reps. Sylvia Luke and Karl Rhoads.

By 7:30 p.m. it became clear that the conference committee was planning to reconvene to resurrect the bill.

A press release sent around 8:15 p.m. announced that the bill would be heard at8:30 p.m. but Kim later announced that the measure would wait until Monday.

The political wrangling over the measure illustrates the importance of the bill that many lawmakers believed was a sure thing this session.

 ***

And there’s more. The payday loan bill went down in flames. The industry has people who travel the country selling these loans to the most vulnerable in our communities. They also employed the good ole boy lobbyists (Red Morris, John Radcliff and Bruce Coppa).  For a session that most described as kind of mild, all the excitement was saved until the end …and after! Civil Beat has a story on what happened at the conference committee on SB 737

***

Effort to Cap Payday Loan Rates Dies After Maui Lawmakers Clash

Rep. Justin Woodson wanted to maintain the current maximum interest rate, while Sen. Rosalyn Baker was adamant about lowering it.

MAY 1, 2015·By ANITA HOFSCHNEIDER

http://www.civilbeat.com/2015/05/effort-to-cap-payday-loan-rates-dies-after-maui-lawmakers-clash/

A bill to lower maximum payday loan interest rates died Friday after a fiery standoff between Sen. Rosalyn Baker and Rep. Justin Woodson, both of Maui County.

Baker’s proposal, Senate Bill 737, would have capped the annual percentage rate for payday loans at 36 percent, much lower than the current 459 percent.

Woodson countered with a different proposal Thursday that he said was intended to improve enforcement of the current law and maintain the existing interest rate cap.

On Friday morning, Baker wasn’t having it.

“Basically what your bill does is to put this kind of anti-consumer predatory lending thing in the statute in a different way than what it currently exists,” she said. “That’s not acceptable to the Senate.”

“The House position is 18 percent transactional fee, the Senate position is 36 percent APR,” Woodson said, noting that the law stipulates loans must be paid back within 30 days and he doesn’t think the APR is an appropriate way to measure their cost.

Baker pointed out that most borrowers take out multiple loans and remain indebted for months. A national study found that 80 percent of payday loans are rolled over or renewed within two weeks.

“But if the House wants to be known as the group that is anti-consumer protection and wants to be standing up for a predatory lending practice, so be it,” she said. “The Senate will not agree, and we can adjourn now. Is that your pleasure?”

“There’s a lot of misinformation …” Woodson started to say.

“Is that your pleasure?” Baker interrupted.

“We agree to disagree Senator,” he said.

“We’re adjourned.” She slammed the gavel.

Math Problems

Hawaii legalized the payday lending industry in 1999 through a statute called “deferred deposits.” The law permits lenders to charge a 15 percent fee on a loan of up to $600, and the money has to be paid back within a month.

Generally the loan lasts for a two-week period and in practice, lenders charge a total of 17.65 percent per loan. For example, one customer who took out a $500 loan at Money Mart paid $88.20 after two weeks.

To Woodson, that’s a reasonable fee that will let payday loan companies stay in business. He said after Friday’s hearing that he doesn’t think Baker understands the way the loans work.

“We have to conduct ourselves in a certain way in this building but I think how Sen Baker was acting was unbecoming,” he said. “What happened today was… potentially a burning of a bridge.”

But Baker thinks that it’s Woodson who is miscalculating how much the loans cost. His latest draft of the bill changed the law to allow a lender to charge $17.65 per $100 loan, which she believes would actually increase the legal interest rate.

Kim Harman, a community organizer who has been advocating for the 36 percent APR cap, agreed.

“Woodson either truly doesn’t understand how payday loans work or it feels like he was punishing borrowers for trying to improve them,” Herman said.

The representative from Kahului has been taking heat from advocates like Harman who see his position as defending a predatory industry at the expense of low-income residents.

Woodson said he believes his position, which is backed by key House leaders like Rep. Sylvia Luke, helps consumers while still ensuring that payday lenders can stay in business.

He disagreed that the annual percentage rate is the best way to measure the cost of the loan, even though a national study found that payday loan borrowers are indebted an average of 199 days each year.

‘Window Dressing’

Woodson’s proposal would have implemented a five-day cooling-off period between loans to discourage repeat borrowers.

