CAP Watch Conference Report: Day 5

CAPConference ReportDAY 5  – THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 2014

These are the bills discussed Thursday.  We are happy to report that Juvenile Life Without Parole has passed conference and will now go for Final Reading (probably Tuesday). The other bill that passed is the very shortsighted Kailua crime bill. The medical marijuana bill was deferred – meaning that it is dead.

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SB 2574, SD1, HD2     RELATING TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA.          Registration; Requirements
HOUSE:  Representatives Belatti/Rhoads/McKelvey, Co-Chairs; Creagan, Nakashima, Fukumoto
SENATE:  Senators Green, Chair; Baker, Co-Chair; Gabbard, Kouchi, Slom

The Senate did some speechifying about how they believe the current ‘primary care physician’ language actually expands access (despite the fact that there is no definition in Hawai`i Revised Statutes and this language does restrict some patients from receiving recommendations) and how next year when the program is with DOH it will be more mainstream and blah blah blah. Oh yes,  and the Chair added that any doctor could be designated as the ‘primary care physician’ , which totally negates his concerns of fly-in doctors. Imho, it was really bizarre.

THE BILL IS DEAD BECAUSE THE SENATE CHAIR CHOSE  NOT TO RESTORE THE SPIRIT AND INTENT OF THE 2000 LAW.

Very sad for people who depend on the medicine to reduce seizures, to manage pain, to stimulate their appetites after chemotherapy  or who suffer from other ailments that have relieved their pain with the use of cannabis/medical marijuana. We will continue the struggle to protect patients whose suffering is relieved by this amazing plant.

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HB 2037, HD1, SD1     RELATING TO PROJECT KEALAHOU. $
HOUSE:  Representatives Belatti/Morikawa, Co-Chairs; Jordan, Fukumoto
SENATE:  Senators Green, Chair; Chun Oakland, Co-Chair; Slom

This bill is dependent on the budget. Awrighty den, postponed  to Friday, unless they get clearance from the money committees by 9 am (which would be great!). This project is doing some cutting edge stuff on trauma and Hawai`i needs more community programs for youth, especially girls. We are actually rooting for this to be part of the budget rather than an appropriation for the bill. Being part of the budget might provide more security for the program.

NEXT CONFERENCE: THURSDAY, APRIL 25TH 9:00 am in Room 229

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SB 2308 SD1 HD1       FUNDING PGMS FOR CHILDREN OF INCARCERATED PARENTS. $
SENATE: Chun Oakland Chair; Espero, Kidani Co-Chairs; L. Thielen, Slom Members.
HOUSE:   Aquino, Ing Co-Chairs; Takayama, McDermott Members

There is agreement on the bill. Now it is whether there is money to fund it.

NEXT CONFERENCE: THURSDAY, APRIL 25TH 11:30 AM in Room 229

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SB 2609 SD1 HD2       RELATING TO MINIMUM WAGE
SENATE: Hee Chair; Ige Co-Chair; Ihara, Kouchi, Shimabukuro Members.
HOUSE:  Nakashima, Luke Co-Chairs; Nishimoto, Thielen Members.

Here is Derrick DePledge’s report :

Tipped

April 24th, 2014
By Derrick DePledge

State Sen. Clayton Hee on Friday offered a new draft of a minimum wage bill that would increase the wage to $10.10 an hour by January 2017 and expand the tip credit to 75 cents. Businesses could deduct the tip credit from workers who earn at least $7 above the minimum wage, up from 50 cents.

The draft is the first to show movement on the tip credit by the Senate, which had preferred to keep the tip credit at the existing 25 cents.

Hee had pushed the minimum wage bill into conference committee in the hopes of getting to $10.10. Negotiators will meet again on Friday, the deadline to have bills completed for final votes next week before session adjourns.

But, as a fallback, the Senate could agree to the House version of the bill, which would increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour by January 2018, expand the tip credit to 75 cents, and allow businesses to take the tip credit from workers who earn at least $7 more than the minimum wage.

The state’s minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

NEXT CONFERENCE: THURSDAY, APRIL 25TH 10:30 AM in Room 325

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HB 2205, HD1, SD1     RELATING TO CRIME.             Habitual Property Crime
HOUSE:  Representatives Rhoads, Chair; C. Lee, Nakashima, Thielen                              SENATE:  Senators Hee, Chair; Shimabukuro, Co-Chair; Slom

This bill passed the conference committee providing  the court with 2 options:  1) minimum term of imprisonment shall  be not less than one year or probation if this is the first conviction under this statute. The Senate version was better in that probation would be to one of the four specialty courts (HOPE, Drug, Mental Health, Veteran’s) that would address the individual’s pathway to crime. Very shortsighted.

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HB 2116, HD2, SD1     RELATING TO SENTENCING FOR JUVENILE OFFENDERS
HOUSE:  Representatives Carroll/Rhoads, Co-Chairs; Awana, Fukumoto
SENATE:  Senators Hee, Chair; Shimabukuro, Co-Chair; Galuteria

The committee passed the CD1. It basically took the bill down to eliminating the sentence of “life without parole” for juveniles. It is important to get this bad law off the books. The US Supreme Court has rendered 3 decisions about juveniles that support this bill (Roper, Miller, and Graham).

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HB 2371, HD1, SD1     TAX CREDITS FOR LOW INCOME RESIDENTS
HOUSE:  Representatives Carroll/Luke, Co-Chairs; Kobayashi, Woodson, Johanson
SENATE:  Senators Ige, Chair; Chun Oakland, Co-Chair; Kidani, Kouchi, Slom

I missed this conference as I was in the SCR 120 hearing.  Bills like this have a huge impact on a person reintegrating after incarceration.  We must always be mindful of the challenges that one faces reentering the community. Bills like this help our folks. Our thanks to Appleseed Lawyers for Equal Rights for their terrific advocacy on all the measures to lift people out of poverty. 

NEXT CONFERENCE: FRIDAY, APRIL 25TH 9:30 pm in Room 229

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HB 2490 HD2, SD2      RELATING TO JUVENILE JUSTICE       $      (This bill is from the Pew JJ Working Group)
HOUSE: Carroll, Creagan, Ing Co-Chairs; Awana, Thielen Members.
SENATE: Chun Oakland,  Espero Chair; Espero Co-Chair; Hee, Ige Co-Chairs; Chun Oakland, Slom Members.

I missed this conference also (it was on the same agenda as HB 2371). I did speak with the Pew folks, however, and was told that a CD1 was offered with the amendments requested by the Judiciary and the Office of Youth Services asked for. I have been working closely with these folks and we hope that at least some funding is available to start reforming how we treat our youthful lawbreakers.

NEXT CONFERENCE: FRIDAY, APRIL 25TH 9:30 pm in Room 229

 

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it,ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

Winston Churchill

 

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