DAY SEVEN – FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2016
OK, this was a nerve-wracking day as conferences kept getting postponed because there was no release from the money committees. Despite it all, we had a darn good day!
We helped defeat the OCCC bill – YAY!!! THEN A BILL TO IMPROVE THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM PASSED – YAY!
Then came the nerve-wracking part. Constant postponements of conferences on HB 1046 – Wrongful Imprisonment (Compensation) and HB 2561 – the Penal Code bill that increases the felony theft threshold to $750 and moves meth out of the mandatory minimum statute and puts it in the regular drug statute (Chapter 712). Both bills were postponed to 5:20 pm and Kat was freaking out because 6 pm was the deadline. Then Kat was sitting in another conference on energy bills and was told everyone was moving to room 309 at 5 pm. Kat ran to the JUD Chair and asked where the bills were to be heard. He told her he had to open the conference in room 325 and then everyone would go to room 309. The audience seats are really limited in 309 and Kat wanted to be up close so she could hear what was being said. So she went to 309 and hoped she was doing the right thing. She was. Both bills PASSED. B-R-E-A-T-H-E
HB 2388 HD3 SD2 NEW CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES
Kat has no idea what they plan to do with this bill. It is a mess – unclear and contradictory. It will be interesting to see how they extract themselves or not from this embarrassing mess. This bill is a great example of Ready, Shoot, Aim!
4.26.16 – A CD1 was handed to the Senate. Chair Takayama announced that the CD1 contained language that the Governor commission a comparative analysis re: the property in Kalihi where OCCC currently sits and the Halawa site. Kat has been told that the MCCC money is in the budget, but Kat has not had time to check. Will do so and let you know.
The Committee will reconvene on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27 at 3:35 p.m. in room 325
4.27.16 – The Senate is preparing a CD1.
The Committee will RE-CONVENE on FRIDAY, APRIL 29TH at 10 a.m.
4.29.16 – The House position called for a comparative analysis between Kalihi and Halawa. The Senate is set on Halawa. Because the committee could not reach agreement, the bill was “deferred indefinitely,” meaning that IT IS DEAD. Kat still has to pore over the budget to see where they stuck money and for what. But this is good. Your testimony raised up the voice of the community and we made them hesitate. Congratulations! You rocked justice! Mahalo piha (completely) to all you Justice Advocates! BE PROUD!
HB 2561 HD1 SD1 – PENAL CODE REVIEW BILL – ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
The House is tinkering with language to make the habitual criminal language broader. What has been enormously frustrating is that the prosecutors sandbagged the final hearing and introduced things that were NEVER DISCUSSED during the 6 months of Penal Code Review Committee discussions.
The House will offer a CD1 on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 2:15 pm. In Room 325
4.26.16 – Another CD1 will be offered – this makes me nervous!
The Committee will reconvene on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27 at 2:15 p.m. in room 325
4.27.16 – House still working on CD1 expanding/broadening language on habitual offender statute. Kat is getting really nervous about this bill as the AG whispers to the JDL Chair before the meeting.
The Committee will reconvene on THURSDAY, APRIL 28 at 2:20 p.m. in room 325
4.28.16 – The House offered their CD1. Some really bad language that widens the net for habitual property crimes and making misdemeanants felons. This is so draconian and not what is happening around the country and the world. So sad that the legislature is letting the prosecutors have their way, when they are the biggest roadblock to reform! On the bright side, however, is that the felony theft threshold has been raised to $750, which places Hawai`i about mid-center of most jurisdictions.
The committee will RECONVENE FRIDAY, APRIL 29TH at 2:15 p.m.
4.29.16 – Although we donʻt like the net widening for misdemeanants and petty misdemeanants, increasing the felony theft threshold and moving meth into the regular drug statute is a BIG deal and a hard-won one at that! CAP has been working on this since 2005.
HB 1046 HD2 SD2 – COMPENSATION FOR WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT
The only thing this bill needs is to make it effective “upon approval” as the SD1 did. The date bill – the date is the only hang up. The bill has to pass conference – Kat hopes the House offers a CD1 with the correct date at this meeting – and then goes to Final Reading in both chambers then to the Governor. Fingers and toes crossed on this one. Been working on this for a while now.
4.26.16 – The House accepts the language and amendments made by the Senate. A CD1 with an effective date “upon approval” will be prepared. The Senate needed Tokuda for the vote, but she was unavailable.
The Committee will reconvene on FRIDAY, APRIL 29 at 2:15 p.m. in room 325
4.29.16 – Everyone was in room 309, so all the Conference Chairs were available. Since there was agreement on the language, all that was needed was a good date (effective upon approval, I hope, but havenʻt seen the CD1) and release from the money committees, the vote was taken. PASSED – YAY! The bill will now go to the House and Senate for Final Reading. These are the marathon sessions that occur next Tuesday and Thursday (The last day of session – Sine Die).
OK, Kat is ready to chill out now! More later …