Steve Levins, who leads the state Office of Consumer Protection, said studies from other states have shown that cooling-off periods are not effective in protecting debt traps.

For Levins, only the 36 percent APR would create meaningful reform. Although the state has laws in place banning companies from rolling over loans and giving out more than one loan to the same customer, the rules haven’t been effective in keeping consumers out of debt, he said.

“To just put window dressing on the current law and to make it appear that consumers were being protected… it’s not something that we can support,” Levins said.

The bill’s failure is good news for payday lending companies like Dollar Financial, which owns nine stores in the state, including Money Mart.

“Under existing law, gross income on a $100 transaction is $17.65. Under this proposal, it is $1.38,” the company stated in written testimony opposing Baker’s version of the bill. “No business can survive a 92.2% decrease in gross income. It doesn’t leave enough revenue to pay the light bill, much less employee payroll and benefits.”

Harman said she disappointed but not surprised the bill failed.

“There’s millions of dollars of profit to be made on poor people in Hawaii so of course there’s going to be a huge fight by the lenders and their lobbyists to protect those millions,” she said. “When the industry is able to pay so much money to fight it, you get confusing language and tricky numbers and it’s an uphill battle.”

CAPWatch Conference Update 4.30.15

Conference Committee – Day 6 – Wednesday, April 30, 2015

GREAT NEWS!

CAPWATCHToday, the CONFERENCE COMMITTEE PASSED HB 631 – BIRTH CERTIFICATE BILL. 

Now it just needs the final vote in order to send it up to the Governor.

HB 631 HD2 SD1      BIRTH CERTIFICATES
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB631_SD1_.pdF

4.14.15 PASSED 3rd Reading  – 23-2  Aye(s) with reservations: Gabbard, Kidani, Kouchi, Riviere;

No: Harimoto, Slom

PASSED CONFERENCE COMMITTEE 4.29.15

***

SB 213 SD2 HD3       CONCURRENT SENTENCING
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB213_HD3_.pdf

PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS

Senate: Keith-Agaran (Chair); Espero, Harimoto (Co-Chairs);Dela Cruz, Slom

House: Takayama, Rhoads, Johanson (Co-Chairs); Woodson, Tupola

The House and the Senate agree. I was told today that FIN and WAM released the bill (it has no fiscal impact)

And it will be voted on tomorrow, FRIDAY, MAY 1ST at 2pm in 325.

***

SB 737 SD1 HD1         LIMITING INTEREST ON PAYDAY LOANS
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB737_HD1_.pdf

PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS   Ayes w/ reservations: DeCoite, Har, Kawakami, Keohokalole, LoPresti, Lowen, Matsumoto, Oshiro, Pouha, Rhoads, San Buenaventura, Tokioka, Ward

Senate: Baker (Chair); Kidani, Taniguchi

House: Woodson, Nishimoto (Co-Chairs); Brower, McDermott

The House does not want the cap and the Senate is holding firm, so I don’t have much hope for this bill. The committee will reconvene FRIDAY, MAY 1st  at 10:15 am in room 016.

***

HB 148 HD2 SD1                  WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB148_SD1_.pdf

4.10.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS Aye w/reservations: Thielen

House: Rhoads, DeCoite (Co-Chairs); Sanbuenaventura, McDermott

Senate: Keith-Agaran (Chair); Tokuda (Co-Chair), Riviere, Shimabukuro, Thielen

Although the House and Senate agree on the language, FIN and WAM have not released the bill as yet. I am hoping that this bill passes. It would improve the quality of justice in Hawai`i by asserting that the state is held as accountable as citizens for wrongdoing. The committee will reconvene FRIDAY, MAY 1st  at 2 pm in room 325. PLEASE SEND GOOD VIBES TO THE COMMITTEE. THIS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT JUSTICE ISSUE.

***

HB 321 HD1 SD1      MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATEWIDE DISPENSARY SYSTEM
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB321  SD1_.pdf

4.14.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – 23-2 Ayes w/ reservations: Espero, Harimoto, Riviere . Noes, 2 Kouchi, Slom           

House: Belatti, Rhoads, Luke (Co-Chairs); Sanbuenaventura, Takayama, Fukumoto-Chang

Senate: Green (Chair); Espero, Keith-Agaran, Tokuda (Co-Chairs);  Gabbard

There was a much more congenial atmosphere today as leadership (Senate President Donna Kim and House Majority Leader Scott Saiki) attended the conference committee. The Senate and House have agreed to some issues but are still negotiating others. The committee will reconvene FRIDAY, MAY 1st  at 1pm in Room 229.

