CAPWATCH: Oppose House & Senate Bills Exempting State from EIS Law

ACTION ALERTThe EIS bills are up for a hearing in the House and Senate on Tuesday.

STOP THESE BILLS NOW…IT IS OUTRAGEOUS THAT THEY ARE STILL ALIVE.

Here for info on how to testify.

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COMMITTEE ON ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Rep. Chris Lee, Chair
Rep. Nicole Lowen, Vice Chair

COMMITTEE ON WATER AND LAND
Rep. Ryan Yamane, Chair
Rep. Ty Cullen, Vice Chair

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
10:00 a.m.
Room 325

STRONG OPPOSITION TO HB 2388 HD1 – EXEMPTING THE STATE FROM EIS LAW

HB 2388 HD1 – EXEMPTING NEW OCCC FROM CHAPTER 343 – EIS Law

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HB2388_HD1_.pdf

Creates an exemption from Hawai‘i Revised Statutes §343-5 for a jail facility to be built adjacent to Halawa Correctional Facility and funding therefore and makes clarifying amendments.      (SB 2917)  GOVERNOR

Testimony: 

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/Session2016/Testimony/HB2388_TESTIMONY_PBS_02-04-16_.PDF

Committee Report:

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/CommReports/HB2388_HD1_HSCR130-16_.htm

The HD 1:

  • added a poorly written purpose clause
  • now speaks about a new 1,250 bed OCCC (1500 – 2000 were the #s previously citied)
  • still plans to exempt the state from the laws everyone else has to abide by
  • requires the Governor  to conduct a feasibility study on the property if OCCC were relocated or built on a smaller footprint of same property
  • specifies design, programs and funding options (ALL WITHOUT THE COMMUNITY)
  • amends the bond appropriation
  • allocates funds for plans, design and construction to relocate MCCC(The state has already spent $14 million)
  • appropriates funds (what happened to the $5 million the Governor gave last session?)

CAP POSITION:                     STRONG OPPOSITION

CAP TESTIMONY:  2.16.16 EEP-WAL Testimony STRONG OPPOSITION to HB 2388 HD1

TALKING POINTS:

  • Fast-tracking a huge public project like this without proper analysis is unconscionable
  • Every development proposal has potential impacts and it is important to identify them up front. It gives the community a chance to weigh in on a project, it demands a thorough review of the “No Build” alternative (it appears the administration does not want to consider), and promotes transparency in the use of state funds.
  • The state opens itself to huge liability that the taxpayers will bear

***

COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY, INTERGOVERNMENTAL, AND MILITARY AFFAIRS
Sen. Clarence Nishihara, Chair
Sen. Will Espero, Vice Chair
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
1:18 pm
Room 229

STRONG OPPOSITION TO SB 2917 – EXEMPTING THE STATE FROM EIS LAW

SB 2917 – CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES EXEMPTION FROM EIS LAW

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB2917_.pdf

Creates an exemption from Hawai‘i Revised Statutes §343-5 for a jail facility to be built adjacent to Halawa Correctional Facility and funding therefore and makes clarifying amendments.         GOV’S PKG

CAP POSITION:  STRONG OPPOSITION

CAP TESTIMONY:  2.16.16 PSM Testimony in STRNG OPPOSITION to SB 2917

These bills ignore the fact that

  • pollution at Red Hill that is already affecting the West Side
  • there is one road that leads back to the valley
  • there is no public transportation
  • there are cultural sites in Halawa Valley
  • there are streams on the property

The State Environmental Impact Law (HRS §343-1) states in part, “The legislature further finds that the process of reviewing environmental effects is desirable because environmental consciousness is enhanced, cooperation and coordination are encouraged, and public participation during the review process benefits all parties involved and society as a whole. It is the purpose of this chapter to establish a system of environmental review which will ensure that environmental concerns are given appropriate consideration in decision making along with economic and technical considerations.”

WE NEED LOTS OF VOICES TO DEFEAT THESE BILLS that open a very wide door to gut project reviews. 

As a community, WE SHOULD ALL BE OUTRAGED!

What is frightening is when the state goes full speed ahead on something with absolutely no forethought of the unintended consequences that could result from a ready, fire, aim approach. As a community, what do we want? Do we want to build more jails, prisons, and warehouses in which to hide our social challenges or do we want to strengthen families and communities and help them grow and prosper together? If we don’t address individuals’ pathways to imprisonment, we will never build our way out of mass incarceration.

Although the Penal Code bills (HB 2561 & SB 2964) don’t go far enough to reform sentencing, they represent a good start. Prosecutors are whining about the theft statute being raised. This is something that every think tank on both sides of the aisle have recommended. Raising the threshold to $750 puts HI around the middle of 50 states. 

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