CAPWatch Conference Report: Day 4

CAPConference ReportDAY 4  – Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The budget discussions this morning were short and the Chairs announced that the next meeting would be on Friday! Last session the budget was done 3 days ahead of schedule but they are taking it down to the wire this year.  We’ll see. I’ve been getting some dim signals from members working on the budget about the money available. We’ll see.

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 24TH 10:30 AM in Room 229

***

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’s a good description of what happened by Derrick DePledge of the Star Advertiser:

Pass
April 23rd, 2014
By Derrick DePledge

State House negotiators on a minimum wage bill on Wednesday rejected a Senate proposal to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017.

Sen. Clayton Hee, the lead Senate negotiator on the bill, offered a new proposal Wednesday that would raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2017, leave the tip credit at the existing 25 cents, and allow businesses to claim the tip credit on workers who earn at least $7 over the minimum wage.

Rep. Mark Nakashima, the lead House negotiator, thanked Hee for his efforts. Negotiators will meet again on Thursday morning.

If conference committee negotiations are unproductive — which looks increasingly likely — the Senate would still have the option of agreeing to the House version of the bill. The bill would raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour by January 2018, expand the tip credit to 75 cents, and allow businesses to claim the tip credit on workers who earn at least $7 over the minimum wage, up from 50 cents.

The state’s $7.25 an hour minimum wage has not been increased since 2007.

NEXT CONFERENCE: THURSDAY, APRIL 24TH 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

There is still disagreement between the House and Senate. The Senate position is against mandatory sentencing, which is why they amended the bill to give the court at least some discretion. What was interesting is that the House Chair Rhoads kind of agreed about mandatory  sentencing. Not sure what is going to happen with this bill, but having a discussion about mandatory minimums is really encouraging. CAP has been in this struggle for more than a decade!

NEXT CONFERENCE: THURSDAY, APRIL 24TH 1:30 AM in Room 325

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SB 2315, SD1, HD1     APPROPRIATION FOR PROVIDE SUBSTANCE ABUSE TX SERVICES @ HALAWA
HOUSE:  Representatives Aquino/Ing, Co-Chairs; Takayama, McDermott
SENATE:  Senators Espero, Chair; Kouchi, Co-Chair; Slom

The Senate offered a CD1 but I have not seen it yet.    

NEXT CONFERENCE: FRIDAY, APRIL 25TH 4:00 AM in Room 312

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SB 2884, SD2, HD1     RELATING TO PAROLE.          Legislative Appropriations; Discharged Persons
HOUSE:  Representatives Aquino/Ing, Co-Chairs; Yamane, McDermott
SENATE:  Senators Espero, Chair; Kouchi, Co-Chair; Slom

The Senate offered a CD1 but I have not seen it yet.   

NEXT CONFERENCE: FRIDAY, APRIL 25TH 4:00 pm in Room 312

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HB 2363, HD2, SD2     PUBLIC SAFETY.              Reentry Pilot Project; NV, Low-risk Drug Offenders; $
HOUSE:  Representatives Aquino/Creagan/Ing, Co-Chairs; Takayama, McDermott
SENATE:  Senators Espero, Chair; Kouchi, Co-Chair; Slom

The House will produce a CD1 and get it to the Senate ‘before the meeting’.  Again, suggestions about ‘talking offline’ – so incredibly insulting in a democracy. Conference is a very revealing time. I watch very closely and learn a lot…sometimes more than I really want to know.

NEXT CONFERENCE: FRIDAY, APRIL 25TH 4:00 pm in Room 312

***

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 House offered a CD1. It basically took the bill down to eliminating the sentence of “life without parole” for juveniles.

Although it is not all we wished for, 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).

NEXT CONFERENCE: THURSDAY, APRIL 24TH 3:30 pm in Room 229

***

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

Department of Taxation opposes this measure. The House indicated that they would be willing to work with the department to reach some agreement. There is not enough time for that this session, but this is finally acknowledgement that we must address the needs of our most vulnerable citizens. 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: THURSDAY, APRIL 24TH 4:00 pm in Room 229

***

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.

This was the first conference for this bill. Really weird.  The bill is dependent on the budget so there was not much discussion.

NEXT CONFERENCE: THURSDAY, APRIL 24TH 4:00 pm in Room 229

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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 House offered a CD1 adding a definition for “bona fide patient relationship”  that the Senate had said they would accept. Don’t know what will happen to this bill. The good news is that the Department of Health has been very diligent in getting things in place to run the program as of January 2, 2014. That is a relief to patients.

NEXT CONFERENCE: THURSDAY, APRIL 24TH 9:00 am in Room 229

***

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. I’m sure tomorrow’s conference will be 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.

NEXT CONFERENCE: THURSDAY, APRIL 24TH 9:00 am in Room 229

We have a war on drug because we gave up on the war on poverty.
Sargent Shriver

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