I believe something will emerge, but in what form, one cannot say. We just hope that this is about patients and helping people.

Today was the last day for filing non-fiscal bills and tomorrow is the deadline for filing fiscal bills.   This is it.

So far we are doing well.

  • We helped 16 bills pass;
  • 2 have already been signed into law as Act 15 (SB 564 – Reentry Commission) and Act 16 (Data Collection re Children of Incarcerated Parents);
  • 12 bills went to conference;
  • 5 bills passed conference (and we’re not done yet) – SB 982; SB 211; SB 569; SB 1291; HB 631

Do your little bit of good where you are;
it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
-Desmond Tutu

CAPWatch Conference Update 4.29.15

Another bill passes conference! WOO HOO!!!

Conference Committee – Day 5 – Wednesday, April 29, 2015

GREAT NEWS!

CAPWATCHToday, the CONFERENCE COMMITTEE PASSED SB 1291 – PROTECTION FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS. Now it just needs the final vote in order to send it up to the Governor.

SB 1291 SD2, HD1    EMPLOYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB1291_HD1_.pdf

PASSED 3rd Reading – 43-8  Ayes w/ reservations: Aquino, Cachola, Cullen, DeCoite, Fukumoto Chang, Johanson, Jordan, Matsumoto, Oshiro, Pouha, Tsuji, Yamane; No: Choy, Har, Kawakami, Kong, McDermott, Tokioka, Tupola, Ward

PASSED CONFERENCE COMMITTEE 4.29.15

***

HB 631 HD2 SD1      BIRTH CERTIFICATES
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB631_SD1_.pdF

4.14.15 PASSED 3rd Reading  – 23-2  Aye(s) with reservations: Gabbard, Kidani, Kouchi, Riviere;

No: Harimoto, Slom

The committee may vote tomorrow as they did not have quorum today. The committee will reconvene THURSDAY, APRIL 30TH at 8:45 am in room 229.

***

SB 213 SD2 HD3       CONCURRENT SENTENCING
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB213_HD3_.pdf

PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS

Senate: Keith-Agaran (Chair); Espero, Harimoto (Co-Chairs);Dela Cruz, Slom

House: Takayama, Rhoads, Johanson (Co-Chairs); Woodson, Tupola

The House and the Senate agree. The bill needs the release from the money committees and I have been e-mailing, dropping off notes and talking to the Chairs of FIN and WAM in the halls. This is a very important bill for CAP. It fixes the big expensive mess made by the Lingle administration. The committee will reconvene THURSDAY, APRIL 30TH at 10:15 am in room 325.

***

SB 737 SD1 HD1         LIMITING INTEREST ON PAYDAY LOANS
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB737_HD1_.pdf

PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS   Ayes w/ reservations: DeCoite, Har, Kawakami, Keohokalole, LoPresti, Lowen, Matsumoto, Oshiro, Pouha, Rhoads, San Buenaventura, Tokioka, Ward

Senate: Baker (Chair); Kidani, Taniguchi

House: Woodson, Nishimoto (Co-Chairs); Brower, McDermott

The Senate gave a CD1 to the Chair and asked if he had reviewed it. Chair Woodson said the House would offer another draft because of the concerns that it might drive folks to the internet loans etc. What the House Chair did not say was that he is getting a lot of pressure from the payday lobbyists who keep telling him that putting a cap on the annual percentage rate allowed would shut down the industry. What he is also ignoring is that there ARE other ways for people to get short-term loans: credit unions, community lenders, etc. This industry preys on the most challenged folks in our communities. The committee will reconvene THURSDAY, APRIL 30TH at 11 am in room 016.

***

SB 555 SD1 HD1       REFUNDABLE FOOD/EXCISE TAX CREDIT
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB555_HD1_.pdF

PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS   

Senate: Tokuda (Chair); Espero, Riviere, Ruderman, Slom

House: Johanson (Chair); Kobayashi, Pouha

This bill is dependent on the budget (sad statement since it is the ONLY low income tax bill left) so the committee will reconvene committee will reconvene FRIDAY, MAY 1ST at 2 pm in Room 309.

*** 

HB 321 HD1 SD1      MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATEWIDE DISPENSARY SYSTEM
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB321  SD1_.pdf

4.14.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – 23-2 Ayes w/ reservations: Espero, Harimoto, Riviere . Noes, 2 Kouchi, Slom           

House: Belatti, Rhoads, Luke (Co-Chairs); Sanbuenaventura, Takayama, Fukumoto-Chang

Senate: Green (Chair); Espero, Keith-Agaran, Tokuda (Co-Chairs);  Gabbard

Oh this is a battle this session. The House thanked the Senate for the draft and agreed to monthly inspections and the expansion of marijuana products. They are, however, far apart on several points: the timeline is too tight; it sets up a monopoly for big marijuana; the health care provider to run dispensaries; the business structure; production centers; $2 million and an agreement with a lab (which doesn’t yet exist) 90 days prior to applying (which means they would have to have $2 million NOW since the application is available on a first come; first-severed basis. Chair Green expressed his disappointment that the House did not present another draft and restated THIS IS THE SENATE POSITION. The committee will reconvene THURSDAY, APRIL 30TH at 1pm in Room 229.

We are getting down to the wire now. The last day for filing non-fiscal bills is tomorrow by around 6pm. And the deadline for filing fiscal bills is Friday by 6pm.   We are in crunch time and I am workin’ like crazy to get our bills across the finish line. And yes, I’ve been begging…always on behalf of justice!

So far we are doing well.

  • We helped 16 bills pass;
  • 2 have already been signed into law as Act 15 (SB 564 – Reentry Commission) and Act 16 (Data Collection re Children of Incarcerated Parents);
  • 12 bills went to conference;
  • 4 bills passed conference (and we’re not done yet) – SB 982; SB 211; SB 569; SB 1291

Action is the catalyst that creates accomplishments.
It is the path that takes us from uncrafted hopes to realized dreams.
Huxley, Thomas

Physiologist (1825-1895)

 

CAPWatch Conference Update 4.28.15

Conference: Days 3 & 4 – Monday, April 27 & Tuesday, April 28, 2015

GREAT NEWS!

CAPWATCHTwo of our bills passed out of conference today (Tuesday, 4.28): SB 211 re DNA testing and SB 569, which raised the felony theft threshold to $750 (it has been at $300 sine 1986). This was part of the 2012 JRI bill. CAP has been working to raise the threshold since 2005! I’m also happy to report that most of our bills have opened in conference. 8 of the bills we have been working on have been in conference yesterday and today. Here’s what happened:

 

MONDAY, APRIL 27, 2015

SB 1291 SD2, HD1    EMPLOYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB1291_HD1_.pdf

PASSED 3rd Reading – 43-8  Ayes w/ reservations: Aquino, Cachola, Cullen, DeCoite, Fukumoto Chang, Johanson, Jordan, Matsumoto, Oshiro, Pouha, Tsuji, Yamane; No: Choy, Har, Kawakami, Kong, McDermott, Tokioka, Tupola, Ward

Senate: Green (Chair); Keith-Agaran (Co-Chair); Espero, Gabbard, Ihara

House: Belatti, Rhoads (Co-Chairs); Creagan, Takayama, Thielen

Monday: The committee is reviewing memos received from the AG and the Judiciary. The House will draft a CD1 and reconvene on Tuesday, April 28th at 8:15 am.

Tuesday: House still working on the draft language. The committee will reconvene on Wednesday, April 29th at 8:30 am in 229.

*** 

HB 631 HD2 SD1       BIRTH CERTIFICATES
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB631_SD1_.pdF            4.14.15 PASSED 3rd Reading  – 23-2  Aye(s) with reservations: Gabbard, Kidani, Kouchi, Riviere;

No: Harimoto, Slom 

House: Belatti, Rhoads (Chairs); Lee, Fukumoto-Chang

Senate: Green (Chair); Keith-Agaran (Co-Chair); Baker

Monday: The House CD1 is not ready, so the committee will reconvene on Tuesday, 4.28 at 8:45 am.

Tuesday: The House will have the CD1 ready tomorrow. The committee will reconvene on Wednesday, April 29th at 8:45 am in 229.

*** 

HB 321 HD1 SD1      MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATEWIDE DISPENSARY SYSTEM
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB321  SD1_.pdf

4.14.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – 23-2 Ayes w/ reservations: Espero, Harimoto, Riviere . Noes, 2 Kouchi, Slom           

House: Belatti, Rhoads, Luke (Co-Chairs); Sanbuenaventura, Takayama, Fukumoto-Chang

Senate: Green (Chair); Espero, Keith-Agaran, Tokuda (Co-Chairs);  Gabbard

Monday: The House prepared the CD1 that allows for vertical integration, but does not mandate it; the # of dispensaries is phased in with separate  licenses for  dispensaries and production centers; 2 on Hawai`i Island; 2 on O`ahu; 1 on Maui and 1 on Kaua`i; allows for missed integration to allow for crop failure; the House adopted the Senate timeline – 10/15 DOH completes Interim rules in effect until 7.1.18; and RFP is open from 12/15 – 1/16; 3.1.16 first licenses are offered; Dispensary application available 7.1.16;1 dispensary per 500 patients by 1.1.18; sunrise clause for reciprocity; implements the phase-out of caregivers; home grow still allowed for patients. The committee agreed to reconvene at 2:45 pm. today.

2:45 pm: The committee will reconvene tomorrow, 4.28 at 8:15 am.

Tuesday: The Senate presented a draft that is radically different from the House’s CD1. Chair Green outlined the elements of the bill: reciprocity; 3 year phase out of caregivers; formulations for medical marijuana; SD1 language; no tax. The bill includes 15 pages of rules from DOH; third party to conduct the application process on hi.gov site that is secure, objective, and transparent; businesses must be 51% locally owned; can start in 1 year and applications ready on 7.31.15; lab testing to guarantee purity and asking DOH to standardize lab testing. The House responded that they had big problems with mandating vertical integration and first come/first served approach to selection. The committee will reconvene tomorrowWednesday, 4.29 at 3 pm in 229.

***

SB 555 SD1    REFUNDABLE FOOD/EXCISE TAX CREDIT
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB555_SD1_.pdF

PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS   

Senate: Tokuda (Chair); Espero, Riviere, Ruderman, Slom

House: Johanson (Chair); Kobayashi, Pouha

Monday: Every bill with includes funding is going to wait until the budget is settled. The committee will reconvene on Wednesday, 4.29 at 2 pm in 309.

***

TUESDAY, APRIL 28, 2015

SB 737 SD1 HD1       LIMITING INTEREST ON PAYDAY LOANS
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB737_HD1_.pdf

PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS   Ayes w/ reservations: DeCoite, Har, Kawakami, Keohokalole, LoPresti, Lowen, Matsumoto, Oshiro, Pouha, Rhoads, San Buenaventura, Tokioka, Ward

Senate: Baker (Chair); Kidani, Taniguchi

House: Woodson, Nishimoto (Co-Chairs); Brower, McDermott

Conference opened today on this bill. Sen. Baker proposed a cap and a section asking the Commissioner of Financial Institutions to look into regulations for next session. She said that she spoke with the Commissioner of Financial Institutions and they are willing to do so. The Senate will draft the CD1 for the House to review. The House agreed that an annual % and the cap are interchangeable. The Chair said that chasm was about how to approach the issue. The committee will reconvene at 11am tomorrow, Wednesday,4.29, in 016.

*** 

**SB 211 SD1 HD1**          SENTENCING FOR THOSE NOT PROVIDING DNA SAMPLE

www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB211_HD1_.pdf

4.9.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS

Senate: Keith-Agaran (Chair); Shimabukuro (Co- Chair); Slom

House: Rhoads (Chair), Woodson, Thielen 

The Senate agreed with the House amendments. THE VOTE WAS TAKEN. THIS BILL PASSED CONFERENCE!

***

**SB 569 SD1 HD1**          RELATING TO THEFT
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB569_SD1_.pdf

PASSED 3rd Reading – 31-15-5   Aye with reservations: Johanson, Keohokalole ;No: Aquino, Choy, Cullen, DeCoite, Fukumoto Chang, Har, Kawakami, Kong, Matsumoto, McDermott, Pouha, Thielen, Tupola, Ward, Yamane (5 excused)  

Senate: Keith-Agaran (Chair); Espero, Ihara Shimabukuro, Thielen

House: Rhoads (Chair); Sanbuenaventura, Takayama

The Senate agreed with the House amendments. THE VOTE WAS TAKEN. THIS BILL PASSED CONFERENCE!

***

HB 148 HD2 SD1                  WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB148_SD1_.pdf

4.10.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS Aye w/reservations: Thielen

House: Rhoads, DeCoite (Co-Chairs); Sanbuenaventura, McDermott

Senate: Keith-Agaran (Chair); Tokuda (Co-Chair), Riviere, Shimabukuro, Thielen

House “is okay” with Senate language on innocence. Needs $ committee release. House would like to get bill out this session. The committee will reconvene on Thursday, April 30th at 2pm in 325.

 

Conference Committee Passed SB 982, The Medical Amnesty/Good Samaritan Bill!

CAP Watch Conference Update

Conference Committee
Day 2
Friday, April 24, 2015

GREAT NEWS!

CAPWATCHToday, the CONFERENCE COMMITTEE PASSED SB 982, THE MEDICAL AMNESTY/GOOD SAMARITAN BILL. This is OUR victory!  Mahalo nui to all who supported this life-saving measure. Hawai`i joins 17 other states and more than 200 colleges and universities passing this best practice for community health. Now it just needs the final vote in order to send it up to the Governor.

SB 982 SD1 HD2       MEDICAL AMNESTY/GOOD SAMARITAN BLL
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB982_HD2_.pdf
4.10.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS
PASSED CONFERENCE COMMITTEE 4.24.15

***

SB 1291 SD2, HD1    EMPLOYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB1291_HD1_.pdf
PASSED 3rd Reading – 43-8  Ayes w/ reservations:Aquino, Cachola, Cullen, DeCoite, Fukumoto Chang, Johanson, Jordan, Matsumoto, Oshiro, Pouha, Tsuji, Yamane; No: Choy, Har, Kawakami, Kong, McDermott, Tokioka, Tupola, Ward

The House will prepare a CD 1 and the Committee will reconvene on Monday, 4.27 at 8:30 a.m.

*** 

SB 1367 SD1 HD1     PROJECT KEALAHOU
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB1367_HD1_.pdf
4.10.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS

There is no disagreement on this bill. It must wait until the budget is closed because of the appropriation. The committee will reconvene on Thursday, 4.30 at 8:30 am.

***
HB 631 HD2 SD1      BIRTH CERTIFICATES
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB631_SD1_.pdF
4.14.15 PASSED 3rd Reading  – 23-2  Aye(s) with reservations: Gabbard, Kidani, Kouchi, Riviere;
No: Harimoto, Slom

The House and Senate are reviewing language and the house will prepare the CD1. The Committee reconvenes on Monday, 4.27 at 8:45 am in 229.

***

HB 321 HD1 SD1      MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATEWIDE DISPENSARY SYSTEM
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB321  SD1_.pdf
4.14.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – 23-2 Ayes w/ reservations:Espero, Harimoto, Riviere . Noes, 2 Kouchi, Slom           

The major issues are business model, # of dispensarie; timeline; taxation; criminal penalties; caregivers’ reciprocity. The House wants to simplify the taxes and suggests a 2.5% surcharge to be placed in a fund for substance abuse treatment and prevention. The house will prepare the CD1 and the Committee reconvenes on Monday, 4.27 at 8:45 am in 229.

 

 

 

Gov Ige signs 2 CAP bills into law – Reentry Commission & Children of Incarcerated Parents Data Collection

CAP Watch Update

Friday, April 24, 2015

GOVERNOR IGE SIGNS TWO JUSTICE BILLS INTO LAW

CAPWATCHYesterday, April 23rd, the Governor signed 2 bills CAP has worked on this session.

G.M. No. 1115
Informing the Legislature that on April 23, 2015, the Governor signed the following bill into law: SB564 SD1 (ACT 015) REENTRY COMMISSION

G.M. No. 1116
Informing the Legislature that on April 23, 2015, the Governor signed the following bill into law:SB913 SD1 (ACT 016).
DATA COLLECTION – CHILDREN OF INCARCERATED PARENTS.

If you want to go someplace fast, go alone
If you want to go far,
Bring Others With You!

CAP Watch Conference Update

Conference Committee 
Day 1
Thursday, April 23, 2015

CAPWATCHCAP (because of YOU!) was successful in helping 16 justice-related bills pass both House and Senate this session. 2 bills are already on the Governor’s desk and thus far about 8 are in conference – the medical marijuana dispensary bills (HB321 and SB 682) will both be discussed in conference tomorrow.

Conference committee opened on three of our bills today. Here’s what happened:

SB 211 SD1 HD1       SENTENCING FOR THOSE NOT PROVIDING DNA SAMPLE
www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB211_HD1_.pdf
4.9.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS
Senate: Keith-Agaran (Chair); Shimabukuro (Co- Chair); Slom
House: Rhoads (Chair), Woodson, Thielen 

The Senate agrees with the House amendments. They will reconvene on TUESDAY, APRIL 28th at 2pm to vote.

***
SB 569 SD1                RELATING TO THEFT
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB569_SD1_.pdf
PASSED 3rd Reading – 31-15-5   Aye with reservations: Johanson, Keohokalole ; No: Aquino, Choy, Cullen, DeCoite, Fukumoto Chang, Har, Kawakami, Kong, Matsumoto, McDermott, Pouha, Thielen, Tupola, Ward, Yamane (5 excused)
Senate: Keith-Agaran (Chair); Espero, Ihara Shimabukuro, Thielen
House: Rhoads (Chair); Sanbuenaventura, Takayama

The House and Senate are close, however the House wants to stick with the $750 threshold for felony theft. They will reconvene on TUESDAY, APRIL 28th at 2pm.

***

HB 148 HD2 SD1      WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB148_SD1_.pdf
4.10.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS Aye w/reservations: Thielen
House: Rhoads, DeCoite (Co-Chairs); Sanbuenaventura, McDermott
Senate: Keith-Agaran (Chair); Tokuda (Co-Chair), Riviere, Shimabukuro, Thielen

The House agrees with the Senate language on innocence and will produce the CD1. They will reconvene on TUESDAY, APRIL 28th at 2pm.

***

Tomorrow 4/24 at 8:30 am:
SB 982            Medical Amnesty/Good Samaritan
SB 1291          Protections for Medical Marijuana Patients
SB 1367          Project Kealahou

Tomorrow 4/24 at 3pm:
HB 321           Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

 

CAP Watch Third Reading Status Report

CAP Watch Update

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

GREAT NEWS TO REPORT!

CAPWATCHYesterday was 3rd reading for our bills and we are doing well so far. Conference committee is the challenge, so we are not done yet, but we are rollin’ thanks to those who took the time to weigh in on bills! It does make a difference. We have managed to insert better language into many measures because of community support.

As you can see we have 2 bills already on the Governor’s desk. Some bills just need the date to be made effective and others will go to conference or die this session. Since Hawai`i works on a biennium budget, bills from this session that got held up  are still alive next session.

Here is where we are right now:

HB 631 HD2 SD1      BIRTH CERTIFICATES
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB631_SD1_.pdF     4.14.15 PASSED 3rd Reading  – 23-2  Aye(s) with reservations: Gabbard, Kidani, Kouchi, RiviereNo: Harimoto, Slom 

***

SB 913 SD1    DATA COLLECTION FOR CHILDREN OF INCARCERATED PARENTS
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB913 _SD1_.pdf
4.8.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS
4.10.15 enrolled to Governor

***

SB 211 SD1 HD1       SENTENCING FOR THOSE NOT PROVIDING DNA SAMPLE
www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB211_HD1_.pdf
4.9.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS

***        

SB 564 SD1    EXTENDING THE REENTRY COMMISSION TO 2019
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB564_SD1_.pdf
4.8.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS
4.10.15 enrolled to Governor

***

SB 982 SD1 HD2       MEDICAL AMNESTY/GOOD SAMARITAN BLL
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB982_HD2_.pdf
4.10.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS    

***  

HB 148 HD2 SD1      WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB148_SD1_.pdf
4.10.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS Aye w/reservations: Thielen

***

SB 1367 SD1 HD1     PROJECT KEALAHOU
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB1367_HD1_.pd
4.10.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS

***

HB 365 HD1  BODY CAMS FOR POLICE, $
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB365_HD1_.pdf  4.14.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS

***

HB 321 HD1 SD1      MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATEWIDE DISPENSARY SYSTEM
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB321  SD1_.pdf
4.14.15 PASSED 3rd Reading – 23-2 Ayes w/ reservations: Espero, Harimoto, Riviere; No: Kouchi, Slom         

***
SB 682 SD2 HD1       PROTECTING MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS & CAREGIVERS
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB682_HD1_.pdf
PASSED 3rd Reading – 42-9  Ayes w/ reservations: Cachola, DeCoite, Ichiyama, Johanson, Jordan, Kawakami, Matsumoto, Oshiro, Pouha, Tokioka, Tsuji; No: Reps Aquino, Choy, Cullen, Har, Kong, McDermott, Tupola, Ward, Yamane 

***
SB 1291 SD2, HD1    EMPLOYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB1291_HD1_.pdf
PASSED 3rd Reading – 43-8  Ayes w/ reservations: Aquino, Cachola, Cullen, DeCoite, Fukumoto Chang, Johanson, Jordan, Matsumoto, Oshiro, Pouha, Tsuji, Yamane; No: Choy, Har, Kawakami, Kong, McDermott, Tokioka, Tupola, Ward

***
SB 737 SD1 HD1       LIMITING INTEREST ON PAYDAY LOANS
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB737_HD1_.pdf
PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS   Ayes w/ reservations: DeCoite, Har, Kawakami, Keohokalole, LoPresti, Lowen, Matsumoto, Oshiro, Pouha, Rhoads, San Buenaventura, Tokioka, Ward

***
HB 1292 HD2 SD1    PROCUREMENT – PAST PERFORMANCE; BAD ACTORS
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/HB1292_SD1_.pdf
PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS   

***
SB 213 SD2 HD3       CONCURRENT SENTENCING
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB213_HD3_.pdf
PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS   

***
SB 569 SD1    RELATING TO THEFT
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB569_SD1_.pdf
PASSED 3rd Reading – 31-15-5   Aye with reservations: Johanson, Keohokalole ; No: Aquino, Choy, Cullen, DeCoite, Fukumoto Chang, Har, Kawakami, Kong, Matsumoto, McDermott, Pouha, Thielen, Tupola, Ward, Yamane (5 excused)       

***
SB 555 SD1    REFUNDABLE FOOD/EXCISE TAX CREDIT
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB555_SD1_.pdF
PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS   

 

Last 2 Bills – Please Help them Get to 3rd Reading

Please help these last 2 bills over the finish line!

ACTION ALERT2 good bills CAP has worked on all session are in FIN (their last committee) on Wednesday, April 8th. We hope that you will consider supporting both of these important justice bills. They must pass their last committees to be get to 3rd reading.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8TH  at 2pm in Room 308

 COMMITTEE ON FINANCE
Rep. Sylvia Luke, Chair
Rep. Scott Nishimoto, Vice Chair

SB 737 SD1, HD1 – PAYDAY LOANS
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB737_HD1_.pdf

CAP POSITION: SUPPORT (CAP Testimony here)

Simple Message: The US Government capped payday loans at 36% for military families. We are asking our Legislature to do the same for Hawai`i’s struggling people.

Some press on the issue:

To SUPPORT, sign in to the Legislative website (www.capitol.hawaii.gov) and then go to:
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=737

*****

SB 1367 SD1 HD1 – PROJECT KEALAHOU
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/bills/SB1367_HD1_.pdf

CAP POSITION: SUPPORT (CAP testimony here)

Simple Message: One of the few programs for girls and one that uses trauma-informed care principles. We must stop the flow of girls from the youth system to the adult system.

Project Kalahou – Navigating Pathways to Healing –http://projectkealahou.org/

To SUPPORT, sign in to the Legislative website (www.capitol.hawaii.gov) and then go to:
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=1367

Your Voice Matters!